Emilia Santos

Universität Basel,
Zoologisches Institut
Vesalgasse 1
CH-4051 Basel


+41 (0)61 207 03 04

+41 (0)61 207 03 01


M. Emília Santos

PostDoc in the Walter Salzburger group working on the molecular basis of a novel colour trait in cichlid fishes.

Current research

The origin and modification of novel traits is a key topic in evolutionary biology. The genetic and developmental mechanisms driving these processes remain, however, largely unknown. The spectacularly diverse adaptive radiations of cichlid fishes in the East Africa Great Lakes provide an ideal system to study the molecular basis of evolutionary novelties in the context of adaptation and explosive speciation. One characteristic novelty of the most species-rich lineage of cichlids, the haplochromines, are brightly pigmented spots on male anal fins, known as egg-spots. Egg-spots are a diverse trait (number, colour, shape and function) that plays a key role in the territorial and breeding behaviour of about 1.500 species of cichlids. The aim of project is to dissect the genetic and molecular basis of this novel trait in cichlid fishes.


Curriculum vitae

Born 1984 in Machico, Portugal
2012-present PostDoc at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland
2009-2012 PhD student at the Zoological Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland
2005-2008 MSc program in Evolutionary Biology and Development, University of Lisbon, Portugal
2002-2005 BSc program in Biology, University of Lisbon, Portugal