Photography Mariana Morando

CENPAT-CONICET Boulevard Almirante Brown

2915 U9120ACD, Puerto Madryn, Chubut

Argentina      

 

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My research is focused on biodiversity patterns of Patagonia and the historic and demographic processes that had a role on shaping them. My main study objects are lizards, but I am also interested in comparative analyses that include plants and insects. Our research group employs different information sources to discover patterns and make inferences about processes: gene sequences, microsatellites, morphology (coloration, meristic, classical, and geometric morphometric), ecology, behavior, and climatic and geologic data. We are also beginning to explore some classes of genomic data for some of the evolutionary questions we are addressing. I also enjoy very much teaching an upper-level undergraduate course in Evolution at the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia SJB, Sede Puerto Madryn, Argentina.

Photography Juan C. Santos
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I am an integrative biologist interested in complex phenotypes, comparative genomics, and physiological consequences of climate change in both amphibians and lizards. My research on phenotypic complexity is centered on the evolution and consequences of aposematism (i.e., the joint occurrence of warning signals and toxicity) in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae). To answer these questions, I have focused on systematics (species relationships), experimental physiology (evolution of metabolic rates), bioacoustics (mating calls), and anti-predator defense effects on species diversification over time. A newer project on this topic is based on the evolution of extreme sexual dimorphism in casque-headed lizards (Corytophanidae). My research on genomics is centered on the comparison of transcriptomes across different frogs and lizards. In collaboration, we are trying to address questions on the genetic basis of alkaloid sequestration, toxin autoimmunity, viviparity/parthenogensis, and physiological adaptations to diverse environments in both New World amphibians and lizards. My research on the consequences of climate change includes aspects of historical biogeography and the effects of climatic warming on the vulnerability of lizards and plants at a global scale. This research topic is part of a large macrosystems NSF project that includes my postdoctoral supervisor (Dr. Jack Sites at BYU) and co-supervisors, Drs. Barry Sinervo (UCSC), Jarmila Pittermann (UCSC), and Donald Miles (Ohio U).