NCEAS Project 12306

Unifying niche-neutral theories of molecular, community and network evolution (Gift)

  • Carlos J. Melian

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No activities scheduled at this time.

A long discussed and unresolved question in ecology and evolution is to determine the mechanisms that originate and set an upper limit to diversity in ecosystems. Ecological and evolutionary views have focused on the mechanisms that enable or constraint species coexistence, genetic variation and the genetics of speciation respectively, but a unified theory of biodiversity linking those approaches in the same framework is still missing. Classic and current models of diversity have recently opened and reinvigorated the search for evolutionary and ecological patterns in a unified framework. At NCEAS, I intend to work towards a unified theory of biodiversity by modeling multiple biological levels and spatial scales using novel computational and analytic approaches. I will also test these models with the huge amount of data on multiple levels and scales, collected and meticulously catalogued, that is becoming available for scientific analysis. In particular, I will integrate neutral theories of molecular and species diversity by linking ecological interactions to explicit mechanisms of speciation by implementing models of evolving graphs at molecular and ecological levels. This will allow me to study how interacting graphs at multiple biological levels generate and alter diversity and better understand the evolution of diversity at different biological levels under neutral or natural selection. Finally, these models will allow the linking of the origin, evolution and coexistence of diversity to molecular, sexual and trophic behavior at ecological and evolutionary scales.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Davies, T. Jonathan; Allen, Andrew P.; Borda-de-Agua, Luis; Melian, Carlos J. 2011. Neutral biodiversity theory can explain the imbalance of phylogenetic trees but not the tempo of their diversification. Evolution. Vol: 65(7). Pages 1841-1850.
Data Set Drake, Pilar. 2010. Individual-based food web (Guadalquivir estuary, southern Spain). (Online version)
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2009. Collaborations and synthesis in ecology. Ecological Society of America SEEDS Leadership Meeting, Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Station, February 2009. Socorro, New Mexico.
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2009. Making connections between systems biology and evolving ecological networks.. CoSBi, The Microsoft Research-University of Trento Centre for Computational and Systems Biology, July 2009. Trento, Italy.
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2009. Towards a general framework in food webs driven by data at multiple biological levels. Workshop on body size and ecosystem dynamics: Implications for conservation and management of natural resources for the Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences. University of Gothenburg. Strömstad, Sweden.
Journal Article Melian, Carlos J. 2010. Book review: Community ecology: Stasis, evolution or revolution?. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Vol: 25(12). Pages 684-685.
Data Set Melian, Carlos J. 2010. Caribbean food web in space. (Online version)
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2010. Eco-evo dynamics in networks: From genomes to radiations and ecosystems. EAWAG, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Biogeochemistry, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, February 2010 . Switzerland.
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2010. Exploring ideas to link systems biology and ecosystem dynamics. ERDC, Environmental Laboratory, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, March 2010. Vicksburg, USA.
Journal Article Melian, Carlos J.; Alonso, David; Vazquez, Diego P.; Regetz, Jim; Allesina, Stefano. 2010. Frequency-dependent selection predicts patterns of radiations and biodiversity. PLoS Computational Biology. Vol: 6(8). Pages e1000892. (Online version)
Book Chapter Melian, Carlos J.; Vilas Fernandez, Cesar; Baldó, Francisco; González-Ortegón, Enrique; Drake, Pilar; Williams, Richard J. 2011. Eco-evolutionary dynamics of individual-based food webs. Edited by Andrea Belgrano, Julia Reiss Advances in Ecological Research. Vol: 45. Elsevier Ltd.. Amsterdam. Pages 225-268.
Presentations Melian, Carlos J.; Rodriguez, Josephine. 2011. Testing adaptive and non-adaptive radiations and biodiversity in supernetworks. 96th Annual ESA Meeting, Austin Convention Center, Austin, Texas, August.
Journal Article Melian, Carlos J.; Alonso, David; Allesina, Stefano; Condit, Richard; Etienne, Rampal S. 2012. Does sex speed up evolutionary rate and increase biodiversity?. PLoS Computational Biology. Vol: 8(3). Pages e1002414-e1002414. (Online version)
Presentations Melian, Carlos J. 2012. Eco-evolutionary dynamics of individual-based networks. Web of Life Meeting, Montpellier, France, June. (Abstract)
Journal Article O'Dwyer, James; Lake, Jeffrey K.; Ostling, Annette; Savage, Van M.; Green, Jessica L. 2009. An integrative framework for stochastic, size-structured community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol: 106(15). Pages 6170-6175. (Online version)