Gaining a mechanistic understanding of spatial biodiversity patterns
Biodiversity results from differentiation mechanisms developing within biological populations. Such mechanisms are influenced by the properties of the landscape over which individuals interact, disperse and evolve. The documentation of high levels of species diversity in complex mountain region or riverine systems suggest that some peculiar landscape properties foster diversity. I use mathematical models to investigate how connectivity and habitat heterogeneity foster diversity. My modeling approach complements empirical work on biodiversity by connecting documented patterns to the processes that have generated it.