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Principal Investigator

Ana Riesgo 

I'm interested in molecular evolution, reproductive patterns, and molecular ecology of sponges (and also polychaetes). My research spans from transcriptomics to electron microscopy approaches to various biological and ecological questions including speciation, adaptation and genetic connectivity. 

To have a look at my academic education click 

Contact me at: anariesgogil at

Graduate students


Eleonora Rossi

I'm interested in the phylogenetic relationships of early splitting lineages of animals (sponges, ctenophores and cnidarians), their molecular adaptations to survive millions of years and the origins of their cell types. My PhD is mostly based at Bristol University and NHM.

Contact me at: m.eleonora.rossi at 

José María Lorente-Sorolla


I'm doing my PhD on the mechanisms that sponges use to determine their sex, including genomic, environmental, or microbial factors. I will be developing transcriptomic and genomic resources to help assess molecular machineries operating during the reproductive cycles of sponges. My PhD is funded by the EVOSEX project of the MCINN.

Contact me at: josemaria.lorente at


Konstantina Mitsi


I am working on the GBMF project assessing the population genomics patterns of freshwater sponges and their associated communities of microbes. Also, I am studying the potential of freshwater sponges to recover eDNA to monitor the metazoan communities living in lakes and rivers.


Contact me at: konstantina.mitsi at


Aida Verdes

I'm a Marie Curie Fellow working on the evolution of venoms in nemerteans using molecular and morphological approaches. My project will investigate the spatial location of venoms and the molecular mechanisms used to produce toxins by a wide array of species.

Contact me at: aida.verdes at


Cristina Diez

I'm a postdoctoral researcher working on ecological patterns of co-evolution of microbiomes and their hosts in the sponges. I'm leading a project using deep-sea sponges of the Cantabric Sea to understand the correlation of the host genotype and microbiome structure and the conservation of functional diversity.

Contact me at: cristinadiezvives at


2013-2014 Laura Sánchez-Vila (Master's student, UB)


2013-2014 Elena Cerro Gálvez (Master's student, UB)


2013-2014 Olga Espada Abad (Master's student, UB)


2013-2015 Carlota Coll Gutiérrez (undergrad student, UB)


2013-2014 Joan Solà Fernández (undergrad student, UB)


2013-2015 Paolo Melis (Postdoc, UB)


2014-2015 Joan Solà Fernández (Master's student, UB)

2014-2015 Andrea Bertran (undergrad student)

2012-2016 Patricia Álvarez-Campos (PhD student, now Senior Lecturer at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)

2017 Jennifer Pearce (Master's student, Imperial College)

2018 Alex Mitchell (Master's student, UCL)

2018 Ana da Silva (Master's student, UCL)

2017-2019 Nadia Santodomingo (Postdoc researcher, now Postdoc at NHM)

2017-2019 Nathan Kenny (Postdoc Researcher, now Group Leader at University of Otago, New Zealand)

2017-2019 Bruna Plese (Postdoc Researcher, now Associate Scientist at DNA electronics)

2017-2019 Sergi Taboada (Postdoc Researcher, now Senior Lecturer at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)

2019 Alex Cranston (Master's student, UCL, now PhD student at Cambridge University)

2019 Carlos Leiva (PhD, now Postdoc at University of Guam, USA)

2020 Connie Whiting (Master's student, UCL)

2020 Katherine Hartle-Mogiou (Master's student, Imperial College)

2020 Vasiliki Koutsouveli (PhD, now at GEOMAR, Germany)

2020 Belén Arias (Postdoc, now at University of Essex)


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