Biodiversity refers to the variation among organisms and ecological systems, including genetic diversity within species, morphological and functional differences between species, and variation within and among ecosystems.
The Oklahoma State University Biodiversity Group uses molecular and morphological approaches to document biodiversity and to discover the mechanisms generating this diversity through processes such as:
- the genetic control of organismal structures and functions
- the generation of new species resulting in amplification of the tree of life
- ecological interactions among and between organisms and the environment
The group makes use of the rapidly expanding availability of genomic resources to investigate how evolution molds genetic diversity as organisms adapt to their environments. New genetic and genomic tools are also being used to understand how natural populations split and diversify to form new species and to aid in the conservation and management of endangered species.More broadly, the group uses comparative genetic and morphological data to uncover the evolutionary history of species and populations through phylogeographic and phylogenetic studies.