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.

​Earthworms are not pretty, I get that. But they are extremely important to our ecosystems, forming the major animal biomass in the soil and playing an essential role in biogeochemical nutrient cycle and water retention. The are also incredibly interesting in terms of evolution and adaptation. And let´s face it, after working with them for a while, they end up being cute too ;)

This is a really vocational job and for me, enjoying what I do is paramount. A healthy and happy environment is what brings nice people and good ideas! With that in mind, I started working with earthworms in the first place.

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