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Dr Jesus Lozano Fernandez

Molecular palaeobiology of artrhopods

Research keywords

  • Molecular palaebiology
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Arthropods
  • Insect metamorphosis
  • microRNAs

Research findings

Arthropod terrestrialisation using total evidence dating and comparative chelicerate genomics 

Animals have marine origins and only four lineages have adapted to life on land. These groups are the vertebrates (e.g. reptiles, mammals), molluscs (e.g. land snails, slugs), the onychophora (velvet worms) and the arthropods (e.g. insects, spiders). The water-to-land transition is referred as terrestrialisation, and is an extreme case of adaptation to a new environment.

My research is focused on the arthropod lineage, and I am interested in knowing 'how' and 'when' these organisms have colonised the land. I am particularly interested in the comparative genomics of one of the groups that conform it, the chelicerates (e.g. spiders, scorpions, mites). Chelicerates contains marine and land representatives as well as abundant terrestrial fossil record. I will combine the genomic and fossil information of these organisms to study the modifications that allowed marine chelicerates to adapt to life on land.