Menu Close

Alexandre V. Palaoro

Adjunct assistant professor, Clemson University

Horns, claws, spines, proboscises, and tusks are examples of morphological structures that range from relatively tiny to proportionally gigantic in the lineages in which they occur. Think of elephant tusks - they range from a regular canine tooth to a protruding tusk that can have more than 3 meters in length. Understanding how and why such structures grow and evolve are the types of questions I am interested in. Thus, I am frequently merging proximal to ultimate questions by using diverse techniques, such as merging biomechanics and physiology to phylogenetic comparative methods. By uniting the world of mechanisms to the world of evolution, my goal is to understand what makes morphology evolves and diversify.

Specifically, the topics I am currently interested/working on are:

- Evolution of dangerous weapons: when two males are competing for reproductive resources, they rarely bear weapons that have a chance to deal severe (or lethal) injury to the rival. Why?

- Morphology performance and evolution: how the need to perform a function influences the shape of morphologies (and vice-versa)?

- What factors constrains the evolution of structures: morphologies cannot grow and evolve indefinitely, so what makes them start growing/evolving, and what makes them stop?

- Life history and behavior of decapods.

I tend to use decapods as models. But, I am always open to (and excited about) new ideas and new models.


  • 2023–present
    Adjunct assistant professor, Federal University of Paraná
  • 2021–2023
    Postdoctoral fellow, Clemson University
  • 2019–2021
    Visiting assistant professor, Federal University of São Paulo


  • 2017 
    Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil, PhD in Animal Biodiversity
  • 2013 
    Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil, MsC in Animal Biodiversity
  • 2011 
    Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil, Hons in Biological Sciences