I'm an evolutionary biologist interested in the origins of biodiversity in a geographical context - particularly on islands. I also study the effects of anthropogenic extinctions on isolated ecosystems. I use modelling, phylogenetic and genomic approaches to reconstruct diversification dynamics over evolutionary time scales. I work on a variety of organisms (plants and animals) from marine islands and continental biodiversity hotspots.
Evolution, island biology, phylogenetics, birds, plants, biodiversity hotspots
Islands are natural laboratories for the study of biodiversity, and understanding how communities assemble on islands is a test-bed for how they accumulate on larger landmasses.
The importance of islands for biological research is two-fold: they are the setting of nature’s most spectacular adaptive radiations and are at the frontline of today’s biodiversity crisis. I develop models that can be applied to phylogenetic data from both extinct and extant species, allowing us to reconstruct and predict the pattern of accumulation of species on islands.
A selection of the topics I am working on currently. More info: www.luis-valente.com
- Valente L, Phillimore AB, Melo M, Warren BH, Clegg SM, Havenstein K, Tiedemann R, Illera JC, Aschenbach T, Thébaud C, Etienne RS. A simple dynamic model explains the diversity of island birds worldwide (2020) Nature, 579, 92-96.
- Valente L, Etienne RS, Garcia-R JC. Deep macroevolutionary impact of humans on New Zealand's unique avifauna (2019) Current Biology, 29, 2563-2569.e4. (featured in the issue's cover).
- Valente L, Etienne RS, Dávalos L. Recent extinctions disturb path to equilibrium diversity in Caribbean bats (2017) Nature Ecology and Evolution, 1, 26.
- Valente L, Illera JC, Havenstein K, Pallien T, Etienne RS, Tiedemann R. Equilibrium bird species diversity in Atlantic islands (2017) Current Biology, 27, 1660-1666
- Valente L, Phillimore AB, Etienne RS. Equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics simultaneously operate in the Galápagos islands (2015) Ecology Letters, 18, 844-852.
- Valente L, Savolainen V & Vargas P. Unparalleled rates of species diversification in Europe (2010) Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 277, 1489-1496.
Scientific American, Podcast
Süddeutsche Zeitung, News article
Nature Flower power
Science How carnations conquered Europe
Le Figaro, News article
Radio New Zealand, How could bird species diversity be recovered?
National Geographic Darwin finches reached evolutionary limit
BNR radio Radio Interview
Naturalis aims to be a breeding ground for international scientific talent. Therefore, PhD's have a special position in our organisation. More info on students working in my team: www.luis-valente.com