The foremost goal of the research in the Schmitz lab is to achieve a better understanding of the origins of diversity by focusing on how the environment influences evolution. We describe and analyze macroevolutionary diversity patterns with an integrative approach, combining phylogenetic inferences from living organisms with paleontological data across large temporal scales. We collect data on morphological, functional, and ecological diversity of major vertebrate radiations.

Data collection and analysis is guided by predictions from functional morphology within the context of major evolutionary transitions in vertebrate history that come with enormous physical challenges and different performance requirements. Our main study system is the vertebrate eye, but other functional systems are considered, too.

Recent News

New paper in Journal of Vision (08/15)

Cohn, B. A., Collin, S. P., Wainwright, P. C., & Schmitz, L. (2015). Retinal topography maps in R: New tools for the analysis and visualization of spatial retinal data. Journal of Vision, 15(9):19, 1–10.

Retinal topography maps are a widely used tool in visual ecology, providing an informative visualization of the spatial distribution of cell densities across the retinal hemisphere. We introduce Retina, an R package for computational mapping, inspection of topographic model fits, and generation of average maps.

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