I have devoted most of my scientific career to unlocking the secrets of life within soil. My work on earthworm evolutionary biology has focused on molecular phylogeny, phylogeography, systematics, speciation, reproduction and adaptation to stressful environmental factors. My questions have been directed towards endemic, cosmopolitan, and more recently invasive species. These animals, although often neglected, provide a fantastic model for several elementary questions because they live in close relationship with and are influenced by the soil, and their dispersal ability (with exceptions) is relatively low. This makes them excellent candidates to study phylogeographic patterns, cryptic speciation or adaptive abilities (phenotypic, genomic or epigenomic). My research covers diverse topics on macro- and microevolution of animals from deep phylogenies to molecules.