Matthew Leo Knope
A great deal of the spectacular diversity of life on Earth is thought to emerge through adaptive radiation, the often rapid diversification of species in a single biological lineage to fill a wide-variety of ecological niches. Celebrated examples include the “Cambrian Explosion” of early animals, the diversification of Anolis lizards on the Caribbean Islands and Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos. My research focuses on taxonomically widely divergent systems (microbes, plants, invertebrates, and fishes) and takes an interdisciplinary approach to elucidating the patterns, rate, timing, and drivers of ecological diversification during adaptive radiation in both the recent and the ancient past. By utilizing field surveys, laboratory and field experiments, molecular phylogenetics, and comparative modeling methods, I address questions of how and why species multiply.
I have taught the Introduction to Ecology course, the Ecology, Evolution, and Plant Biology Laboratory course, and Teaching of Biology at Stanford. I have also taught the Biology of Fishes course at the University of Oregon and the Principles of Ecology course at San Francisco State University.