Chris Barratt

Researcher in evolutionary ecology and conservation

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Research Line

My research aims are to understand evolutionary and ecological patterns and the underlying mechanisms that shape them, to provide insights and tools that assist biodiversity management in our rapidly changing world. I i) investigate patterns and mechanisms shaping diversity in changing environments (past, present and future) across individuals, populations and species, and ii) develop cutting edge bio- and eco-informatic tools for automating complex analyses with practical applications for biodiversity monitoring and management. My areas of expertise are in population genomics, bioinformatics, and ecoinformatics. I have mostly focused on African and European vertebrates in my research so far but I also work with other taxonomic groups in different geographical areas via my collaborative network.


For a full CV see here

Academic history post-PhD

I am currently a postdoc at iDiv (German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research) with an sDiv individual grant (as main PI) for a project to quantify population vulnerability to global change by integrating molecular, ecological and environmental data. For information about this and other ongoing projects please see ‘Projects’.

In August 2018 until March 2021 I was awarded Flexpool grant as main PI to work on a project to measure habitat connectivity of chimpanzees over the last 120,000 years and quantify their historical demography using genomic data here at iDiv and the Max Planck Institute (Department of Primatology) in Leipzig (see Barratt et al. 2021, Lester et al. 2021, Kalan et al. 2020, two additional publications forthcoming).

In April 2017 I received my PhD from the University of Basel, Switzerland. For this work I studied the biodiversity patterns and conservation of the Coastal Forests of Eastern Africa biodiversity hotspot using amphibians as a model to understand intraspecific diversity, community assembly and phylogenetic structure (Barratt et al. 2017a), describe new species (Barratt et al. 2017b) and use genome-wide data to test alternative diversification scenarios and demographic histories (Barratt et al. 2018). This work was funded through the by a competitive grant from the Humer Foundation for Academic Talent with the support of the Centre for African Studies Basel.