Bruno Simoes

Bruno Simoes

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Vertebrate vision has long fascinated evolutionary biologists and is a celebrated example of the power of integrative biology. As an evolutionary biologist I have quickly become fascinated by the evolution of vision. My research focus is the application of molecular methods to the evolution of vision in a very ecological diverse and evolutionary plastic group of vertebrates - squamate reptiles. In 2016 I was awarded a European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship at the University of Bristol (UK) and the University of Adelaide. Under this fellowship, I complement transcriptomics and comparative genomics with physiology and anatomical approaches to assess visual phenotypic diversity and the molecular mechanisms that underpin this sensory in snakes and lizards.

Over the past years I have studied the evolution of vision in several vertebrate lineages, but mostly focusing on reptiles. Under my European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship  I integrate genomic, physiological and anatomical data to understand the genomic underpinning of phenotypic variation in the vertebrate visual system, the relative roles of adaptation and constraints in the origin of novel visual phenotypes, and to understand whether complex visual systems can be re-elaborated following evolutionary degeneration. 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 Lecturer in Animal Biology University of Plymouth
    2017 Adjunct Lecturer University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2016 - 2019 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2016 - 2019 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow University of Bristol
    2016 - 2016 Principal Molecular Biologist Applied Genomics, Ltd
    2012 - 2015 Postdoctoral Researcher The Natural History Museum, London
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    French Can read and understand spoken
    Portuguese Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
    Spanish; Castilian Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2008 - 2012 National University of Ireland - University College Dublin Ireland PhD
    2005 - 2007 University of Porto Portugal MSc, Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
    2000 - 2004 University of the Azores Portugal Licentiate degree, Biology
  • Research Interests

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2020 Simões, B. F., Gower, D. J., Rasmussen, A. R., Sarker, M. A., Fry, G. C., Casewell, N. R., . . . Sanders, K. L. (2020). Spectral Diversification and Trans-Species Allelic Polymorphism during the Land-to-Sea Transition in Snakes.. Current biology : CB.
    2019 Simões, B. F., Foley, N., Hughes, G., Zhao, H., Zhang, S., Rossiter, S., & Teeling, E. (2019). As Blind as a Bat? Opsin Phylogenetics Illuminates the Evolution of Color Vision in Bats. Molecular biology and evolution, 36(1), 54-68.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3 Europe PMC2
    2019 Crowe-Riddell, J., Simões, B., Partridge, J., Hunt, D., Delean, S., Schwerdt, J., . . . Sanders, K. (2019). Phototactic tails: evolution and molecular basis of a novel sensory trait in sea snakes. Molecular Ecology, 28(8), 1-16.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2 Europe PMC2
    2019 Travouillon, K., Simões, B., Miguez, R., Brace, S., Brewer, P., Stemmer, D., . . . Louys, J. (2019). Hidden in plain sight: reassessment of the pig-footed bandicoot, Chaeropus ecaudatus (Peramelemorphia, Chaeropodidae), with a description of a new species from central Australia, and use of the fossil record to trace its past distribution. Zootaxa, 4566(1), 1-69.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2019 Gower, D., Sampaio, F., Peichl, L., Wagner, H., Loew, E., McLamb, W., . . . Simões, B. (2019). Evolution of the eyes of vipers with and without infrared-sensing pit organs. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 126(4), 796-823.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS2
    2017 Simoes, B., & Gower, D. (2017). Visual Pigment Evolution in Reptiles. eLS, 1-9.
    2016 Simões, B., Sampaio, F., Douglas, R., Kodandaramaiah, U., Casewell, N., Harrison, R., . . . Gower, D. (2016). Visual Pigments, Ocular Filters and the Evolution of Snake Vision. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33(10), 2483-2495.
    DOI Scopus24 WoS24 Europe PMC12
    2016 Simões, B., Sampaio, F., Loew, E., Sanders, K., Fisher, R., Hart, N., . . . Gower, D. (2016). Multiple rod-cone and cone-rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: evidence from visual opsin gene expression. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 283(1823), 8 pages.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS17 Europe PMC7
    2015 Simões, B., Sampaio, F., Jared, C., Antoniazzi, M., Loew, E., Bowmaker, J., . . . Gower, D. (2015). Visual system evolution and the nature of the ancestral snake. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(7), 1309-1320.
    DOI Scopus35 WoS34 Europe PMC21
    2007 Simões, B., Rebelo, H., Lopes, R., Alves, P., & Harris, D. (2007). Patterns of genetic diversity within and between Myotis d. daubentonii and M. d. nathalinae derived from cytochrome b mtDNA sequence data. Acta Chiropterologica, 9(2), 379-389.
    DOI Scopus4
  • Filesets

    Year Citation
    Crowe-Riddell, J., Simoes, B., Schwerdt, J., Ludington, A., Breen, J., & Sanders, K. (n.d.). Phototactic tails manuscript ESM-Files.

Australian Research Council – Discovery Project: Evolutionary dynamics of reptile vision: How are complex traits lost and re-innovated during ecological transitions? DP180101688 (Co-Lead with Kate Sanders; other PI/CIs: James Green, David Hunt, Mark Hutchinson, Belinda Chang, Emma Teeling)

European Union – H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellowship: Elaboration and degeneration of complex traits: The visual systems of lizards and snakes (Evol-Eyes) — Applicant

Environment Institute – University of Adelaide, Small Research Grants Scheme: Molecular evolution of vision in sea snakes — Co-Applicant with Dr. Kate Sanders

Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), International Doctoral Fellowship: Molecular Mechanisms and Evolution of Mammalian Sensory Perception: Visual Pathways in Bats (SFRH/BD/36369/2007) — Applicant 


Affiliate Lecturer – School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide

Guest lecturers in

  • Foundations in Marine Biology III
  • Research Methods in Evolutionary Biology

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