Reporting to the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Professor Alex Antonelli provides leadership and management of the Science Directorate at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst. His overall aim is to strengthen and further develop Kew as a global centre of excellence in plant and fungal knowledge and to promote evidence-based solutions to major societal challenges.
His main scientific goal is to understand the evolution and distribution of biodiversity, by studying the formation, extinction, and migration of species. He is particularly interested in teasing apart the relative roles of abiotic (e.g. climate and landscape changes) and biotic (e.g. competition, adaptations) drivers of biodiversity changes through space and time. To achieve these goals, he studies the distribution of species, their genetic variation, and the fossil record. Most of his work has dealt with the tropics, especially in South America where most species occur today.
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