Evan Economo and I have a new paper out on the Taxon Cycle. The taxon cycle is a hypothesis advanced by E.O. Wilson that predicts a process in which successive waves of widespread disturbance-tolerant species from continental systems colonize marginal habitat on islands, expand into less disturbed forest interiors, radiate into isolated high-elevation endemics, and then either colonize a new island island or go extinct. Evan Economo and I found strong support for the hypothesis by analyzing the distributions of 183 Fijian ant species belonging to four endemism classes across disturbance and elevation gradients. Evan, Lacey Knowles and I recently received an NSF grant to build upon this work and the Pheidole research I published with Corrie Moreau.
Economo, E.P. & Sarnat, E.M. (2012) Revisiting the ants of Melanesia and the taxon cycle: historical and human-mediated invasions of a tropical archipelago. American Naturalist, 180, E1-E16. [pdf]