Arthur F. Sands

Arthur F. Sands

Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

Nationality: South African

Spoken Languages: English

Area of Interest: Phylogenetics, Phylogeography & Biogeography

Project Title:

The role of satellite regions in the evolution of Pontocaspian biota in the past 3 Ma, through the phylogenetics of aquatic gastropods.

Project Description:

The role of satellite regions in the evolution of Pontocaspian biota in the past 3 Ma, remains a key focus. Speciation of freshwater taxa has been driven extensive environmental and climatic changes, and thus lakes and Quaternary lake deposits in Anatolia and the Balkans thus contain various groups of Pontocaspian taxa. However, it remains largely unknown whether these lakes served as sinks or sources (cf. refuges) for Pontocaspian biota. Using rigorous molecular techniques, in combination with available fossil data, I hope to investigate the phylogenies of a number of aquatic gastropods in order to plot lake successions from a biological perspective, thus increasing our understanding on the “rise and demise” of Pontocaspian biodiversity.

Personal Background:

I started my career in evolutionary genomics at the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa, where I obtained my BSc, BSc Hon. and MSc. Under the guidance of devoted professors and doctors I quickly grew a passion for genetics and the natural world. This passion persists to this day and means that I am not only highly interested in using modern genetic principles to obtain a greater understanding of the dynamics of all living organisms, but also love what I do. However, on the personal side, I enjoy ornithology, genealogy, general knowledge and politics, although most of my free time I volunteer to various charitable causes.