Daniel Caetano, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor


Contact Info

Science Complex, Room 5150F


Ph.D., Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, University of Idaho

M.S., Ecology, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

B.S., Biology, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil)

Areas of Expertise

Phylogenetic comparative methods


I am an evolutionary biologist interested in the development and evaluation of methods to help us understand macro-evolutionary patterns and processes using phylogenetic trees. Since Dr. Glauco Machado, my Master’s degree advisor, introduced me to the seminal work of Felsenstein (1981), I've been fascinated by how much we can learn from the patterns of evolutionary relationship represented in phylogenies. Later, I took a graduate course in R programming at the Universidade de São Paulo with Dr. Paulo Prado and Dr. Alexandre Oliveira who have opened my mind to an entirely new field of study. Since then, I've been studying phylogenetic comparative methods. Much of my research has focused on two aspects: development of new statistical models to understand the evolution of lineage diversification and their traits using phylogenetic trees and implementation of these methods in R packages. My research has led me to work with many types of organisms, from plants and vertebrates to insects and arachnids — and I hope to explore much more of the tree of life.

Selected Publications

  • D. S. Caetano and J. M. Beaulieu, 2020. “Comparative analyses of phenotypic sequences using phylogenetic trees” American Naturalist, 195(2)
  • D. S. Caetano and L. J. Harmon, 2019. “Estimating correlated rates of trait evolution with uncertainty” Systematic Biology, 68(3):412–429
  • D. S. Caetano, B. C. O'Meara and J. M. Beaulieu, 2018. “Hidden state models improve state‐dependent diversification approaches, including biogeographical models” Evolution, doi:10.1111/evo.13602
  • D. S. Caetano and G. Machado, 2013. “The ecological tale of Gonyleptidae (Arachnida, Opiliones) evolution: phylogeny of a Neotropical lineage of armoured harvestmen using ecological, behavioural and chemical characters” Cladistics, 29(6):589–609.
  • D. S. Caetano, D. D. C. Bená, and S. A. Vanin, 2013. “Copelatus cessaima sp. nov. (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae: Copelatinae): first record of a troglomorphic diving beetle from Brazil” Zootaxa, 3710(3):226–232.