Dr. Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou

Antigoni Kaliontzopoulou
FCT Postdoctoral Fellow

Ph.D., University of Barcelona
M.S., University of Barcelona
B.S., University of Crete

E-mail: antigoni@mail.icav.up.pt

Link to CV

General Research Interests
I'm generally interested in the evolution of phenotypes and the concrete mechanisms that drive it. I find particularly exciting questions related to how organisms adapt to their environment, how selection drives the morphology-function relationship and ultimately what factors shape the astonishing phenotypic variation we observe in nature. To address specific questions related to these subjects, I use Iberian and North African Podarcis wall lizards as a model organism. This group of lacertid lizards is characterized by a complex phylogenetic structure, including as many as 16 different - presently known - lineages, and extremely high levels of morphological variation. Although such high variation frequently becomes a headache, I usually find it challenging and exciting. My PhD project focused on trying to investigate sources of morphological variation in this group of lizards, primarily focusing on sexual dimorphism, but also investigating intra- and interspecific morphological patterns. For this purposes, I examined body size and shape characters (relative proportions of different body parts), I used geometric morphometric techniques to investigate variation in head shape and also examined pholidotic trait variation.

Current Investigation
At the moment I'm starting my post-doctoral project entitled "A MULTI-SCALE APPROACH TO THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUAL DIMORPHISM: dissecting sexual selection at different evolutionary levels", in collaboration with the Adams lab at ISU and CIBIO in Portugal. Sexual dimorphism is the main dimension of morphological variation in Podarcis wall lizards and a predominant trait in almost any lizard group. I am interested in understanding the mechanisms involved in the phenotypic differentiation between sexes and to do that I will try to work at different evolutionary levels. At the microscale, I want to investigate mating success in relation to morphological and functional traits and try to understand the relative importance of intrasexual selection (male antagonism), female mate choice and potentially spermatic competition in determining each sex's fitness and shaping the difference between male and female phenotypes. At the mesoscale, I want to focus on the ecological dimension of sexual dimorphism and analyze how the morphology and functional traits of male individuals relate to the acquisition of territories and potential access to mates. Finally, at the macroscale, I want to use phylogenetic comparative methods to try to understand how form and function have co-evolved in the light of sexual dimorphism and investigate whether differences between the sexes in the tempo and mode of evolution of different traits can explain the observed patterns of sexual dimorphism.