Professor Dan Rabosky has been awarded the MacArthur & Wilson Award from The International Biogeographical Society. The award was created recently to recognize an outstanding early career scientist, generally not more than 12 years beyond completion of their Ph.D. degree who has made innovative, substantive, broad, and important contributions to the discipline of biogeography. Named after R. H. MacArthur and E. O. Wilson, this award honors their seminal contributions to biogeography.

Rabosky’s research interests include macroevolution, speciation, herpetology, phylogenetic comparative methods, and evolutionary ecology. Research in the Rabosky Lab seeks to understand the causes of evolutionary radiations. Why do some groups of organisms contain so many species, and why do many other groups contain so few? Why do some groups have such tremendous ecological and morphological diversity? How do ecological interactions influence the diversification of species and phenotypes, and how does diversification in turn affect ecological community structure?  They address these questions using a combination of fieldwork, molecular phylogenetics, and mathematical and computer modeling.  “Our research ultimately seeks to understand why some groups undergo dramatic evolutionary explosions and why many other groups do not,” Rabosky said.

He is an assistant curator of reptiles in the U-M Museum of Zoology. Rabosky received his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology in 2009 from Cornell University. He was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California Berkeley from 2009 – 2012.

Rabosky will present a paper at the next biennial meeting of the IBS and will be invited to publish a short article on their work in Frontiers of Biogeography. In return, his attendance at the meeting will be underwritten by the IBS.