Marco A. Méndez Torres

Actual occupation: Full professor, 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.

1981-1986. 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:

Fibla P, Cruz-Jofré F, Sallaberry M, Méndez MA & Pastenes L. 2020. An update of the geographical distribution of Pleurodema marmoratum (Duméril & Bibron, 1840) in the Chilean Altiplano. Herpetozoa 33: 1 – 5. DOI: 10.3897/herpetozoa.33.e48980

Palma J, Soto-Acuña S, Méndez MA & Vargas AO. 2019. Assessment and Interpretation of Negative Forelimb Allometry in the Evolution Of Non-Avian Theropoda. Frontiers in Zoology 16: 44. DOI: 10.1186/s12983-019-0342-9

D’Elía G, Jaksic F, Bacigalupe L, Bozinovic F, Canto J, Correa C, Fontúrbel F, Lisón F, Méndez MA, Nespolo R, Opazo J, Palma RE, Rau J, Rodríguez S, Rodríguez-Serrano E, Sabat P, Vásquez & Victoriano P. 2019. Sugerencias para mejorar la regulación chilena de manipulación de vertebrados terrestres en poblaciones naturales en el contexto de investigaciones científícas. Gayana 83: 63 – 67. DOI: 10.4067

Collado GA, Vidal MA, Aguayo K, Méndez MA, Valladares MA, Cabrera F, Pastenes L, Gutiérrez-Gregoric D & Puillandre N. 2019. Morphological and molecular analysis of cryptic native and invasive freshwater snails in Chile. Scientific Reports 9: 7846. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41279-x.

Ibáñez CM, Eernisse DJ, Méndez MA, Valladares M, Sellanes J, Sirenko B & Pardo-Gandarillas MC. 2019. Phylogeny, divergence times, and species delimitation of Tonicia (Polyplacophora: Chitonidae) from the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 186 (4): 915-933. DOI: 10.1093/zoolinnean/zlz006.

Valladares MA, Méndez MA & Collado GA. 2019. Influenced but not determined by historical events: genetic, demographic and morphological differentiation in Heleobia ascotanensis from the Chilean Altiplano. PeerJ 6: e5802. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.5802.

Fibla P, Salinas H, Lobos G, Del Pozo T, Fabres A & Méndez MA. 2019. Where is the enigmatic Telmatobius halli Noble 1938? Rediscovery and clarification of a frog species not seen for 80 years. Zootaxa: 4527: 61 – 74. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4527.1.5

Pardo-Gandarillas MC, Ibáñez CM, Torres FI, Sanhueza V, Fabres A, Escobar-Dodero J, Mardones FO & Méndez MA. 2018. Phylogeography and species distribution modelling reveal the effects of the Pleistocene ice ages on an intertidal limpet from the Southeastern Pacific. Journal of Biogeography 45 (8): 1751 – 1767. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13362 ISI: 4.544

Fabres A, Fibla P, Araya C, Sallaberry M & Méndez MA. 2018. Development and characterization of 22 polymorphic microsatellites of the Andean frog Telmatobius chusmisensis (Anura, Telmatobius) and cross amplification in seven Chilean species of the genus. Molecular Biology Reports 45: 1533 – 1538. DOI: 10.1007/s11033-018-4228-2

Zuñiga A & Mendez M.A. 2018. Hidden and cryptic species reflect parallel and correlated evolution in the phylogeny of the genus Callyntra (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) of Central Chile. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 127: 405 – 415. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.022

Alfaro FM, Muñoz-Ramírez CP, Zúñiga-Reinoso A, Trewick SA & Méndez MA. 2018.  Phylogeography of the Chilean red cricket Cratomelus armatus (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae) reveals high cryptic diversity in central Chile. Biological Journal of Linnean Society 123: 712 – 727. DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/bly019

Pardo-Gandarilllas C, Ibáñez C, Yamashiro C, Méndez MA & Poulin E. 2018. Demographic inference and genetic diversity of Octopus mimus (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae) throughout the Humboldt Current System. Hydrobiologia 808: 125 – 135. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-017-3339-4

Pastenes L, Valdivieso C, Di Genova A, Travisany D, Hart A, Montecino M, Orellana A, Gonzales M, Gutiérres RA, Allende ML, Maass A & 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: 1966. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-01982-z

Fibla P, Sáez PA, Salinas H, Araya C, Sallaberry M & Méndez MA. 2017. The taxonomic status of two Telmatobius frog species (Anura: Telmatobiidae) from the western Andean slopes of northernmost Chile. Zootaxa 4250(4): 301–314. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4250.4.1

Guerrero-Jiménez CJ, Peña F, Morales P, Méndez M, Sallaberry M, Vila I & Poulin E. 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. Systematics and Biodiversity 14(4): 417 – 429. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2016.1153526

Cruz-Jofré F, Morales P, Vila I, Esquer-Garrigos Y, Hugueny B, Gaubert P, Poulin E & Méndez MA. 2015. Geographic isolation and genetic differentiation, the case of Orestias ascotanensis (Teleostei; Cyprinodontidae), an Andean killifish inhabiting an highland salt pan. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 117 (4): 747 – 759. DOI: 10.1111/bij.12704

Rodríguez-Clark KM, Oliveira-Miranda MA, Aguilera Meneses M, Martino A, Méndez MA, Miyaki C, Montiel-Villalobos MG, Oliveira-Miranda RM, Poulin E, Ruzzante D & Solé-Cava A. 2015. Finding the “Conservation” in Conservation Genetics—Progress in Latin America. Journal of Heredity 106: 423-427. DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esv052

More academic information about me Complete Curriculum

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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.