I am an evolutionary biologist with background in molecular biology, bioinformatics and biomineralization. I have a strong passion for marine biodiversity and have studied evolutionary processes in mollusks, corals and bacteria. At Naturalis I am working with planktonic snails and their strategies to cope with ocean acidification.
Next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, biomineralization, molecular evolution, macroevolution, adaptation, ocean acidification, RNA, proteins
Biomineralization in planktonic gastropods
Pteropods and heteropods are among the most vulnerable organisms to ocean acidification. They live at the ocean surfaces and build thin and delicate shells of aragonite, a polymorph of calcium carbonate.
Shell formation is a complex process under strong biological control. Similar to other mollusks, planktonic gastropods build their shells through biomineralization but the genetic machinery underlying the process remains unknown.
Currently, I am identifying biomineralization genes and elucidating their evolution over short and long timescales. My research will contribute to a better understanding of biomineralization processes in planktonic snails and will help to make more realistic predictions of the consequences of global change on marine calcifiers.
Teaching and supervision
- Supervision: J. Smith (MSc in Biology Univ. Leiden), Screening for fast-evolving genes in pteropod species (Jan-Jun 2019)
- Teaching: Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, TiranaMathBioWorkshop, Albania (Oct 2018)
- Teaching assistant: Research in Bioinformatics, University of Lisbon, Portugal (Jun 2015, 2016)
- Teaching: Applied Genetics, University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse, Haiti (Jan-Feb 2014, 2015)