Evolution and Development

Élio Sucena

The Evolution and Development lab aims at exploring the interface between the fields of evolution and developmental biology with the ultimate purpose of contributing to the understanding of the rules by which this interplay shapes organisms across evolutionary time.

In particular, research carried out in the lab focuses on evolutionary novelties, that is, new traits (either morphological, physiological or behavioural) that may participate in the emergence of adaptive radiations into novel niches.
The research group approach this concept experimentally at different levels of biological organization and through both the comparative method and experimental evolution. Specifically, they look into novelty at:

  1. the genetic level, studying gene expression evolution upon gene duplication,
  2. the cellular level, approaching immune cell function diversity and hematopoiesis in Drosophila;
  3. the organismal level, by studying the evolution of the immune response in arthropods using Drosophila melanogaster as a reference model.