Darko Cotoras
PhD Candidate
Graduate Student
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California USA

Areas of Expertise:
Phylogenetics, Population Genetics, Island Biogeography, Next Generation Sequencing, EvoDevo

Research Organisms:
Spiders (Tetragnathidae and Theridiidae)


Research Focus:

I am interested on historical processes that create biodiversity, particularly in conditions of isolation.
I am studying the temporal dynamic of the adaptive radiation of the Tetragnatha spiders in the Hawaiian archipelago. For that, I am using population genetics and phylogenetics approaches (Exon Capture -NGS- and Sanger sequencing) using fresh and museum samples. As a complement, I am also studying the color polymorphism of several species and their habitat (plant) preferences. In parallel, I am doing phylogenetic studies on endemic spiders from the Juan Fernández archipelago and characterizing the spider community of Rapa Nui.
Previously during my master degree, I studied the evolution of gene networks involved in appendage development on vertebrates and invertebrates.