About Us


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


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.

Follow me on Twitter: @vtonzo


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.


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 am interested in understanding how arthropods reshaped their genomes to conquer terrestrial environments. Through a phylogenomics and comparative genomics approach informed by genomics, transcriptomics and protein engineering, I will explore the evolution of the genes that facilitated adaptation to life on land.


Klara Eleftheriadi

PhD student

I'm interested in understanding the genomic changes that facilitated the conquest of land in annelids, nemerteans, tardigrades, platyhelminthes and nematodes. During my PhD project, I'll be exploring the convergent evolution of the terrestrialization genetic toolkit across these lineages in a macroevolutionary context. I'm also in charge of the de novo sequencing projects of the lab.



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 private sector

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)