One million euros to understand the evolutionary transition from water to air breathing

Rosa Fernández, researcher at the IBE, receives a prestigious research grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), along with two colleagues at Naples and Harvard.

Rosa Fernández, principal investigator at the IBE, shares one of the 7 HFSP grants with her colleagues in Italy and the United States.

A project by Rosa Fernández, group leader at the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF), has been one of the 7 winners of the prestigious Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Early Career Scholarship. 716 interdisciplinary and innovative collaborations between research teams working in different countries had been presented.

The project will receive more than 1 million dollars over 3 years to study the transition from breathing in water to breathing in air – one of the most important evolutionary episodes in the history of animal life.

International, intercontinental and interdisciplinary

The winning team will be led by Fernández, Ana Belén Muñoz-García, from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy), and Javier Ortega-Hernández, from Harvard University (United States).

The project aims to test the hypothesis that the increase in atmospheric oxygen facilitated the conquest of the mainland by the first terrestrial arthropods. To do this, they will use an interdisciplinary approach that includes genomics, paleobiology and chemical physics to study the properties of the oxygen chain in different architectures of respiratory organs.

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