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Marco A. Méndez Torres

Actual occupation: Profesor Asociado, Departamento de Ciencias de Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias.
Institution: Universidad de Chile
Research on: Evolutionary biology in species of the Altiplano

Educational Background:

2008-2015. Master in Philosophy of Sciences, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Dissertation title: “El aporte de la fenomenología de Merleau-Ponty a la concepción de la Naturaleza”. MSc advisor: Dr. Raúl Velozo.

1995 – 2000. Doctor, Universidad de Chile. Dissertation title: “El canto de liberación en el grupo spinulosus: consideraciones morfológicas e históricas”. Advisor: Prof. Alberto Veloso.

2008-2015. Pedagogy in Biology and Natural Sciences, P. Universidad Católica de Chile. Dissertation title: “Las especies de poliquetos presentes en los mantos de Perumytilus purpuratus en la zona intermareal de Las Cruces, Chile Central”. Advisor: Prof. Nicolás Rozbaczylo.

Research Interest:

My research projects in the past 15 years have been directed mainly to studying the evolution of the Altiplano’s species (Andean Plateau) and the systems that maintain them (lakes, lagoons, bofedales and rivers). This research line corresponds to a collaborative effort between scholars of different faculties addressing a problem of national importance related to the information needed for making decisions about the management of hydric resource in the XV, I, II Región of Chile. Since there’s previous precarious and disperse knowledge about the biodiversity in these systems, I have made the attempt, using a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, to contribute knowledge about this system, through: a) Phylogenetic reconstructions on model species (fish of the genus Orestias, snails of the genus Biomphalaria and Heleobia, amphibians of the genus Rhinella and Telmatobius), b) Characterization of each system in abiotic (salinity, pH, oxygen concentration, among others) and biotic terms (biodiversity, biogeographic relationships and history). For this I have used different approaches: limnology, ecology, population genetics, phylogenetic studies, genomics and transcriptomics.

Recent Publications:

Pastenes L., Valdivieso C., Di Genova A., Travisany D., Hart A., Montecino M., … Méndez, M. A. 2017. Global gene expression analysis provides insight into local adaptation to geothermal streams in tadpoles of the Andean toad Rhinella spinulosa. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1966 (http://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-01982-z)

Fibla P., Sáez P.A., Salinas H., Araya C., Sallaberry M. & Méndez M.A. 2017. The taxonomic status of two Telmatobius frog species (Anura: Telmatobiidae) from the western Andean slopes of northernmost Chile. Zootaxa 4250(4): 301–314.

Guerrero-Jiménez C. J., Peña F., Morales P., Méndez M., Sallaberry M., Vila I., et al. (2017) Pattern of genetic differentiation of an incipient speciation process: The case of the high Andean killifish Orestias. PLoS ONE 12(2): e0170380. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170380

Collado, G.A., Valladares, M.A. & Méndez, M.A. 2016. Unravelling cryptic species of freshwater snails (Caenogastropoda, Truncatelloidea) in the Loa River basin, Atacama Desert. Syst. Biodivers. 1–13.

Cruz-Jofré F., Morales P., Vila I.,. Esquer-Garrigos Y, Hugueny B., Gaubert P., Poulin E. & Méndez M.A. 2015. “Geographic isolation and genetic differentiation, the case of Orestias ascotanensis (Teleostei; Cyprinodontidae), an Andean killifish inhabiting an highland salt pan.

Rodríguez-Clark K. M., Oliveira-Miranda M. A., Aguilera Meneses M., Martino A., Méndez M. A., Miyaki C., Montiel-Villalobos M. G., Oliveira-Miranda R. M., Poulin E., Ruzzante D., and Solé-Cava A. 2015. Finding the “Conservation” in Conservation Genetics—Progress in Latin America. Journal of Heredity 106 (S1): 423-427. n”. Biological Journal of Linnean Society 117: 747-759.

More academic information about me Complete Curriculum

Contact e-mail: mmendez@uchile.cl


Awards and Associations:

Predoctoral fellowship CONICYT (National Comision of Sciences and Technology, 1996-1998); Postgraduate fellowships of Universidad de Chile (PGI-007, PGI-004) 1996-1998

Predoctoral fellowships DAAD-CONICYT (Deutcher Akademisher Austausch Dienst), Evolutionary Genetics Laboratoty, Dr. Diethard Tautz., Cologne University, 1999-2000

Fellow of the Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology & Biodiversity (CASEB). Departamento de Ecologia. Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (2004 -2009)

President of Chilean Society of Evolution (SOCEVOL, 2012-2014)

Further information:

Other interest: Communication of Science

Hobby: Photography, learning languages, etc.