Guillermo Friis Montoya

Postdoctoral Associate Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA and MA Pablo de Olavide University; PhD National Museum of Natural Sciences (Spain) - Autonomous University of Madrid;

Research Areas: Speciation genomics, Molecular Ecology, Evolutionary Biology

Guillermo Friis is an evolutionary biologist interested in the origin and maintenance of biodiversity, inferring evolutionary mechanisms of diversification, and understanding the genomic basis of phenotypic variation. His PhD at National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid (Spain) documented neutral and selective mechanisms driving genetic and phenotypic divergence at the early stages of speciation in the radiation of the songbird genus Junco.

At NYUAD-CGSB, his research focuses on applying genomic techniques to study the evolutionary processes leading to the colonization and adaptation of the gray mangrove (Avicennia marina) to the environment of the Arabian Gulf. Specifically, he is interested in reconstructing the evolutionary and demographic history of the Arabian mangrove populations using newly generated resequencing data and taking advantage of an extensive geographic sampling of the Arabian Peninsula. In addition, he is also conducting differential gene expression analyses to identify functional genes and biological pathways involved in the remarkable tolerance of A. marina to the extreme temperature and salinity conditions registered in the Arabian Gulf, which represent a unique natural experiment for assessing how mangroves and their associated biota may respond in other regions of the world to cope with climate change.