Our project was initiated in 2005 with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Funding from NSF for the project ended in 2010, with a no-cost extension granted to facilitate the publication of our findings and to share our results with parties interested in biodiversity conservation and management in Patagonia. Our project focused on reconstructing
phylogeographic histories of several distinct species (or species
complexes) that occupy the Patagonian region of southern Argentina and
Chile. We used molecular markers (mtDNA and nuclear DNA sequences) and morphometric data to evaluate population
histories of five freshwater fish species and one fish species complex, two large complexes of lizard species,
two frog species, three freshwater crab species, and two plant species. Our near-term goal is to evaluate these data in a comparative framework to better understand factors that have shaped biological diversity in this unique part of the world. Our long-term goal is to address new research questions generated from our work, and to apply our results to help decision makers manage and conserve the remarkable biodiversity of Patagonia.