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Institut für Systematische und Evolutionäre Botanik

Emiliano Mora Carrera

Emiliano Mora Carrera, Dr.

  • Postdoctoral fellow
+41 (0)44 634 84 15

Research Interests

One of the most observed transitions in flowering plant reproduction concerns the evolution of self-fertilization from primarily out-crossing ancestors. This evolutionary transition has occurred in many unrelated plant lineages and is usually accompanied by modifications in the genetic and phenotypic compositions of populations. On one hand this transition has helped some plant species to increase their distributional ranges and invade new territories. In fact, the evolution of self-fertilization can initially boost the response to natural selection. Thus selfing can promote benefits at the population level during early transitions to selfing. However, on the long run, the evolution of selfing can also doom species to extinction due to a limited capacity to adapt to changing environments when genetic diversity is exhausted. It is due to this increased possibility to extinction that the transition to selfing has earned the title of an evolutionary “Dead End”. Although the causes and consequences of the evolution of selfing has been of great interest, few studies have adressed this apparent mismatch between early and late consequences that characterize this transition. Factors favoring transitions to self-fertilization as well as its evolutionary consequences are usually studied in lineages of plants where floral mechanisms promoting outcrossing have evolved and subsequently been lost. Many of these outcrossing mechanisms such as dichogamy and herkogamy, as well as the evolution of floral dimorphisms like heterostyly, monoecy and dioecy, have been extensively studied. However, among all these mechanisms, evolution of heterostyly and its sub-sequent loss has attracted evolutionary biologists since Darwin. For my project I'll focus on the common transition of heterostyly to homostyly, i.e. the loss of floral mechanism that promotes outcrossing, as a proxy to study the genetic and phenotypic consequences of the evolution to selfing. In order study the consequences ocurring at different evolutionary times scales during this transition I will integrate information from populations genetic as well as molecular quantitative genetic. This will allows us to to gain insight into the contrasting evolutionary consequences of selfing at different timescales.


2016 - 2018 Lab. Research Assitant Institute of Ecología (UNAM, México)

2014 - 2016 Master in Biological Sciences Instituto de Ecología (UNAM, México)

2009 - 2014 Bachelor in Biology Universidad de Sonora (México)