Carles Ferre Ortega

PhD Candidate

Project: Evolutionary genomics of sex chromosomes of the spotted snow skink Carinascincus oculleatus

Since young, I have been interested in understanding how the natural world functions. That is why, in 2014 I started my BSc in Biology at the University of Barcelona, in my home city. My interest during the degree mostly focused on ecology, but it was not until I started my thesis during an academic exchange with the University of Vienna that I first learnt about genomics and the importance of bioinformatics. My project thesis was trying to understand the different plant morphologies found in Heliosperma pusillum from an epigenetic point of view. After this fantastic experience in Austria, I decided to enroll in 2019 with my MSc in Environmental and Evolutionary Genomics at Queen Mary University of London. That fulfill my interests in ecology but at the same time, allowed me to learn more about genomics and bioinformatics. My master’s thesis was also based on these interests, analysing the epigenomic response of the three-spined stickleback to parasitic infections.

This long academic pathway has allowed me to join the BEER group at UTAS in 2021, where I will be researching the evolutionary genomics of sex chromosomes of the spotted snow skink Carinascincus ocellatus. This intriguing species seems to have a sex ratio that fluctuates depending on annual temperature, but with a variable effect according to altitude. We suggest that might be a consequence of different sex chromosome morphologies along with different populations.