Variation: Development and Selection

Patrícia Beldade

Our Eco-Evo-Devo research combines concepts and approaches from different disciplines (notably, evolutionary and developmental biology, as well as ecology) to explore the mechanisms that shape phenotypic variation and adaptation.

Inter-individual variation is the raw material for natural selection, and a universal property of biological systems.

Understanding the mechanisms that generate and shape this variation is a key challenge in biological research, and of obvious relevance also in biomedicine.

What are the gene types, specific genes, and gene regions that contribute to evolutionarily relevant variation?

How do those genetic variants interact with environmental factors to regulate developmental trajectories and outcomes and account for phenotypic plasticity?

For the dissection of variation in complex, diversified, and ecologically-relevant phenotypes the lab uses two complementary models: Bicyclus anynana butterflies and Drosophila melanogaster flies.