Summary Neutral Theory Cichlids in the African rift Lakes
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Short description of my PhD research

The young age and high diversity of the cichlids in the three African rift lakes has amazed biologists, ecologists and evolutionary researchers for many years. Lake Tanganyika is deeper, older, and has a more complex bathymetry than the other two lakes. Ecological and evolutionary theory tells us that it should have the most species of the three lakes, but it has the fewest.

To explain the lack of diversity in Lake Tanganyika we will make use of spatially explicit individual based simulations. We will develop a general model assessing the influence of environment size, environment shape and environment stability on biodiversity. Using this general model we will be able to make predictions on the African rift lake system, incorporate specifics of the African rift lakes and make accurate predictions about current biodiversity estimates.

Poster used at the NERN 2011 meeting to explain my research:

Web Site (C) Thijs Janzen 2011-2014
Lake Tanganyika pictures courtesy Jen Reynolds