Gene regulation and morphogenesis


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26/06/19.  4-yr PhD position in the Casares lab.
Our group welcomes scientists (experimental, computational, theoretical) interested in the general question of how genomes encode organ size and form, and how evolution re-shapes organs. Informal inquiries to attaching you CV. The successful candidate will develop a research project within one of the following areas: (1) Control of organ size variation and precision using the eyes of flies as model or (2) Genomic origins of evolutionary novelties in the visual system in a new model insect. Formal applications start on September 2019. Approximate starting date: May 2020.

26/06/2019. Scientists at Work!


02/03/18: Nico Posnien visited the lab. Here discussing with Max eye size control.


14/12/17. If you are interested in finding out how organ size is controlled during development and maintained after regeneration, and how size changes arise during evolution, apply for a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral contract to work in our lab.

Please, send informal enquiries before December 30 to

12/12/17. Xmas lunch and drinks

08/09/17. Isabel Almudí and Fer Casares attended this year’s EVODEVO UK meeting at the Natural History Museum, London. Great science!


21/08/17. Meet Amer, former master student in the lab, first person at Biology Open

12/07/17. Julia Cantisán defended her graduation work on the fly eye GRN -done under MC Lemos with us as collaborators- today, obtaining 10/10 -"super work" and "impecable presentation" were some of the compliments from the committee. Well done, Julia!


03/07/17. Juan Muñoz is back in the lab to work on Bombus visual system -and brought along a bumblebee hive!!!


06/17. Antonio Ruiz, a mathematician, recently joined the CABD to help some of our groups. Currently he is working on fractal branching patterns, growth and regeneration!


Congrats Marta Neto for a wonderful thesis defense and thanks for your many contributions to the lab. In the picture, with (from left): Stein Aerts, Eduardo Moreno (herself; myself, proud), Paulo Pereira, Raquel Seruca and Pedro Rodrigues.


15-18/05/17. Santos Rojo, Celeste Pérez (left) and Adriana Aracil (right), experts on Syrphids (hoverflies) from University of Alicante visited the lab for a few days. We learnt a lot from them -and we hope to be able to continue working together. Syrphids are a megadiverse fly group with very interesting biology.


11/05/17. Diana from the lab, at the Sevilla Science Fair, representing the CABD and demonstrating the swarms of curious people the wonders of developmental biology!


09/05/17. Beatriz and Juan, from the Rodríguez-Gironés lab (EEZA, ALmería) will spend a week in the lab doing gene expression analysis on Bombus (the bumblebee) using in situ hybridization, with Isabel Almudí's help.


24/04/17. With Dr. Jannik Vollmer, at ETH (Basel), after his PhD defence. Congratulations Jannik and Dagmar


21/04/17. Julia Cantisán, from the school of Physics/Materials Engineering, doing experiments for her theoretical studies of the fly eye gene regulatory network!


The Department of Gene Regulation and Morphogenesis, where the Casares lab belongs, has been named "Maria de Maeztu" Unit of Excellence. This award will allow GEM to recruit a number of new PIs, postdoctoral and predoctoral researchers to investigate the mechanisms of Decision Making in Cell Collectives (DMC^2). Stay tuned for more news!!!

Fer Casares presented lab work on "Eyes, large and small: variation of eye size in Drosophila and beyond" at the Modeling Growth and Form workshop, Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI), Columbus (Ohio) (


New paper from the lab on eye size control, with the Iber lab! Check it here

Coffee after Xmas lunch (Diana still in NYC and Chiara back to Italy for Xmas break).


The First meeting of the (order of the) SITH (Scientists Investigating the Hoverfly) took place on Dec 12, 2016. Here is a picture of all the Lords and Ladies...


Looking for a postodoctoral position?

The Cloeon Team has just expanded! Adrián (left) and Isabel (right) have joined the core formed by Carlos & Isabel.


Nov 15: The sex of cells. Male and female photoreceptors (as marked by Msl-2). Nice staining by Max Sánchez-Aragón (nuclei in blue, Msl-2 in red).


Two new members of the Casares lab, Ana Alcaina and Chiara Genovesse just joined the lab this October. Ana will be working of brain wiring and ocelli and Chiara will find out why Episyrphus has such huge eyes. Welcome both!

Why Flies are fascinating, click here. And meet the Dipterists forum, UK

Sep 29: Laura Cara joins the lab as undergraduate intern. Welcome, Laura.

Sep 28: Amer defended his master thesis in Florence and got 110/110, cum laude and congratulations from his committee. Well done Amer!!


Sep 16: Carlos Martín defended yesterday his Biology degree research project, which he conducted in the lab on Cloeon's rearing and transcriptomics. Marks: 10/10! Congratulations, Carlos.

Sep 15: Our latest publication, with the Iber lab, on the integration of gene action with growth during eye development in PLOS Computational Biology. Don't miss it: 

NHM Treasures: butterflies collected by Alfred Russel Wallace himself!!!!!! Thanks David Lees. 


Marta Neto's research published in Develomental Biology: a story of derailed progenitors and their addiction to Dpp/BMP2, click here.

Fer Casares has spent two weeks at the Natural History Museum, London (@NHM_London) (August 2016), as a Synthesys felow, to explore the quantitative (and qualitative) differences in the ocellar complex across higher Diptera, with curator Daniel Whitmore's (@dwhitmore79) expert guidance. Exceptional.

With Dan, Duncan and Paul 

With Dan, Erica, Theresa and Paul  Thank you all! (@NHM_Diptera)


Isabel presented her research on Cloeon at (July 26-29, 2016). 

July: Isabel and Carlos have raised the F2 generation of lab-reared Cloeon dipterum. 

Today (May 31) Amer went back to Florence after his masters stay in the lab. Great job done and good luck (now, Amer, you have to write the master thesis!)

With Jesús Fernández (hiding) and Alexandre Piccini (with headphones) @ ReDevNeural meeting (May 27)


Some Group Meetings are tougher than others in the Casares lab.... (May 24) 

Our new paper, with the Iber group, on organ growth laws is OUT! Check the abstract or the paper's highlight

We have a 4-year PhD position available, starting in 2016. Looking for biologists or physicists interested in understanding how gene networks and tissue mechanics interact to regulate organ growth

Our paper on morphological constraints derived from a gene network structure -of ocelli- is out in Development, Genes & Evolution. With Daniel Aguilar-Hidalgo (April 04).

On growth laws of the eye -paper published already online in Development. Together with Dagmar Iber's group (March, 10) 

Immunostainins of Episyrphus tissues are coming out wornderfully (check out this mitotic epithelial cells by Isabel Almudí) (February, 18)


Our exploration of gene network constraints on morphological evolution investigating the Hh-steered  ocellar GRN is now at

15-Feb: Sebastian Kittlemann, from the McGregor lab, will be with us for two weeks doing ATAC

01 Feb: Carlos Martín joins the lab as an intern to work on Cloeon, with Isabel Almudí 

CABD - Centro Andaluz de Biología del Desarrollo

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