Dated mammal phylogeny from Phillips et al. (PNAS, 2009), and carpet python (Morelia spilota) on field trip to Cunningham's Gap
1. What on Earth are monotremes? – tracing their evolution from “normal” ancestors.
2. Reconstructing marsupial evolution (with Maria Nilsson, Senckenberg Museum; Peter Prentis, QUT; Vera Weisbecker, U. Queensland).
3. Dating the major diversification of placental mammals – testing links to the dinsosaur extinction and the "Cretaceous terrestrial revolution" (with Robin Beck, U. Salford; Nicolas Lartillot, U. Lyon; Mike Lee, U. Adelaide).
4. Are marsupials intrinsically inferior to placentals (as Lillegraven suggests) or does it come down to evolutionary context differences?
Phylogenetics and molecular dating
1. Modelling morphological evolution for merging fossils into the tree of life.
2. Total evidence dating (combined molecular-morphological matrices) is interesting, but when is it useful?
3. Identifying and ameliorating DNA substitution model misspecification for inferring phylogeny and molecular dates.