About Us

Lab Members

Rosa Fernández

Group Leader

My research focuses on phylogenomic approaches to understand (i) how animals are related to each other, (ii) how they reshaped their genomes to generate their inmense diversity and (iii) how they adapted to new environments - such as during terrestrialization or adaptation to life in caves. My favourite creatures are terrestrial invertebrates (mainly arthropods and annelids), but I´m expanding my interest to other lineages as well to have a better picture of animal evolution at a macroevolutionary scale.


My brief CV can be downloaded here.

Follow me on Twitter: @Rosamygale

Judit Salces

Lab Manager & Research Technician

I play two roles in the lab. On one side, I manage the lab and I'm involved in project administration. On the other, I lead the experimental work that happens at the lab: RNAseq experiments, Nanopore sequencing, optimizing protocols and teaching students and visitors wet lab techniques. I love the challenges associated with working with nonmodel organisms: each day at the lab is different. To sum up, I keep the lab up and running!

Follow me on Twitter: @JuditSalces

Jesús Lozano-Fernández

Postdoctoral Fellow (Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación)

I'm interested in understanding how animal biodiversity is generated, and how life has evolved along time. During my research career, I studied several evolutionary transitions that led to major developmental changes and had huge impact in past and present biodiversity. From researching during my PhD on the origin of insect metamorphosis, to subsequently investigating the evolution of chelicerates and animals through a molecular palaeobiological approach, my research incorporates a synoptic science where the evolutionary history of molecules and fossils are merged to understand and reliably assess evolution.

My personal webpage can be accessed here.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jesus_LozanoF

Vanina Tonzo

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am interested in arthropod comparative genomics, particularly in understanding gene repertoire evolution across arthropods and interrogate how gene duplication can play a key role in the evolution of novel traits and convergent evolution. I am exploring macroevolutionary patterns of genome evolution across all arthropod lineages and also across the Spider Tree of Life.

Follow me on Twitter: @vtonzo

Pau Balart García

PhD Candidate

I am interested in understanding how life became successful in extreme habitats. My research focuses on understanding the evolution of subterranean fauna. My PhD project aims at ellucidating the genomic basis of adaptation to caves in subterranean beetles through a phylogenomics and comparative genomics approach. As evolutionary biologist and speleologist, I like to take part in the whole process in my research: from fieldwork to wet lab, bioinformatics and finally transmitting science. My major motivation since I started in biology is conservation, and I hope someday my research will become more applied along this line.

Follow me on Twitter: @PauBalart1

Gemma Isabel Martínez Redondo

JAEIntro Research Fellow

I am interested in understanding how arthropods reshaped their genomes to conquer terrestrial environments. Through a phylogenomics and comparative genomics approach, I will interrogate the evolution of genes involved in osmoregulation. In particular, I will investigate the evolution of aquaporins and other genes involved in the regulation of osmosis to understand how old these genes are, how many times they have been duplicated or lost, and how many times they have been gained independently in the different arthropod lineages.

Carolina Simón

Master Student (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)

I am interested in understanding how mollusks conquered terrestrial environments. My project involves the characterization, annotation and phylogenetic investigation of aquaporins across mollusks.

Marina Vergé

Undergraduate student (Universitat de Girona)

I am interested in understanding gene family evolution across chelicerates. My project involves the characterization and annotation of gene families in horse shoe crabs, sea spiders and arachnids.


Leandro Arístide

Postdoctoral Fellow (Juan de la Cierva-Formación)

(joining March 2021)


2011-2012     Daniel Fernández-Marchán (Master´s Thesis)(co-advised by Darío J. Díaz Cosín and Rosa @Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

2011-2012     Bárbara Simancas (Master´s Thesis)(co-advised by Darío J. Díaz Cosín and Rosa @Universidad Complutense de Madrid).

2014-2015     Esra Mescioglu (Senior Thesis @University of Massachussetts-Boston)(co-advised by Gonzalo Giribet and Rosa @Harvard University). Now PhD student at University of California - Santa Cruz.

2015-2016     Nia Walker (Senior Thesis)(co-advised by Gonzalo Giribet, David Combosch and Rosa @Harvard University). Now Ph student at Stanford University.

2013-2017     Daniel Fernández-Marchán (PhD Thesis)(co-advised by Darío J. Díaz Cosín, Marta Novo and Rosa @Universidad Complutense de Madrid). Now Juan de la Cierva-Formación Postdoctoral Fellow student @Universidade de Vigo.

Interested in what we do?

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