Following the links on the left and above, you will find...
The results of work on host-parasite interactions with the water fairy Daphnia. [more]
Different aspects of sex in simultaneous hermaphrodites. [more]
Some Macrostomum methods, recipes, and hand-made gadgets that make our daily life easier. [more]
Problems with overfishing and how to help as an individual. [more]
A small collection of non-academic interests. [more]
Below follows a brief summary of my research interests, a mini-cv, and publications.
Previous Research Interests
[click here for details]
I worked for many years on antagonistic co-evolution, the evolutionary pathway that results from the continuous interaction between two (or more) factions that have different interests over a common resource. I mainly work with a tiny, fascinating, cool, marine, and very sexy worm: Macrostomum.
As a simultaneous hermaphrodite, an intrinsic conflict arises between the male ad female functions: that of allocation of resources. How much to invest into male or female reproduction?
Sexual conflicts are selective pressures that can result in the evolution of traits used as "weapons" during interactions. Macrostomum, albeit (or because of?) being a simultaneous hermaphrodite, posesses a potenial "arsenal". I'm interested in its sperm morphology and behaviour, and their potential role in post-copulatory conflicts. [more]
Similarly, conflicts may arise between two different species. This is most obvious in host-parasite interactions. The weapons of intracellular parasites can be subtle, and for instance express themselves as life-history changes. [more]
Further (academic) Interests
[click here for non-academic interests]
The Sea fascinates me in its various depths. I've been lucky to be in it a bit:
In my Diploma Thesis, supervised by Freddy Losada, I studied the effect of habitat heterogeneity on community structure in marine invertebrates that live on macro-algae. With the help of Aniuska Kasadjian, I also studied the spatial distribution of algae in relation to the exposure to wave action and sediment.
During part of my undergraduate studies, I worked at the Laboratorio de Biología Marina, looking at mainly at biodiversity, reproduction, and morphology of molluscs, both in the field and in the lab. I also taught in several marine-related courses, and assisted several marine-related projects.
I further took a break during my Ph.D. to assist Lukas Schärer in Panamá, where we studied the effect of an ovarian parasite on sex allocation, at the reef, in the beautiful reef-fish Thalassoma bifasciata.
During my Ph.D., which was supervised by my former boss, Dieter Ebert, I tried to slowly increase the salinity of the medium where my daphnias were, in order to bring that fabulous system to some exotic warm and marine location in the world. No need to worry... it didn't work! Of course, now that I'm working with a marine organism, I see that the Sea is still far away...
Appart from getting closer to the Sea, I'd like to deepen my participation in conservation and sustainable development.
[download full cv]
1989-1996: Diploma in Biology at the Universidad Simón Bolívar, Venezuela.
1993-1995: Lab and field assisstant. Laboratory of Marine Biology, USB.
1995-1997: Environmental impact assessment. IRNR, Caracas, Venezuela.
1996-1997: Orinoco Basin Exhibition. Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Venezuela
1997-1999: Modelling of ecosystem evolution, University of Basel, Switzerland
1999-2003: Ph.D. at the Universities of Basel and Fribourg, Switzerland.
2000-2001: Research assistant. STRI, "Crawl Caye Field Station", Panama
2004-2006: Post-doc/Lab Assistant at the University of Innsbruck, Austria
2006-2008: Lab Assistant, Ebert Group, University of Basel, Switzerland
2008-2015: Research Assistant, Schärer Group, University of Basel, Switzerland
Schärer, L., Littlewood, D. T. J., Waeschenbach, A., Yoshida, W. & Vizoso, D. B. 2011. Mating behaviour and the evolution of sperm design. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 108:1490-1495 [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B., Rieger, G. & Schärer, L. 2010. Goings-on inside a worm: Functional hypotheses derived from sexual conflict thinking. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 99: 370-383 [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B. & Schärer, L. 2007. Resource-dependent sex-allocation in a simultaneous hermaphrodite. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 20: 1046-1055 [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B. & Ebert, D. 2005. Phenotypic plasticity of host-parasite interactions in response to the route of infection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 18: 911-921. [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B. & Ebert, D. 2005. Mixed inoculations of a microsporidian parasite with horizontal and vertical infections. Oecologia. 143:157-166. [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B., Lass, S. & Ebert, D. 2005. Different mechanisms of transmission of the microsporidium Octosporea bayeri: a cocktail of solutions for the problem of parasite permanence. Parasitology. 130: 501-509. [pdf]
Vizoso, D. B. & Ebert, D. 2004. Within-host dynamics of a microsporidium with horizontal and vertical transmission: Octosporea bayeri in Daphnia magna. Parasitology, 128: 31:38. [pdf]
Schärer, L. & Vizoso, D. B. 2003. Parasite-induced sex change in a sequential hermaphrodite, the reef fish Thalassoma bifasciatum. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 55: 137-143.[pdf]