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My main research interest lies in the evolution of form and function in plant lineages through macroevolutionary time. Plants are arguably the most important component of terrestrial ecosystems, and they had a profound impact not only in the evolution of Earth’s biota, but on the geological and climatological development of the planet itself. Though the fossil record is often though as an incomplete representation of evolutionary history, and has thus been often marginalized in discussions about the macroevolution of plants, I believe that the integration of fossil data is fundamental to obtain any accurate answer about the evolutionary dynamics of plants through geological time.
My research so far has been focused on three main topics:
- Investigating the anatomy and development of extant plant groups, with a particular focus on cycads and early angiosperms, to understand the historical and ecological determinants of anatomical characters.
- Investigating the phylogenetic signal present in morphological data of plants, to determine whether it is feasible to integrate fossil plants in a phylogenetic framework.
- Integrating fossils in phylogenies of extant groups, to test the potential of fossils in macroevolutionary analyses of plants.
Learn more at: https://mariocoiro.blog/