PEOPLE

Here you find a list of post-docs, PhD students, MSc students, technicians, volunteers, visitors, collaborators and past supervisors working with me

Current Post-Doc:

Carlos Camacho Olmedo:
Carlos is helping us writing up some articles with very interesting data from our project on grasshoppers but which still didn´t make it to the top of the list of things-to-do. His experience with data analysis, writing, and habitat choice are a great combination for the job at hand. Check out his website.

Current PhD students:

Juan Ramón Peralta Rincón – PhD Student

Juanra is working with transgenic (optogenetic) Fruit flies in order to experimentally test a number of ecological and evolutionary predictions regarding Matching Habitat Choice.  You can read more about his project here. He is also working on a simulation project to investigate when matching habitat choice might evolve, and when alternative mechanisms that help organisms to cope with environmental variability (like phenotypic plasticity or population genetic divergence) are favoured instead, or at the same time (funded by a four-year grant, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

 

Gabriel Munar Delgado – PhD Student

Gabriel has recently started his PhD project on Matching Habitat Choice. He uses captive Zebra finches and wild Tree sparrows to test experimentally whether matching habitat choice can lead to reproductive isolation: see more here about his project. He is also working on the development of new statistical models (Animal Models) to test for the effects of matching habitat choice in wild populations (funded by the FPU program of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, co-directed by Francisco Pulido, Univ. Complutense, Spain).

 

Current MSc students:

Alicia Casillas Morillo. (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide): Alicia will investigate to what extent the morphology of crossbills is driven by their specialization to feed on seeds in conifer cones and by other environmental aspects like temperature. She will also test if crossbills living in isolated, island-like situations adapt to a greater extent because of less maladaptive gene flow from other populations. and if they evolve a different wing shape because they fly shorter distances.

Mireia Fuertes Clavero. (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide): Mireia works with Juanra on the potential of Matching Habitat Choice to cause reductions in gene flow between locally adapted populations, using high-tech transgenic and optogenetically-responsive Fruit flies for this. We are hoping for some really spectacular results!

 Manuel Jarillo (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide): Manuel will do a literature review on how well people take into account that estimates of local “survival” using data on marked individuals may actually be informing us about emigration.  (Co-supervised by Dr. Simone Santoro)

Past PhD Students:
Adrian Baños Villalba – PhD.

adrianAdrian´s thesis centered on two neglected mechanisms relating to adaptation: (i) selection acting on biological invaders already prior to their introduction in a novel range (pre-establishment filters ), and (ii) Matching Habitat Choice which we studied in grasshoppers coping with variation in the colours of the soils they utilise, including novel, urban substrates. He himself adapted well to these challenging topics, and has successfully defended his PhD thesis. (Evaluated as Sobresaliente Cum Laude, funded by four-year contract, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness). (Co-director: Dr. José Luis Tella, EBD-CSIC)

Past post-docs:
Adrian Baños Villalba – Post-Doctoral Researcher

 Adrian stayed for six more months to write up his PhD results (funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

Alejandro Centeno-Cuadros – Post-Doctoral Researcher

AlexAlejandro has analysed the importance of genetic variation at the Major Histocompatibility Complex (genes of immune responses) for successful invasion by exotic organisms: are individuals already selected to be more resistant to diseases before they are introduced to novel ranges? We studied this in two species of weaverbird from Africa. He also developed a novel technique for molecular sexing in the field within two hours (!), resulting in a patent application and two major papers (one in Molecular Ecology Resources here). Alejandro´s lab skills were a great asset to the group. (One-year contract funded by University Pablo de Olavide).

Marion Nicolaus – Post-Doctoral Researcher

Marion nicolausMarion investigated through simulation modelling with NetLogo how neutral and adaptive genetic variation becomes distributed and maintained in a metapopulation which is adapting to environmental variation by three radically different mechanisms: (i) natural selection on genetic variation, (ii) phenotypic plasticity, (iii) Matching Habitat Choice. The results are in this paper. Her solid experience in among-individual variation in behaviour has been very useful. (Two-year “Juan de la Cierva” contract from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, but moved to University of Groningen to start her own project after one year).

Simone SantoroPost-Doctoral Researcher

Simone SantoroSimone is a specialist in capture-recapture modelling, and we investigate the importance of non-random movement into or out of the study population for the analysis and results of such models. (Two-year “Juan de la Cierva” contract from Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

Past supervised MSc students in Biology (The Netherlands, Sweden and Spain):

David Gómez (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Is bill size under stabilising selection? A capture-recapture study on crossbills from the Pyrenean Mountains”. (Co-supervised by Dr. Simone Santoro and Dr. Juan Carlos Senar, Museum of Natural History, Barcelona, Spain)

 

Virginia Villanueva Santos Fresh out of our own Master program (Biodiversity and Conservation Biology), she was starting a new project on mate choice evolution and divergence due to sensory bias in Drosophila fruit flies, testing this via experimental evolution. In collaboration with Juan Ramon Peralta and Mirjam Amcoff. (Scholarship funded by the University Pablo de Olavide). Now doing a PhD at the IREC-CSIC.

