My thesis is included in the Odd Man Out Project, which studies the lower diversity of some plant families and genera in the Afrotropical region compared to other tropical areas. My work focuses on seven clades of the Euphorbiaceae family, which comprise three globally hyperdiverse genera: Euphorbia, Croton, and Macaranga; and between 170 to 200 African distributed species. We will research their taxonomy, systematics, and conservation while trying to untangle the underlying biogeographical patterns that could explain the extant biodiversity and its distribution. With that purpose, we will collect samples from the field and herbarium material and use target capture combined with shotgun sequencing (Hyb-Seq) to capture hundreds of low-copy nuclear orthologs, as well as high-copy organellar DNA. We also will collect and analyze morphological data from the species to estimate the diversification and phenotypical evolution rates. Our final goal would be to combine all the obtained information to test paleoclimatic, time, and phenotype dependent macroevolutive models.
In addition, we will collaborate with the IUCN by using our data to assess the extinction risk of some of the species included in the study.
Ruiz de Diego, P., Larridon, I. (2020). Scleria fulvipilosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T164209170A164209216. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T164209170A164209216.en