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Roberto Arbore

Roberto Arbore

Auxiliary Researcher

Auxiliary Researcher
Member type
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
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I am an evolutionary biologist with a keen interest in the study of phenotypic evolution from a multilevel perspective: what are the molecular bases of phenotypic traits and how do environment, physiology, development, and genetics interact to drive trait evolution? To date, my research has focused on invertebrate model systems – annelids, flatworms, freshwater crustaceans, semiaquatic bugs, and butterflies – and spanned diverse topics as sexual selection in simultaneous hermaphrodites, the ecological genetics of benthic adaptations of planktonic crustaceans, the genetic bases of sexually selected traits, and the contribution of lineage-specific genes to the development of lineage-specific traits. 

My current project at the BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO, in collaboration with the Corbo Lab at the Washington University in St. Louis, aims at elucidating the molecular and cellular bases of structural colouration in bird feathers using domestic peacock colour mutants and wild species as models. In birds, brilliant blues and iridescent colours are produced by scattering of light by microscopically structured surfaces whose genetic and developmental determinants are still largely unknown. Structural colouration is widespread in nature and is a major component of phenotypic diversity in many species (e.g. in birds, butterflies, and some plants). By taking advantage of the tractability of developing feathers as model systems, this project aims at contributing to our understanding of this fascinating and important biological phenomenon.
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