David Wake's research emphasizes analysis of evolutionary patterns and the processes that produce them. Two large multi-year NSF-funded projects are underway: 1. AmphibiaTree, a consortium of four universities focused on production of a robust phylogenetic hypothesis for all species of amphibians using combinations of molecular, morphological and other data, and 2. HerpNET, a biodiversity informatics project to produce a fully geocoded distributed digital database of amphibians and reptiles in 40 North American museums. A subproject of AmphibiaTree is a web portal, AmphibiaWeb, for providing ready access to available information for all species of the world. The focus of most of his current research are the large and diverse salamander fauna of North America and the tropical forests of Central America, and ring species in western North America. He is also studying the geography of amphibian declines and disappearances, and factors responsible for these phenomena.
Evolutionary and conservation biology.