Summary: I work on the intersection of ecology and evolution, with a strong focus on genomic data and on species inhabiting islands.

Biological systems I am currently focusing (have focused)

1) Hawaiian Tetragnatha spiders (I did a project with Rosemary Gillespie on this system). I have published the genome of one species, finding that spiders have expansions associated with chemosensory, worked on population genomics of the system, finding multiple genetic sources underlying repeated evolution. My former student, Heidi Yang ( now at UCLA ) is currently submitting a manuscript on transposable element evolution in this system. 2) Galápagos Scalesia (I did a postdoc with Mike Martin and Loren Rieseberg on the system). I published an approach to separate subgenomes on a polyploid assembly, and a perspective on island radiations. I am currently finishing a manuscript on transposable element evolution. I am currently working on developing the ecology & phenotypes of Scalesia with Juan Andino, Gonzalo Rivas-Torres and others. 3) Galápagos Opuntia (Side project with Gonzalo-Rivas and Felipe Zapata). We have released a biogeographic story on rXiv 4) Cabo Verde endemic sparrows (side project with Martim Melo, Ângela Ribeiro, Rauri Bowie and Mark Ravinet). News soon - we have a cool manuscript focusing on the idea of ‘evolutionary success’.

Other systems: 1) Cod fishes (project with Kjetill S. Jakobsen, Ole Tørresen, Sissel Jentoft, in Oslo) - Transposable element and genome structure evolution. 2) Reindeer (project with Atle Mysterud, in Oslo) - Human impact on genomes.

Past Research

Cryptic species

Cryptic species are morphologically similar species. I did my PhD with Torsten H. Struck in Oslo, where we investigated the lineage history of species which have been morphologically identical for >100 million years! It is a pretty cool topic, and you can see our lengthy review here, as well as where we describe some new species, and where we suggest a pattern of deceleration of morphological evolution!


My approach to research consists in mobility and collaboration, benefiting from the direct expertise of leaders in different research fields, thus increasing the quality of my work and publications. This approach is highly cooperative, and is grounded on two ideas: “two brains think better than one” and “if you have worked in a topic for longer than I, it’s likely that you have something to say about my ideas, result or approach”. My work would thus not be possible without the knowledge, support, kindness and patience of multiple individuals. Here are some people who are collaborators of mine (alphabetically by first name):