Juvenile Plestiodon skiltonianus
Jonathan Richmond's research focuses on ecological speciation in North American scincid lizards of the Plestiodon skiltonianus
species complex. Specifically, he is interested in understanding how divergent natural selection has influenced the evolution of reproductive incompatibility among clades that differ in their ecology. Although most classic theories of speciation incorporate a role for natural selection in species formation, remarkably few cases of ecological speciation have been demonstrated in natural systems, and the importance and prevalence of natural selection in the speciation process remains an open ended question.