Applying for Funding
Symposia and Workshops
Finding a Lab
Join the EDEN Network
Participating Labs
Research Exchange Experiences
Steering Committee
Extavour Lab
lab profile


Darko Cotoras

University of California, Berkeley
3040 Valley Life Sciences
Berkeley, California 94720


PI: NO, PhD student
Taxa Studied: Invertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Degenerate PCR, Bioinformatics/Sequence Analysis, Other, Phylogenetic analysis, population genetics, biogeography and morpholgy
Research Description: I am absolutely fascinated with the diversity of life. My research interests are related with the study of the evolutionary processes that generate biodiversity. I like to approach this problem at different levels of the biological organization, from organisms to communities. In my research I incorporate a diverse range of approaches like morphology, phylogenetics, populations genetics and biogeography. As part of my PhD, I?m studying the temporal dynamic of the adaptive radiation of the Tetragnatha spiders in the Hawaiian archipelago. This genus had evolved more than 30 species in less than 5 million years. Most of these species are part of two independent adaptive radiations. The big radiation corresponds to the web-building clade. Meanwhile the second adaptive radiation -?spiny-leg? clade- is smaller in number of lineages, but includes dramatic ecological shifts and convergent ecomorphs across different islands. Due to the different ages of the islands it is possible to examine different stages of the diversification process. The questions that drive my research are: how does a radiation get started in the first place? And, how are the posterior changes in number of lineages and morphological variation? In order to answer them I?m studying the effects on the morphological variation and population structure of the volcanic history of the Big Island and (2) the evolutive processes that explain the overshoot in diversity in middle age island of Maui. Before my start my PhD I did a Master in Biological Sciences with mention in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in the Universidad de Chile. My dissertation project was about the evolution of gene networks related with the appendage development in bilateria animals. Based on literature review I assembled and compared the gene networks involved in the development of the leg of Drosophila and the pectoral fin of Zebrafish. Based on that, I predicted gene expression patterns in Zebrafish and then tested those predictions with in situ hybridization and inmuno techniques.
Lab Web Page: http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/lindberg/drl/cotoras.html
Willing to Host Undergraduates: NO
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: NO
Copyright © 2010 EDEN Evo-Devo-Eco Network. All Rights Reserved. Site designed by Academic Web Pages.
EDEN Logo: Daniel Christianson. Logo Image: Frederike Alwes.