The Team




Josefa González. Principal Investigator. February 2011- present.
I did my PhD in Biology in Prof. Alfredo Ruiz lab at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. After a first postdoctoral stay at UAB, I moved to Stanford University to work with Prof. Dmitri Petrov. While at Stanford, I was first a Fulbright Postdoctoral fellow and then a Research Associate at the Department of Biology. In 2010, I was awarded a Ramon y Cajal fellowship to join the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE) in Barcelona. Since March 2017, I am a CSIC Scientist at IBE. I am the co-founder and coordinator of DrosEU and I am part of AdapNET. I am currently an ERC Investigator.


Miriam16Miriam Merenciano.
PhD student. September 2015- present.
(B.S. honors degree July 2012; Master student september 2014)
I am currently studying Human Biology at Pompeu Fabra University. Recently, I have joined González Lab and since then I am combining my university classes with the laboratory work. My research tries to find the role of Transposable Elements (TEs) in the adaptation of Drosophila melanogaster to different environments. Specifically, my work is focused in understanding how one specific TE is involved in the cold resistance response of D. melanogaster.


vivVivien Horváth
. PhD student (September 2016-present)
(Erasmus Master student. March 2015-July 2016)
I’m a student of Szent Istvan University in Budapest. I finished my undergraduate studies in Environmental engineering and now I’m in the second year of my masters degree, in Agricultural Biotechnology. I’m really interested in the topic of evolution, that’s why I decided to do an internship in González lab. I joined the lab in march 2015.




foto-gabyGabriel Rech. Postdoctoral Researcher. September 2016- present.
I am a biologist graduated from the University of Salta (Argentina). I obtained my PhD at the University of Salamanca (Spain) in which I focused my research in applying comparative genomics and molecular evolution approaches to identify genetic elements involved in the plant-pathogen interaction. After finishing my PhD I’ve been working as Bioinformatician in the Genomics and Bioinformatics Unit of the Institute of Predictive and Personalized Medicine of Cancer (IMPPC) Badalona (Spain). Here, in Gonzalez Lab, my research will be focused in developing and applying bioinformatic software and pipelines to identify and characterize transposable elements involved in adaptation as well as to determine their putative operating mechanism.


fotocarne01Maria Bogaerts. PhD student. February 2017- present.
I studied Biotechnology at the University of Oviedo. After that, I had the opportunity of taking a double master’s degree program at the University of Oviedo and Cranfield University, where I could discover and learn bioinformatics (2014-2016). At present, I am joining González lab to start my PhD in Bioinformatics. Here I will study the Transposable Elements (TEs) role in environmental adaptation by applying different statistics, such as iHS, to different Drosophila melanogaster populations.



LauraLaura Aguilera. Laboratory Technician. March 2017- present.
I studied Biology at Pompeu Fabra University and afterwards I did my PhD at University of Barcelona (2010). During my PhD and my Postdoctoral period I studied the crosstalk between commensal and probiotic strains of Escherichia coli and the human gut. Now I’ve joined Gonzalez Lab where I am working as a laboratory technician. Here I expect to learn about the role that transposable elements play in Drosophila melanogaster adaptation to environment.




Camillo Iacometti. Erasmus+ Master student. July 2017-present
I’m a MSc student in Cellular & Molecular Biology from the Universita’ di Torino (Italy) and I joined GonzálezLab with an internship to work at my master thesis project, investigating the presence of new roo transposable elements insertions within D. melanogaster genome.
I always have been interested in merging the evolutionary and ecological fields of biology with the biochemical and molecular ones. During my bachelor degree, I tested the effects of emerging contaminants such as organophosphorous pesticides on Artemia salina development, both from a morphofunctional and from a biochemical point of view. This experience triggered my interest towards the organisms’ response to environmental stress at genetic level and that’s why I choose to join GonzalezLab.



Sara Guirao-Rico. Postdoctoral researcher. November 2017 – present.
I obtained my PhD in Genetics under the supervision of Prof. Montserrat Aguadé at the Universitat de Barcelona. I worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Institute of Evolutionary Biology (University of Edinburgh) with Prof. Deborah Charlesworth and at Centre For Research In Agricultural Genomics with Dr. Sebastián Ramos-Onsins and Dr. Miguel Pérez-Enciso. My research interests have been always focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying adaptation and the relative role of positive selection in shaping organisms diversity. Gonzalez lab offers me the opportunity to study the role of TEs in temporal and spatial dynamics of adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster populations.




