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  •  Biodiversity and evolution of cnidarians

The current research lines are focused on biodiversity, ecology and evolution of hydrozoans (class Hydrozoa, Phylum Cnidaria).

The research focuses mainly on Antarctic benthic hydrozoans which are one of the most diversified and zoological groups’ characteristic of the Antarctic ecosystem. They also present a number of important features crucial to understand their origin and evolution, as the relatively low diversity at the generic level, the high degree of endemism at the specific level (about 70%), focused on a few genres, and a specific variety also concentrated in a few groups.

The work carried out so far has greatly increased knowledge of biodiversity in Antarctica group also providing important information on the biology, ecology and biogeography of the species found. Following these studies, and only considering the biodiversity of the group, it has contributed, by describing more than 50 species new to science, to increase by almost 37 % of known species inventory.

The results obtained are used in the development of phylogenetic studies to increase knowledge about the origin and evolution of this interesting zoological group. With this aim has recently begun a research using molecular approach, using DNA studies in collaboration with Dr. Amparo Latorre, from the Evolutionary Genetics Group of the ICBiBE itself.

Besides research on Antarctic hydrozoans, the group also studies in other geographic areas are made, such as the Mediterranean. In addition, reviews of species of various genres in order are carried out to improve scientific knowledge of this class of cnidarians.

 
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