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Carlos Taboada, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

I grew up in Argentina, where I earned my B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biological Sciences from the University of Buenos Aires. Following my graduation, I pursued a postdoctoral position at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. Later, I was awarded a Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) postdoctoral fellowship, which allowed me to conduct research at Duke University. In 2023, I joined Vanderbilt University as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. My research is fundamentally interdisciplinary, merging theory and methods from biology, biochemistry, evolution, and physics. The common thread of my work is to understand the interplay of the biochemical and physical processes that determine optical traits in animals including fluorescence, transparency, and camouflage. I primarily focus my research on neotropical amphibians that are not commonly studied as model organisms. While fieldwork and wildlife observations serve as the starting point for my research, I am captivated by all aspects involved in the creation of colors. This ranges from discovering novel proteins with unique physical properties that aid certain species in blending into the canopy to investigating the fascinating world of biological mirrors. Aside from my research interest, I am deeply passionate about science communication, and my work has been featured in multiple media outlets such as Nature, Science, The Atlantic, BBC, El País, and National Geographic.