Lain Guio. Postdoctoral researcher. June 2016- present.
(April 2012- March 2016 PhD student)
BSc. in Biology (2001) Universidad de Buenos Aires. Argentina.MSc. in Environmental engineering (2011) Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain.
Research Project: The role of transposable elements in adaptation to temperate climates in Drosophila melanogaster. My goal is to study the molecular mechanisms of adaptation to understand how organisms evolve as a species adapting to hostile environments and how this is related to the origin of new species.


Anna Ullastres. PhD student. September 2012- present.
I finished my degree in Biology at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 2011 where I specialized in Genetics and Cell Biology. Recently, I’ve started my PhD studying the molecular process and functional consequences of adaptation. Specifically, my research interests are focused in understanding the role of transposable elements in the adaptation process of Drosophila melanogaster to new environments and, consequently, understanding their implication in population and evolutionary genetics.



Maite G. Barrón. Postdoctoral researcher. October 2013-present.
I’m interested in the old but not solved debate in determining the relative importance of genetic drift versus natural selection at molecular level. During my PhD at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona under the supervision of Dr. Antonio Barbadilla, I’ve been working in the decisive role that recombination has in determining regions of the genome where genetic drift is the main evolutionary force and regions where natural selection is overriding in determining allele frequencies. Now, at Gonzalez lab I will have the opportunity to deepen in the knowledge of how adaptive processes occur from a more functional perspective.



JLVillanuevaJosé Luis Villanueva-Cañas. Postdoctoral researcher. March 2016-present
I am a computational biologist by training: equally fascinated by the potential of computers to solve problems and by the diversity and complexity of the life on our planet. I obtained my PhD in the Evolutionary Genomics group, under the supervision of Mar Albà in 2015. There, I studied the origin and evolution of mammalian-specific genes and their role in adaptation. Here at the González Lab I aim to localize and investigate the role of recent TE insertions in adaptation.


IngridÍngrid Palomino. Master student. March 2017-September 2017
I am a MSc student in Bioinformatics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and now I will be doing my internship and thesis at GonzálezLab, testing the role in recent evolution of TEs associated with some reported candidate SNPs. Besides Evolutionary Biology, during my bachelor years and a 6-month internship in The Netherlands after graduating I have approached other levels of natural adaptation, studying plant responses to local conditions and environmental stress at a physiological and anatomical level. I am a big nature enthusiastic and I am always curious about the world surrounding us. My main goal is pursuing a career in Research trying to integrate the different layers of adaptation (genetic, epigenetic and physiological) to better understand the complexity of biological systems.



Nicolás N. Moreyra. Visiting PhD student. September 2016- November 2016.
BSc in Bioinformatics at Facultad de Ingeniería in Oro Verde (UNER, Argentina). Currently, I am doing my PhD at IEGEBA (UBA-CONICET, Argentina), working in Comparative Genomics and Transcriptomics in Drosophila species. Two important projects of my thesis are the assembly and characterization of the genome of D. borborema, and the analyzis of the transcriptome of D. buzzatii in cold temperature conditions (diapause state). Next year I will collaborate in a project to develop a comparative genomic pipeline focusing on insects. From September to November 2016 I am visiting the González Lab to work on the presence of Transposable Elements (TEs) retaled to the stress generated by different feedings (alkaloids or not) in D. buzzatii and D. koepferae.

Lorena Espinar. Lab Technician. March 2016-October 2016
I carried out my PhD in Dynamics of genetic circuit regulation in bacteria under the supervision of Dr. Jordi G. Ojalvo. During my postdoctoral stay at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (UPF) I focused my research in understanding the underlying molecular mechanism of cell-to-cell variability and the influence of epistasis in long-term genome and molecular evolution. I also studied the relation between DNA sequence and the subsequent mRNA expression levels for understanding the mechanisms of transcriptional control. I am really interested in how organisms adapt to changing environments in evolutionary terms, especially how naturally occurring mutations can be beneficial or detrimental for survival.

