Alex Santillan Sarmiento

Alex Santillan Sarmiento

Visiting Specialist

School of Engineering (NC) (Faculty of Science & Engineering (NC))


PhD researcher in Marine Ecotoxicology: Effects of temperature on Cu stress in the brown alga Ectocarpus siliculosus (Dillwyng) Lyngbye at different levels of biological organisation.

Supervisors: Dr. Murray T. Brown (D.O.S.), Dr. John Moody, (Plymouth University), Dr. Claudio A. Sáez (Universidad de Playa Ancha, Chile)


-Masters in Molecular and Cell Biology. University of Calabria, Italy (2012)

Dissertation Title: Level and distribution of genetic variability in Pinus laricio Poiret as revealed by nuclear microsatellites

-BSc (Hn) Biological Sciences. Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

Professional membership

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Europe

Research interests

I am interested in the effects of metals in marine macrophytes and the influence of other stressors in the Ecotoxicology of such pollutants. Specifically, my project aims to evaluate the effects of elevated temperatures on the responses to copper stress in the model seaweed Ectocarpus siliculosus. The approach I use includes different levels of biological organisation.

Areas of interest:

- Marine Ecotoxicology
- Biological stress
- Genomics and Transcriptomics
- Phycology
- Climate change
- Biotechnology

Other research

I collaborate with Ing. Yesenia Cevallos (University of Calabria, National University of Chimborazo) in the development of digital communicational models based in biological systems.

Grants & contracts

- SENESCYT (Ecuadorian Government) scholarship for PhD studies at University of Plymouth
- Scholarship for Master Degree studies awarded by University of Calabria, Italy.
- Grant to attend the International Undergraduate Research Symposium, Wilmington, Ohio-USA. Awarded by the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, School of Exact and Natural Sciences.

Cevallos Y., Molina L., Santillán A., De Rango F., Rushdi A., Alonso J.B. A digital communication analysis of gene expression of proteins in biological systems: A layered network model view. Cogn Comput (2016). doi:10.1007/s12559-016-9434-4
Carpio C., Dangles O., Dupas S., Léry X., López-Ferber M., Orbe K., Páez D., Rebaudo F., Santillán A., Yangari B., Zeddam JL. Development of a viral biopesticide for the control of the Guatemala potato tuber moth Tecia solanivora. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 112 (2013) 184–191