Phylogeography - Why are we here and how did we get here?

Kitt Vollmer

There are 4 main goals of this WebQuest:

  1. Learn about major geological events
  2. Compare and contrast a selection of living organisms
  3. Assess and justify links of geological events to biodeversity
  4. Identify how and why phylogeography is used in current research

To accomplish these tasks information will be provided throughout this WebQuest, as well, links to more indepth research will be provided. It is expected that a thorough understanding of the topic will be achieved, as well as the ability to converse meaningfully about phylogeography and its implications.


Phylogeography requires a multidisciniplanary approach, and as such completing this WebQuest will require you to think in a 'big-picture' way. One suggestion might be to break apart the meaning of phylogeography into the following keywords and use them in your search for information and understanding throughout the WebQuest. Try searching through the web, or textbooks you may have on hand with the words individually or group a couple together. You will come accross a wide variety of information at all levels of comprehension, plenty of which require subscriptions to online scientific journals. Check if your school has a student account as this will greatly enhance your learning experience.


phylogeography; biogeography; biodiversity; geological events; comparative biogeography; comparitive phylogeography;

From there, you can hyperlink around to more information. The links provided in the Process section have been reviewed and contain quick and relevant paths to information on the topics mentioned.

Take a look at the picture of the Huangshan mountain in China and click here for a video to get you in the mood to explore diverse geographical locations and the sometimes exotic species of life found there (if you feel like it keep selecting 'next' until you have seen all the short video clips!) !!

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window
Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

Sunrise on Huangshan Mountain, Anhui, China, © 2007 husar

Information on the Internet

About This Page

Created as partial course credit for Origins 2FF3: Origins and Evolution of Organisms at McMaster University under Prof. Jon Stone, Associate Director Origins Institute.

McMaster University

Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Kitt Vollmer at

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