Monica Paez

I am a new PhD student working with Dr. Chris Funk. Raised in Ecuador, I obtained my BS in Biology at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador (Quito, Ecuador). My current interest is to study the evolutionary and ecological processes that generate and shape biodiversity patterns in amphibians and other vertebrates, particularly in highly complex tropical ecosystems, such as the Amazon and cloud forests. These ecosystems are ideal for studying diversification and speciation because of their complex topography and climate dynamics. They also exhibit high levels of endemism associated with a great, undiscovered diversity. Studying the factors that have influenced ecosystems in the past can be very insightful in predicting how ecosystems can be altered by current and future environmental phenomena, namely, climatic change, habitat fragmentation and emerging diseases.