Ecological communities are collections of species that occur within the same geographical area. Which species occur within communities partly depends on the traits that species possess and hence reflect evolutionary history and biogeographic processes. How can we account for phylogenetic relationships among species in ecological studies? Statistical analyses of community composition should be capable of incorporating all of these types of factors.
We are developing statistical methods that integrate phylogenies with ecological data to uncover the many possible factors underlying the distribution of species and the composition of communities.