Meet our team 

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Nathalie Feiner

Nathalie Feiner

Principal investigator

I am an evolutionary biologist with a background in comparative genomics and developmental biology. Broadly speaking, I want to understand how the generation of phenotypic variation affects how evolution proceeds. This motivation has led me to pursue a diverse set of research questions that span from the developmental origins of novelties to the role of developmental plasticity in evolution – using a range of tools from geometric morphometrics to various kinds of -omics approaches. I am fortunate that most of my research questions can be addressed by studying lizards, and my new ERC-funded project on wall lizards allows me to use a developmental approach to answer one of the big questions in evolutionary biology – why does evolution repeat itself.

CV     Publication list      nathalie.feiner@biol.lu.se

Tobias Uller

Tobias Uller

Principal investigator

I want to understand how evolution works. This requires an integrative approach – from molecular and developmental biology to ecology – guided by mathematical modelling and conceptual analysis. My projects span across a range of topics, but most are designed to reveal how functional processes of organisms – development, physiology and behaviour – influence their evolution. We mostly study lizards, and combine experiments with genomic analyses, field studies and comparative methods. Several projects make use of mathematical modelling to predict or interpret evolutionary outcomes. The integration of development and evolution also raises conceptual issues, which I explore in contributions aimed towards biologists and philosophers of science.

CV     Publication list     LU website    tobias.uller@biol.lu.se

Postdocs 

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Roberto García-Roa

Roberto García-Roa

Postdoc

Sexual selection | island biogeography | photography | conservation biology

I combine science and photography to document, explain, and protect biodiversity. My research as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow investigates the evolutionary causes and consequences of the extraordinary color diversity of Mediterranean wall lizards. My aim is to establish how diversification of sexual dichromatism is shaped by phylogenetic history and ecology. I am also interested in how sexual selection influences genetic diversity and the persistence of endemic island populations.

roberto.garcia.roa@gmail.com

Personal website

 

Jana Isanta-Navarro

Jana Isanta-Navarro

Postdoc

Limnology | experimental evolution | ecology | evolvability | plasticity

My research focuses on responses of freshwater organisms to anthropogenic disturbance, and how adaptive evolution influences the resilience of ecosystems. I combine molecular and organismal levels of analysis, and make use of laboratory, mesocosm and field experiments. My current project explores the relationship between phenotypic plasticity and evolvability – why are organisms so good at adapting, and can they get even better?

jana.isanta-navarro@biol.lu.se

Personal website

 

Lisandro Milocco

Lisandro Milocco

Postdoc

Theoretical biology | evo-devo | quantitative genetics | experimental evolution

I want to understand biological diversity and why organisms look the way they do. My approach is based on predictive modeling of evolution and development as dynamical systems. I am also interested in the connections between this dynamical description and quantitative genetics. My current research aims to develop theory to establish the relationship between selection in variable environments and the evolution of development, with a particular focus on its implications for evolvability.

lisandro.milocco@biol.lu.se

 

Javier Ábalos

Javier Ábalos

Postdoc

Behavioral ecology | island biogeography | phenotypic integration| repeated evolution

My aim is to understand how behaviour, coloration, and colour vision co-evolve to help animals cope with their environment. In my PhD, I explored the functional significance of colour polymorphism in wall lizards by testing ideas rooted in sexual selection, sensory ecology and animal communication theory. My current research explores how selection on behaviour contributes to the repeated evolution of a suite of exaggerated traits in wall lizards.

javier.abalos_alvarez.6724@biol.lu.se

 

Quentin Horta-Lacueva

Quentin Horta-Lacueva

Postdoc

Adaptive divergence | phenotypic integration | morphometrics| comparative biology

I am interested in the developmental origins of morphological diversity. During my PhD, I studied how hybridization affects feeding morphology, developmental timing and animal personality in Arctic charr morphs. Now focusing on the evolution of the skull in lizards, I investigate how particular types of embryonic cells may influence diversification and convergence.

quentin.horta-lacueva@biol.lu.se

 

PhD / MSc students 

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Robin Pranter

Robin Pranter

PhD student

Developmental bias | parallel evolution | evo-devo| neural crest cells

I am interested in the developmental basis of adaptive phenotypic changes, in particular the developmental origins of complex phenotypes. During my PhD, I will investigate a suite of exaggerated traits – a syndrome – that has repeatedly evolved in different wall lizard species. My aim is to identify the cellular and genetic changes that are associated with the syndrome to ultimately understand why evolution tends to repeat itself.

robin.pranter@biol.lu.se