Faculty & Staff
2004, B.A. in Intergrative Biology; University of California, Berkeley
2007, M.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; University of Kansas, Lawrence (with Dr. Linda Trueb)
2012, Ph.D. in Anatomy and Cell Biology; University of Kansas Medical School, KS and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, MO (with Dr. Paul Trainor)
He has been a faculty member in the department since January 2013.
Currently maintains an active research program and teaches Human Anatomy & Physiology I, Genetics, and Developmental Biology.
Current Research Interests
Dr. Diaz is fascinated by not only the morphological diversity (skeletal and ectodermal structures) found across vertebrates, but is interested in the genetics and ecological factors driving speciation and adaptive phenotypes (in particular, those which occur repeatedly through convergence). The genetic signaling pathways involved in driving morphological diversity are highly conserved across vertebrates and may also provide an un-yet-appreciated tool for studying the development of congenital malformations in humans.
His study system involves reptiles and amphibians in the field but also maintains a reptile breeding group in house (and soon some amphibians) for looking at the developmental genetics and cellular biology driving morphological change during development. His lab's interest spans across various taxonomic groups (though mainly chameleons and large pythons) and integrates ecology and natural history of species from in the field with taxonomy/systematics, developmental and comparative morphology, embryology, genetics/omics, as well as immunohistochemistry, histology, microscopy and gene expression studies.
Membership and Affiliations
Dr. Diaz is a member of the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, The Herpetologist's League, American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists, and the Society for Developmental Biology