Dean Adams


I am a theoretical evolutionary biologist interested in the evolution of multivariate phenotypes. A primary emphasis of my research is the development of new analytical tools for quantifying multivariate phenotypes (including morphometric shape analysis), as well as methods for characterizing patterns of phenotypic evolution and change. Current theoretical research emphasizes the development of phylogenetic comparative methods for multivariate datasets, and morphometric methods for characterizing patterns of shape variation and covariation. I am the primary author and maintainer of the popular software R-package geomorph, which may be used for shape analysis and for phylogenetic comparative analyses of high-dimensional data.

My lab also has an empirical component which focuses on morphological evolution in vertebrates, with an emphasis on plethodontid salamanders. Here we are interested in understanding patterns of phenotypic diversity, and what ecological and historical processes are responsible it. A long-term goal of this research is to use a comparative phylogenetic perspective to examine the relative importance of ecological and historical processes in the evolution of phenotypic diversification and the regulation of community structure.

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Wordle from publication abstracts & keywords (2012-present)