Research in the Neotropical Toxins Lab is focused on the study of the evolution and ecology of venomous and poisonous animals, including their toxins. Specifically, we aim to discover such patterns and processes in relatively unexplored parts of the megabiodiverse Neotropical region (e.g., the Andes).

Together with collaborators and students, we use toxic animals to answer questions focused on 1) identifying patterns and processes of diversification present in this biogeographic region, 2) understanding the evolutionary ecology of these organisms, and 3) exploring their enormous toxinological diversity. In this context, we collect and analyze genomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, and toxicological data that allow us to infer evolutionary histories of populations and species, help in the conservation of threatened species, as well as understand the causes and consequences of the structural and functional diversity of toxins present in these fascinating organisms.

Our lab is part of the Centre for Biodiversity and Climate Change Research (BioCamb) at Universidad Indoamérica, Quito, Ecuador.

Neotropical Toxins Lab - Summer 2023. From right to left: Diego Quirola, Jordi Rivera, Marco Rivera, Andrea Zambonino, Mauricio Mejía, Cinthia Chávez, Kathya Bustamante, Valeria Díaz, Amalia Espinoza, Sofía Brown, Karen Marcalla, David Salazar.