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Dr. Josef Uyeda

FACULTY AFFILIATE   |   Global Change Center

Biological Sciences

Lab Website  •  Google Scholar  •  Dept Page

(540) 231-2119 •  juyeda@vt.edu

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Dr. Uyeda’s research program focuses on understanding the drivers of long-term evolutionary change and how these are connected to the ecological, environmental and genetic drivers that we study in contemporary populations. The Uyeda lab works to develop novel statistical methods and software for studying such drivers across the tree of life by integrating process-based models and data of evolutionary and ecological change with phylogenetic trees, which serve as a map for the history of life. Such methods are vital for understanding the effects of global change because they give perspective on the capacity for species and lineages to survive changing environmental conditions not just for our lifetimes, but over the several million-year lifespans of species.

Many gaps exist in our knowledge of how evolutionary adaptation scales from short to long timescales, and why some lineages with seemingly equivalent adaptive capacities can show such different dynamics at macroevolutionary timescales, with some going extinct and others rapidly adapting to changing conditions. Understanding the predictors of macroevolutionary adaptive potential that can be measured in populations and species currently experiencing change is an essential goal to managing the long-term survival of biodiversity.

Dr. Uyeda is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and teach undergraduate Evolutionary Biology and a graduate course on Macroevolution and Phylogenetics. His expertise lies in Phylogenetics, Bayesian modeling, Statistical Quantitative Genetics, and Macroevolutionary models of trait evolution. He has worked in a variety of systems ranging from microbes to plants to vertebrates, but is most familiar with reptiles and amphibians.

Dr. Uyeda received a PhD from Oregon State University in Zoology and was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Idaho’s Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies. He also serves on the council for the Society for Systematic Biology.