Quirze Rovira. B.S. honors degree. October 2014-July 2015
I am in my last year of my degree in Biology at Universitat de Girona. My interest in Bioinformatics, Genetics and Evolutionary Biology brings me to the Gonzalez lab in order to do my final project. My goal is to learn as much as possible and enjoy this experience.



Jon Frias. B.S. honors degree. November 2014-July 2015
I am an undergraduate student currently finishing my degree in Biomedical Sciences at Universitat de Barcelona. I am doing my final project at the Gonzalez Lab. During this experience I hope to learn more about Transposable Elements and their contribution to the adaptation of Drosophila melanogaster.


 JaioneJaione Arrizabalaga. Master student. March 2015-July 2015
I finished my degree in Computer Engineering at Universidad de Deusto in 2014. I am currently performing a master’s degree in Bioinformatics at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. During my professional practices at González Lab I will work with Transposable Elements (TEs) affecting different phenotypic traits in Drosophila melanogaster. I will also investigate the role of duplications in adaptive evolution.


Hung Le. Postdoctoral Fellow. April 2013-April 2015.
As a conservationist and ornithologist, I have spent more than ten years working for conservation of nature in Vietnam. I have seen many species adapt to weather and other environmental changes and I was always curious to know the mechanisms involved in organismal adaptation. Using Drosophila melanogaster as the subject for adaptation studies has proved to lead to many achievements in this field. Joining González Lab would be a great chance for me to learn and study about that.


Lidia Mateo. Master student. September 2013- December 2014.
(B.S. honors degree July 2011- July 2013)
Genome sequencing of wild-derived populations of Drosophila melanogaster allows us to identify putatively adaptive TEs that are segregating in populations. During my internship in the laboratory I am getting more and more fascinated by the challenge of unveiling the relationship between genotype and phenotype. I would like to expand my knowledge on this topic during my future doctoral studies. Lidia’s website.

Eduard Falqués. Master Student. February 2013- September 2013.
I am currently studying a MSc in Evolutionary Biology at Universitat de Barcelona, and I am doing the Master Thesis At the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE). I am interested in evolutionary genomics and molecular genetics and my research will be focused on the role of TEs in the adaptation and its phenotypic consequences in Drosophila melanogaster.


Paula Cortes. Undergraduate student. JAE Intro fellowship. July 2013- September 2013
Paula is an undergraduate student at the University of Barcelona. She worked on several projects in the lab mainly trying to identify new putatively adaptive TE insertions.



Oriol Roige. B.S. honors degree. February 2013- September 2013.
I am currently finishing my studies in Biotechnology at Universitat de Barcelona. I am doing my final project at González Lab, always trying to discover more about the fascinating world of biosciences and never stop learning.



Marta Perera. Undergraduate student. September 2012- April 2013.
I am currently finishing my degree in Human Biology at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. I am interested in many fields of biology such as molecular biology, bioinformatics, evolutionary genomics, systems biology and clinical applications of basic research. My goal is to learn as much as possible and to extend my knowledge in all these fields.


Karine Ribeiro. Undergraduate visiting student. Science without borders fellowship. June 2012- March 2013.
I am an undergraduate student in Biology at the University in Southern Santa Catarina, Brazil. Currently, I have a scholarship sponsored by the Science Without Borders Program and I am doing a research internship at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF). I am interested in Molecular Genetics and Evolutionary Biology.


Anna Molinet. UPF Undergraduate student. July 2013- September 2013





Ivan Benzulce. UPF Undergraduate student. July 2013- September 2013





Javier Sebastian. UPF Undergraduate student. July 2013- September 2013






Georgina Camats. B.S. honors degree. UVic Undergraduate student. July 2012- September 2012.




High School students

Marta González. March 2016- June 2016. IES La Guineueta
Elena Escalada. July 2016. Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera
Marta García. July 2016. Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Yaiza Galán. July 2015. IES La Guineueta
Elena Escalada. July 2015. Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Henry Estrella. July 2014. IES La Guineueta
Pau Cano. July 2014. Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera
Mar Gutiérrez. July 2014. Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera

Marcel Graell. July 2013.Programa Joves i Ciència. Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera
Andrea Carreño. July 2013-Septembre 2013. IES La Guineueta







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