I'm a post-doctoral researcher in UC San Diego's Biology Department (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology section), working with Dr. Diana Rennison.
My research program examines how and why animals have evolved such spectacular phenotypic diversity. Two questions that currently define my interests are:
(1) Are the same genetic machinery re-used to achieve similar adaptations across populations and species, even across vast evolutionary gulfs (for example between threespine sticklebacks and primates)?
(2) Can understanding how and when adaptation occurs help us predict when populations may struggle to adapt?
To address this, I sample from wild vertebrate populations and combine genomics, phenotyping, and climate analyses.
Ectodermally derived traits (e.g., mammalian hair, stickleback lateral plates) offer us a spectacular window by which to address this question. The answers of which
may impact the way we think about evolutionary processes, conservation, and even biomedicine.
E-mail me at: etapanes (at) ucsd (dot) edu