Vargas Bio




Alexander O. Vargas Milne

I’m a biologist from the Faculty of Science, University of Chile. My first work as an undergrad was my “transference to ectoderm” hypothesis on the origin of the vertebrate neural crest, and a study of negative allometry in the evolution of arm size in theropod dinosaurs. I did my PhD on the evolution of development along the dinosaur-bird transition at the Department of Anatomy & Developmental Biology of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, under the supervision of Francisco Aboitiz. This work involved an 140 year-old controversy on bird digit homology, which led me to the discovery that gene expression in the bird wing is as expected for a theropod dinosaur. Thanks to a PEW fellowship, I continued researching this topic in the US, where I spent the year 2005 as a postdoc at John Fallon’s lab at the Department of Anatomy of the University of Wisconsin. During 2006-2008 I worked as postdoc at Gunter Wagner’s lab, at the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Yale University. I continue to publish on evo-devo topics, vertebrate paleontology, and theoretical and “inspirational” writing on evolution. I have started up the Ontogeny & Phylogeny lab thanks to my PEW fellowship and a FONDECYT “initiation into research: award




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