Celia M. Schunter

Postdoctoral Fellows

Research Interests

I am a marine biologist and my research focuses on understanding ecological and evolutionary processes on a molecular level in marine organisms. I’ve been applying molecular tools to study connectivity patterns and population genetics in marine species. Also, I investigated the molecular signatures of social dominance and reproductive success through gene expression and transcriptome analyses. Most of my work now is based on high throughput technology and genome wide analyses.
In general, my current main research focuses on the molecular response of organisms to changing environments through transcriptomic and epigenomic approaches. The natural environment is highly variable, dynamic and ever-changing. To survive, organisms need to have the ability to face changes by adapting to the environmental conditions imposed on them. The extent to which an organism can adapt will define the boundaries in which it can live in. Especially in the light of rapidly changing and modifying environmental conditions due to anthropogenic alterations, the study of adaptation can provide a clearer insight into the dynamic evolution, the fitness and survival of organisms. This emphasizes the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying an adaptive response.

Selected Publications

  • Schunter C, Garza C, Raventos N, Pascual M, Macpherson E (2014) Kinship analyses identify fish dispersal events on a temperate coast line. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20140556.
  • Schunter C, Vollmer S, Macpherson E, Pascual M (2014) Transcriptome analyses and differential gene expression in a non-model fish species with alternative mating tactics. BMC Genomics, 15, 167.
  • Schunter C, Garza C, Macpherson E, Pascual M (2014) SNP development from RNA-seq data in a non-model fish: how many individuals are needed for accurate allele frequency prediction? Molecular Ecology Resources, 14, 157–165.
  • Schunter C, Carreras-Carbonell J, Macpherson E, Tintoré J, Vidal-Vijande E, Pascual A, Guidetti P, Pascual M (2011) Matching genetics with oceanography: directional gene flow in a Mediterranean fish species. Molecular Ecology, 20, 5167–81.
  • Schunter C, Carreras-Carbonell J, Planes S, Sala E, Ballesteros E, Zabala M, Harmelin J-G, Harmelin-Vivien M, Macpherson E,  Pascual M (2011) Genetic connectivity pattern in an endangered species: the dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 401 (1-2), 126-133.
  • Gerlach G, Hotchkins-Davis A, Avolio C, Schunter C (2008) Kin recognition in Zebrafish: a 24-hour window for olfactory imprinting. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences. 275: 1647, 2165 -2170.


  • 2009-2013 : Ph.D Genetics Department, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 2008-2009: M.Sc Developmental Biology, Genetics and Evolution, Genetics Department, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 2007-2008: M.Sc Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation, Biological Faculty, University of Barcelona, Spain
  • 2003-2006: B.Sc Major in Marine Biology, James Cook University, Australia