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About Us


Rosa Fernández

Group Leader

I'm interested in understanding animal genome evolution at a macroevolutionary scale. Our 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 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, together with Nuria I lead the experimental work that happens at the lab: RNAseq experiments, long read sequencing, HiC, 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


Nuria Escudero
Research Technician

Together with Judit, I lead the wet lab experiments. In addition to running the transcriptomics and genomics experiments, I'm leading the microbiology and proteomics experiments related to protein engineering and ancestral protein resurrection.

Follow me on Twitter: @EscuderoNuria


Javier Palma-Guerrero
Scientific Coordinator

I'm the scientific coordinator for the biodiversity hotspots in the Biodiversity Genomics Europe project within the ERGA consortium. My role is to coordinate the field collection across biodiversity hotspots and serve as liaison between the sample collectors and the sequencing facilities.



Carlos Vargas

My job is to support the lab in everything related to bioinformatics, from the management of computational resources to troubleshooting. I'm also in charge of the development of new analytical pipelines for genome assembly and annotation, phylogenomics and computational genomics. I'm also very interested in arthropod genomics, and I lead a couple of projects on this topic as well.

Follow me on Twitter: @VargasChavezC


Leandro Arístide

Postdoctoral Fellow (Juan de la Cierva-Formación)

I am interested in the interface between genomics, transcriptomics, molecular evolution and diversification dynamics. My project aims at exploring how we can incorporate genomic and gene expression data into phylogenetic modeling to further understand major evolutionary transitions.

Follow me on Twitter: @laristide


Raquel García Vernet
Postdoctoral Fellow (Margarita Salas)

I'm interested in understanding metabolic changes associated to the out of the sea transition across animal phyla. I'm leading the metabolomics experiments in the lab.



Lisandra Benítez
Postdoctoral Fellow

I'm interested in the genomic changes between marine and terrestrial species in some of the most neglected animal phyla, which I interrogate through the lens of phylogenomics and comparative genomics. I'm also interested in species tree reconstruction methodologies.



Pau Balart García
PhD Student

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.

Follow me on Twitter: @PauBalart1


Gemma Isabel Martínez Redondo

PhD Student

I'm interested in understanding the genomic changes that facilitated the conquest of land across animal phyla. During my PhD project, I'll be exploring the convergent evolution of the terrestrialization genetic toolkit across these lineages in a macroevolutionary context.

Follow me on Twitter: @gemmaeling


Klara Eleftheriadi
PhD student

I'm interested in understanding the transcriptomic changes that facilitated the out of the sea transition across animal phyla. During my PhD, I'll be characterizing genes potentially related to adaptation to freshwater and terrestrial environments in different animal lineages. I'm also in charge of the de novo genome sequencing projects in the lab.

Follow me on Twitter: @klara_ele

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Polychronis Tatsis
PhD Student

My PhD projects aims at understanding the evolution of respiratory systems across arthropods at single cell resolution, as part of the HFSP project on arthropod terrestrialization.


Svenja Wulsch
Visiting student - Erasmus program

My PhD projects aims at interrogating gene repertoire evolutionary dynamics related to asexuality in oribatid mites through the lens of phylogenomics.



Jaume Puig
Master student - JAIEIntro Fellow (LifeHUB)

My master project will focus on understanding the potential DNA damage suppression role of Dsup-like proteins identified in tardigrades through a synthetic biology approach.


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Marçal Vázquez Valls
Undergraduate student

During my extracurricular collaboration with the Metazoa Phylogenomics Lab, I'm helping with the processing of genomic data and pipeline optimization.



2022  Federico Hoffmann, Associate Professor on sabbatical, Mississippi State University (USA)

2022  Thibaud Glinez, Master and Erasmus student, Museum of Natural History of Paris (France)

2022 Juan Gregorio Haro, Master Student (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

2022  Naira Ramos, Master Student (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

2021 -2022
Vanina Tonzo, Postdoctoral Fellow - now Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Montpellier (France)

2020 -2021 Jesús Lozano-Fernández, Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación Postdoctoral Fellow - now Lecturer at University of Barcelona (Spain)

2020 - 2021 Carolina Simón Guerrero, Master Student (Autonomous University of Barcelona) - now bioinformatician in the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB, CSIC) (Spain)

2020 - 2021 Marina Vergé, Senior thesis Student (University of Girona)

2013 - 2017 Daniel Fernández-Marchán, PhD Student (Complutense University of Madrid) - now Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Montpellier (France)


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