Alberto Sanabria (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Can adaptive population divergence be driven by individual behaviour?

Aída Jordán Andrade (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Experimental tests of Matching Habitat Choice in grasshoppers” (Co-supervised by Adrian Baños Villalba)

Francisco Javier García de Andoín (MSc Applied Ethology and Animal Behaviour – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Learning of optimal habitat by ground-perching grasshoppers” (Co-supervised by Adrian Baños Villalba)

Sander Lagerveld (MSc Biology – University of Amsterdam) “Vocal variation in crossbills: isolation-by-distance or isolation-by-ecology?” (Co-supervised by Dr. Hans Slabbekoorn, Leiden University, The Netherlands)

alvaro cara

Alvaro Luna (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide), “Getting to know our new neighbour: adaptation of reproductive timing and social perception of the invasive Rose-ringed parakeet

 

1David en lab

David Pablo Quevedo Colmena (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide), “Testing for genetic and environmental effects on habitat choice as a mechanism to enhance local crypsis in a grasshopper

 

Clara Alcántara-Dominguez (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide), “Making the best of a bad job? Brown plumage when red cannot be produced in weavers

Tianhong Gong (MSc Biology – Uppsala University), “Signatures of natural selection on crossbills by comparing morphology and genetic markers across populations and age cohorts”

Femke de Smit (MSc Biology – University of Groningen), “The interactions between birds and burying bivalves”

Erik Postma (MSc Biology – Wageningen University), “Burying depth of Macoma balthica as a trade-off between food and safety”

Maaike de Heij (MSc Biology – University of Groningen), “The interactions between crabs and burying bivalves”

Bart Groeneveld (MSc Biology – University of Amsterdam) “Effects of human hunting of birds on bivalve ecology in French estuaries”

Karin de Boer (MSc Biology – University of Groningen), “Burying decisions of Macoma balthica

In addition, I supervised a number of additional students doing projects (´tesinas´) as part of their degrees at professional higher education institutions (non-university students)

 Leonardo Da-Vinci visiting Post-Graduate

Rowan

Rowan Doff joined our lab as a post-graduate Leonardo da Vinci visitor for three months and has been a very useful addition.

 
Lab Manager / Technical assistant

Graciela Escuderogra anteojos facilitates and maintains all lab-based research, set up scientific logistics, helps take care with the breeding of Zebra finch, Fruit flies and grasshopper breeding, helps with the analyses of samples and data, and organises national and international fieldwork. (Funded by several grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

Fatima Zohra Aoulad Taher joined us as a technician to help us with the various projects involving Drosophila fruit flies, and especially the one on causes and consequences of matching habitat choice. (Funded by Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

Consuelo Rodriguez Bernal: consuelo sonriendofirst as a volunteer and then as a paid assistant, Consuelo has been a great help in starting up the breeding and fieldwork with grasshoppers. (Funded by grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).

 
Official (project-based) collaborators

Antonio Prado Moreno (University Pablo de Olavide): our “fly-wisperer”, and participating researcher in our current project with Fruit flies.

Daniel Bolnick (University of Texas at Austin, USA): Dan collaborates with the project on matching habitat choice in grasshoppers. He is as enthusiastic as me about the concept, and fortunately twice as smart. Check out this and this paper with him, both in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

José Luis Tella (Estación Biológica de Doñana – CSIC, Seville, Spain): Pepe collaborates with the project on pre-establishment selective filters during biological invasion and is co-director of Adrian´s thesis work. He also collaborates with the Explora project. Enthusiastic, but always too busy …

Jaime Potti (Estación Biológica de Doñana – CSIC, Seville, Spain): Jaime collaborates with the project on pre-establishment selective filters during biological invasion and the Explora project. Ever critical, uses working titles like “anti-Pim paper”, yet always the first one to offer help.

David Serrano (Estación Biológica de Doñana – CSIC, Seville, Spain): David collaborates with the Explora-Zebrafinch project, adding his knowledge on population dynamics, movement and behaviour of birds.

Niels Dingemanse (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany): Niels collaborates with the project on pre-establishment selective filters during biological invasion, with a focus on quantitifaction and interpretation of individual differences in behaviour

Jakob Mueller (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany): Jakob collaborates with the project on pre-establishment selective filters during biological invasion, with a focus on the genetic and molecular basis for individual differences in behaviour

Other people I collaborate(d) with: see my papers!

Past supervisors

Theunis Piersma

Wim Wolff

Craig Benkman

Dolph Schluter

Franjo Weissing

Alex Badyaev

Thom DeWitt

Mats Björklund

José Luis Tella