Diogo Melo

Research Scope

My work focuses on understanding the interplay between genetic and environmental covariation in shaping phenotypic differences between individuals and complex trait evolution. Organisms are integrated systems; their phenotypic attributes are the result of dynamic and complex networks of interactions between genes, transcripts, development, and their environment. I aim to understand how this complex genetic architecture responds to environmental perturbation and genetic variation, and how these networks lead to the wide array of phenotypic variation we observe in nature. I plan to address these broad questions using natural genetic variation in the model species Drosophila and will integrate systems genetics into an evolutionary framework. My research couples quantitative and population genetics with functional genomics and computational tools.


Quantitative genetics, evolutionary theory, bioinformatics, individual-based modeling, Bayesian modeling and statistics.



2020-current Postdoctoral researcher

2019-20 Postdoctoral researcher


2014-18 Doctoral Degree in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology

2014, 2016 Visiting PhD scholar at the University of Bath

2010-12 Master’s Degree in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology

2007-09 Biological Sciences

2003-07 Molecular Sciences Course

Articles in progress

2022 Characterizing the landscape of gene expression variance in humans

2022 Saturating the eQTL map in Drosophila melanogaster: genome-wide patterns of cis and trans regulation of transcriptional variation in outbred populations

2022 Longitudinal sequencing reveals polygenic and epistatic nature of genomic response to selection

2022 Revisiting the Modularity of Gene Co-Expression Networks Using the Stochastic Block Model

Research Articles

2022 Morphological integration during postnatal ontogeny: implications for evolutionary biology

2020 Are cats less stressed in homes than in shelters? A study of personality and faecal cortisol metabolites levels

2019 Genomic Perspective on Multivariate Variation, Pleiotropy, and Evolution

2019 Measuring the magnitude of morphological integration: the effect of differences in morphometric representations and the inclusion of size

2017 The evolution of phenotypic integration: How directional selection reshapes covariation in mice

2017 Insights from Systems Biology in Physiological Studies: Learning from Context

2016 Modularity: Genes, Development, and Evolution

2016 Costly learning: preference for familiar food persists despite negative impact on survival

2016 A case study of extant and extinct Xenarthra cranium covariance structure: Implications and applications to paleontology

2015 EvolQG - An R package for evolutionary quantitative genetics

2015 Fitness Trade-offs Result in the Illusion of Social Success

2015 Directional Selection can Drive the Evolution of Modularity in Complex Traits

2012 Modularity, noise, and natural selection

2011 Selection Response Decomposition (SRD): A New Tool for Dissecting Differences and Similarities Between Matrices

Book chapters

2019 How does modularity in the genotype-phenotype map interact with development and evolution?

2016 Modularity and Integration

Conferences and meetings

2018 II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology 2018, Montpellier, France

2016 5th meeting of the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology (EED), Uppsala, Sweden

2015 Evolution 2015, Guarujá, Brazil

2015 Evolution 2015, Guarujá, Brazil

2009 10th International Mammalogical Congress, Mendoza, Argentina

2007 V Brazilian Meeting on Simulational Physics, Ouro Preto, Brazil


2020-current Ayroles Lab, Lewis-Sigler Institute of Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

2008-20 Mammal Evolution Laboratory, IB, USP


Thermodynamics and statistical physics of physical systems of biological interest, IF, USP

Additional Education

2018 The Search For Selection, Knoxville, Tennessee

2015 Introduction to Network Tools in Biosciences - 2nd Edition, Els Hostalets de Pierola, Spain

2008 Complex Systems Summer School, San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

2008 Mammal Embryology, São Paulo, Brazil

2007 Course in Neurobiology, Rio Claro, Brazil

2006 Summer School on Soft Matter Physics, São Paulo, Brazil


2020 Scientific writing, IB, USP

2017, 2019 Modularity: connecting patterns and processes in multivariate evolution, FFCLRP, USP

2017 MCMC: step by step, IB, USP

2012 Introduction to data manipulation in the R programming language, IO, USP

Teaching Assistant

2022 GHP351: Epidemiology: An Ecological and Evolutionary Perspective, EEB, Princeton University

2020 Human Genomics: The Past, Present and Future of the Human Genome, EEB, Princeton University

2012-13, 2019 Evolutionary Biology, IB, USP

2012-19 Use of the R programming language for data analysis in ecology, IB, USP

2016 Quantitative genetics course, IB, USP

2016 V Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology, ICTP, Unesp

2015 Field biology course in the Atlantic Forest, IB, USP

2015 IV Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology, ICTP, Unesp

2014 Statistical modeling for ecology and natural resources, IB, USP

2014 III Southern-Summer School on Mathematical Biology, ICTP, Unesp

2011, 2014 Evolutionary Processes, IB, USP

2007-09 Membrane Physiology, ICB, USP