Welcome to the Santibanez-Lopez lab (a.k.a Arachnomics lab)! Our research broadly addresses the evolution of Arachnids through the lenses of comparative genomics, venomics, phylogenomics, and evolutionary development.
Our favorite critters are scorpions! However, our interest also transcends to pseudoscorpions, camel spiders, and schizomids.
Genomics, venomics and bioinformatics
We study venom composition and evolution in scorpions and pseudoscorpions using high-throughput sequencing and molecular analysis. Our goal is to test if venom composition and evolution is associated with differences in the micro-habitats arachnids live.
We assay select candidate genes identified in model organisms (such as Drosophila melanogaster or Parasteatoda tepidadorium), apply immunohistochemistry and fluorescent microscopy, as well as the generation of transcriptome from embryonic tissues to identify genetic mechanisms underlying the patterning of appendages in scorpions.
We are open to collaborations!
We are part of an international network collaborating in multiple projects such as those studying the phylogeography of solifugids, spiders and scorpions (using RADseq), niche modeling in scorpions to predict climate change impact in conservation areas, solifugid, and schizomid systematics using UCEs, nuclear and mitochondrial markers, and arachnid genome annotations.
Biodiversity discovery, systematics, and phylogenetics
We are documenting the biodiversity of scorpions (mostly in the family Diplocentridae) and their natural history. Similarly, we use phylogenetic frameworks to explore questions about morphological evolution.