My PhD thesis is focused on the evolutionary history of Lepidoptera. More specifically, I work on inferring phylogenetic relationships in the family Geometridae using molecular data. Geometridae, with over 23,000 species described, are one of the larger lepidopteran families, and we want to understand the factors that led to this high diversity.
I am a world citizen who was born in Iran and, after living in several other countries, ended up in Spain, where I obtained my BSc and MSc, both from the Complutense University of Madrid. Early on I started doing research by collaborating with the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department on different projects, but mainly working on marine fish genetics and phylogeny. Collaborating with researchers from the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid, I first focused on the population genetics of an endangered Spanish killifish, Aphanius iberus, studying different wild and captive populations. Then this collaboration continued with a project on freshwater fishes of Iran, where I organized many expeditions to study and sample the fauna there. For my MSc, I studied a cyprinid genus from Middle East, Capoeta, working on the phylogenetics and phylogeography of the genus mainly in Iran. Working in the museum allowed me to learn from other research lines and gain experience from a wide range of different approaches to studying various evolutionary processes in different organisms. My academic interests include evolutionary questions in different branches such as entomology, ichthyology, anthropology and others.
Apart from the academic world, I am also a photographer and a traveller, who is interested in philosophy, languages, and different cultures and societies. I speak Persian, French, Spanish, and English, and want to learn much more, maybe starting with Swedish and/or Japanese! Reading a good book, fishing, going into nature, sailing, some bungee jumping, diving and surfing are among things I really hate! (I am addicted to sarcasm.)