Panayiota Kotsakiozi is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Biology, University of Crete. She graduated from the Faculty of Biology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, from where she also received her PhD diploma in 2013. Her PhD was a comparative study at physiological and morphological level of land snails species taking phylogenetic relationships into account. Within a multi-discipline approach assessing the morphological evolution and the physiological responses she investigated whether these are governed by adaptation, stochasticity or phylogenetic constrains. So far she has been involved in several molecular ecology projects concerning the phylogeny/phylogeography of invertebrate species, Hsp expression levels in endagered land snail species using molecular biology techniques and the effect of positive selection in shaping the mtDNA diversity of pulmonate genera. Her major research interests are in the fields of molecular ecology, evolutionary genetics, ecology and evolution and spanning from speciation and adaptation to phylogenetics, population genetics, comparative physiology and morphological evolution (complete cv).
Konstantinos (Kostas) Sagonas is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Biology Department, University of Crete and a member of the Molecular Systematics Lab of the Natural History Museum of Crete (NHMC). His academic background is in Biology, with emphasis on Evolutionary Physiology and Molecular Biology. He received his PhD degree from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in September 2014. He is interested in a broad range of questions spanning from how natural and sexual selection shapes the genetic architecture of traits, why individual hosts and host populations differ in their resistance to parasites and how this affects the evolution of parasite virulence and host life history to how adaptation translates into speciation. To this end he has a great interest in understanding the evolutionary forces and constrains that shaped the adaptive genetic diversity. He addresses these questions using genomics, high-throughput next-generation sequencing methods as well as immunological and physiological experimental approaches. During his PhD thesis entitled: "Phylogeny and physiological adaptations of the genus Lacerta sensu lato in Greece", he investigated how natural and sexual selection, as well as host-parasite interactions shaped genetic, behavioral and life-history traits of insular and mainland lizard populations of the Balkan green lizard (Lacerta trilineata) within a phylogenetic framework. To this aim, he explored both the physiology and immunology (from genetic to organism level) of the species and studied topics such as phenology, phylogeny, physiological ecology, thermal biology, immunogenetics and immunology. Besides his PhD thesis he has participated in several projects, the majority of which revolve around evolutionary ecology/physiology and immunogenetics on reptiles. (List of publications.)