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Computational work in the Carstens lab is made possible by generous allocations from the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
Research in our lab seeks to understand how biological diversity is generated. We investigate empirical systems by identifying the limits of evolutionary lineages in order to evaluate the relative contributions of evolutionary processes and infer the ecological and environmental forces that have contributed to the formation of population genetic structure. Our goal is to generate realistic models of the historical demography in the focal species, and quantify the probability of these models given the genomic data that we collect. This evaluation provides a context for understanding how the evolutionary forces that act within or between populations (e.g., selection, drift, and gene flow) act to produce macro-evolutionary patterns.
We make inferences about the history of species and ecological communities using genetic, environmental and morphological data. We conduct investigations in a range of organisms: bats, insects, carnivorous plants, salamanders, willows, spiders, snails, slugs and viruses.