Principal Investigator: Salvador Carranza Principal Investigator: Salvador Carranza


Research lines Research lines

Our research focuses on the application of phylogenetic analyses of reptiles and amphibians to understand how biodiversity is generated and maintained. Moreover, we are also interested in inferring the biogeographical and evolutionary patterns of the different groups studied, to revise their taxonomy and to use all this information to address conservation issues. Although our investigations include the study of many different reptile and amphibian groups, our central research lines focus mainly on the faunas of the Mediterranean Basin and Arabia, including some oceanic and continental islands, such as the Canary and Cape Verde islands in the Atlantic Ocean and, since 2010, the unique archipelago of Socotra in the Indian Ocean.


Research Lines

1. Historical biogeography and evolution of the reptiles and amphibians around the westernmost Mediterranean
Our main objectives are: 1) infer the geographical history and evolution of the reptiles and amphibians around the westernmost Mediterranean Basin; 2) characterize and compare the molecular evolutionary rates of reptiles and amphibians; and 3) test the current taxonomy of the groups concerned.
2. Uses of phylogenies to study evolutionary, ecological and biogeographical processes: the North African and Arabian arid reptile faunas
In this project, we are using molecular phylogenies from multiple reptile taxa to address a whole range of evolutionary, ecological and biogeographical questions. The main objectives of the project are: 1) to understand how deserts gain and maintain their endemic faunas; 2) to infer the age of the Sahara and Arabian deserts; 3) to compare the diversification rates of several desert lineages; and 4) to test and improve the current taxonomy of the groups concerned.
3. Island biogeography and evolution
The main goal of this research line is to take advantage of the excellent experimental conditions of the island systems to try to understand how biodiversity is generated and maintained. Island systems offer great opportunities to study evolution, and are especially attractive environments for several reasons:
1) They present discrete geographical entities within defined oceanic boundaries;
2) Gene flow between individual islands is reduced by oceanic barriers;
3) Their often small geographical size has made the cataloguing of flora and fauna easier than continental systems; 4) despite their small geographical size they can contain a diversity of habitats; and 5) they are often geologically dynamic with historical and contemporary volcanic and erosional activity. At the moment we are investigating both oceanic and continental islands' reptilian fauna from several places in the world including the Canary Islands and Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean and the Socotra archipelago in the Indian Ocean.


Lab website: Carranza Lab

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Principal Investigator Principal Investigator

Current members Current members

Publications since 2011 Publications since 2011

Tamar, K.; Metallinou, M.; Wilms, T.; Schmitz, A.; Crochet, P.-A.; Geniez, P.; Carranza, S. 2018. Evolutionary history of spiny-tailed lizards (Agamidae: Uromastyx) from the Saharo-Arabian region. Zoologica Scripta. 47(2):159-173 doi: 10.1111/zsc.12266

Tallowin, O.J.S.; Tamar, K.; Meiri, S.; Allison, A.; Kraus, F.; Richards, S.J.; Oliver, P.M. (2018) Early insularity and subsequent mountain uplift were complementary drivers of diversification in a Melanesian lizard radiation (Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 125:29-39 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2018.03.020

Simó-Riudalbas, M.; Tarroso P.; Papenfuss, T.; Al-Sariri, T.; Carranza, S. 2018. Systematics, biogeography and evolution of Asaccus gallagheri (Squamata, Phyllodactylidae) with the description of a new endemic species from Oman. Systematics and Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1080/14772000.2017.1403496

Salvi, D.; Perera, A.; Sampaio, F.L.; Carranza, S.; Harris, D.J. (2018) Underground cryptic speciation within the Maghreb: Multilocus phylogeography sheds light on the diversification of the checkerboard worm lizard Trogonophis wiegmanni. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 120:118-128 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.11.013

Mendes, J.; Salvi, D.; Harris, D.J.; Els, J.; Carranza, S. (2018) Hidden in the Arabian Mountains: Multilocus phylogeny reveals cryptic diversity in the endemic Omanosaura lizards. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. (): doi: 10.1111/jzs.12210

Ongoing projects Ongoing projects

In the media In the media

On the news "The Hidden Biodiversity of Reptiles" (about Salvador Carranza):

15th March, 2016. Muscat Daily. "One of world’s rarest snakes discovered in sultanate" (with the participation of Salvador Carranza).

26th December, 2015. The National (UAE). "DNA analysis reveals new identity for UAE geckos". Comments by Salvador Carranza.

25th March, 2014. Regió7. "Les aus marines mediterrànies poden portar el virus del denge i la febra grogra". Article about the paper "Circulation of a Meaban-Like Virus in Yellow-Legged Gulls and Seabird Ticks in the Western Mediterranean Basin" with the participation of Elena Gómez-Díaz (Salvador Carranza's group).

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