Orlando Schwery


My main interests lie in the understanding of evolution. More specifically, I am on one hand highly interested in phylogenetics and systematics and how they can be powerful tools to infer the history of organisms and answer evolutionary questions. The main focus of my interest here lies on questions and methods regarding diversification, trait evolution, biogeography and their interplay. On the other hand, I hold a strong fascination in the methods of morphometrics, to relate variation and function of morphological traits to their evolution. On a broader scale, I am interested in philosophical concepts and how they guide how we do research, as well as in the impact of evolutionary biology outside of the field and how it can contribute to interdisciplinary questions.

Biodiversity Biogeography Computational Biology Entomology Evolutionary Studies Plant Science Taxonomy Zoology

Past or current institution affiliations

Work details

PhD Student

University of Tennessee
September 2014
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

MSc Student & Research Assistant

University of Zürich
Systematic Botany
The Angiosperm family Ericaceae, has a worldwide distribution with almost 4000 species in various habitats ranging from sea level to >5000 m elevation. It was used to test whether the interaction between specific leaf area (SLA) and mountain association can influence diversification rates. Using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods, a molecular phylogeny based on rbcL and matK sequence data from 168 species was built and dated using four fossil calibration points and molecular clock estimates in BEAST. Shifts in the diversification rate were estimated with MEDUSA and evaluated whether those coincide with shifts in SLA and mountain association.

PeerJ Contributions