Mike Benton – Exploring Adaptive Radiations

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Event Date: 20 June 2013
Flett Lecture Theatre
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road (Exhibition Rd Entrance)
London SW7 5BD

The Systematics Association presents:

The 2013 Sir Julian Huxley Lecture

Professor Mike Benton (Bristol) – Exploring Adaptive Radiations

Key questions in macroevolution concern radiations: why are some clades more species-rich than others; are diversifications driven by key adaptations or environmental opportunities; what has been the role of mass extinctions in punctuating the history of life? George Gaylord Simpson recognised these key issues in his 1944 classic, Tempo and Mode in Evolution, but he was unable to identify methods to resolve the questions. These questions are explored using examples such as the origin of birds and diversification following the end-Permian mass extinction, combined with new methods in exploring palaeodiversity, morphological disparity, and phylogenetic comparative methods.

Introduction by Dr Robert Scotland (Oxford, President of the Systematics Association).

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