Opendata, web and dolomites


Molecular palaeobiology and comparative genomics of chelicerate terrestrialisation

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "CheliceLand" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: BS8 1QU

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 195˙454 €
 EC max contribution 195˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-09-01   to  2017-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL UK (BRISTOL) coordinator 195˙454.00


 Project objective

Animals have marine origins, with only three phyla including lineages that can complete every phase of their life cycle outside of water–saturated environments. These phyla are the Vertebrata (reptiles, birds and mammals), the Mollusca (land snails and the slugs) and the Arthropoda (e.g. insects, spiders, centipedes). The process through which animals adapted to life on land is referred to as terrestrialisation and it is one of the most fascinating unresolved problems in evolutionary biology. The crossing of the water–land barrier was the most extreme case of adaptation to a new environment in animal history. In fact, the difference between the sea and the subaereal environment is so extreme that astrobiology uses terrestrialisation as an analog to study how life could adapt to a new planet. Here, I propose a molecular palaeobiological approach where genomic and fossil information will be combined for the first time to study animal terrestrialisation. I will focus on the Chelicerata (spiders, mites, scorpions and their allies), a megadiverse arthropod lineage. Chelicerates represent an ideal model system to investigate the tempo and mode of early animal terrestrialisation, because they were the first animals to become abundant in the terrestrial fossil record. We shall investigate chelicerate relationships, define a timescale of chelicerate evolution, and identify the genomic adaptation that allowed marine chelicerates to adapt to life on land. This is a blue skies project, however, studying the most extreme case of habitat colonization can help understanding the biology of current invasive species. Chelicerates include pests (e.g. spider mites) and species of biomedical relevance (e.g. ticks). By identifying chelicerate–specific genomic adaptation to life on land, this project will identify potential chelicerate–specific drug targets which may help the development of specific pesticides with low incidence on economically important arthropods, like declining bees.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Parry, LA, Smithwick, F, Norden, K, Saitta, ET, Lozano-Fernandez, J, Tanner, A, Bernard Caron, J, Edgecombe, GD, Briggs, DEG, and Vinther, J
Soft-bodied fossils are not simply rotten carcasses—towards a holistic understanding of exceptional fossil preservation
published pages: , ISSN: 1521-1878, DOI:
Bioessays 2019-06-17
2017 Mark N. Puttick, Joseph E. O\'Reilly, Alastair R. Tanner, James F. Fleming, James Clark, Lucy Holloway, Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Luke A. Parry, James E. Tarver, Davide Pisani, Philip C. J. Donoghue
Uncertain-tree: discriminating among competing approaches to the phylogenetic analysis of phenotype data
published pages: 20162290, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2290
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284/1846 2019-06-17
2017 Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Mario dos Reis, Philip C.J. Donoghue, Davide Pisani
RelTime Rates Collapse to a Strict Clock When Estimating the Timeline of Animal Diversification
published pages: 1320-1328, ISSN: 1759-6653, DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evx079
Genome Biology and Evolution 9/5 2019-06-17
2017 Mark N. Puttick, Joseph E. O\'Reilly, Derek Oakley, Alistair R. Tanner, James F. Fleming, James Clark, Lucy Holloway, Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Luke A. Parry, James E. Tarver, Davide Pisani, Philip C. J. Donoghue
Parsimony and maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses of morphology do not generally integrate uncertainty in inferring evolutionary history: a response to Brown et al.
published pages: 20171636, ISSN: 0962-8452, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.1636
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 284/1864 2019-06-17
2016 Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Robert Carton, Alastair R. Tanner, Mark N. Puttick, Mark Blaxter, Jakob Vinther, Jørgen Olesen, Gonzalo Giribet, Gregory D. Edgecombe, Davide Pisani
A molecular palaeobiological exploration of arthropod terrestrialization
published pages: 20150133, ISSN: 0962-8436, DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0133
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 371/1699 2019-06-17
2017 Jesus Lozano-Fernandez, Alastair R. Tanner, Gregory Edgecombe, Davide Pisani
Molecular timetrees of Chelicerata recover monophyly of Arachnida and suggests an early colonization of land
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
PeerJ 2019-06-17

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