Welcome to the lab
Who are we?
We are members of the Evolution and Conservation Biology Research Group, based in the UCM Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution.
What do we do?
We are broadly interested in evolutionary biology, biogeography, behavioural ecology and conservation biology. Our study models are mostly birds, although lately we have been much focused on the bugs and microbes that live in their blood or on the plumage, in particular malaria parasites and feather mites. Yet at the end of the day, it is the questions we seek to answer (more than the animals we happen to work with) that best defines our research. Our recent interests have included the following:
The tempo and mode of evolution of phenotypic diversity: we have analysed the historical diversification of avian migratory behaviours, how this process has driven phenotypic divergence of birds, and how the latter has affected bird interactions with parasites and other symbiotic organisms.
The ecology and evolution of host-symbiont interactions: we have studied birds and their symbionts (parasites, mutualists or commensals), paying special attention to the biogeography of interactions (from within-host symbiont coexistence to global symbiont diversity) and the evolution of different host exploitation strategies among symbiont species.
The implications of life history variation in disturbed habitats: we have been looking at the impact of recreational activities on wild bird populations, aiming to produce knowledge that may help to reconcile nature recreation and wildlife conservation.