Here you find a list of present and past post-docs, PhD students, MSc students, technicians, volunteers, visitors, collaborators and supervisors working with me
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).
Paula Hidalgo Rodríguez – aspiring PhD student
Although Paula is not yet a registered and funded PhD student, she has started her PhD thesis on the Red-necked nightjar, as part of a ten-year project on this species. Not only is this bird highly cryptic during the day and active at night, she also aims to study the generally little-known period between leaving the nest and recruiting as a breeding adult. During her current contract as a student in training, she also collaborates with the Zebra finch project, testing whether Matching Habitat Choice can generate population divergence.
Current MSc students:
Past PhD Students:
Adrian Baños Villalba – PhD.
Adrian´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)
Carlos Camacho Olmedo – Post-Doctoral Researcher
Carlos has helped us writing up some 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 have been a great combination for the job at hand. Check out his website.
Simone Santoro – Post-Doctoral Researcher
Simone 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).
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
Alejandro 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 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).
Past supervised MSc students in Biology (The Netherlands, Sweden and Spain):
Alicia Casillas Morillo (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Effects of ecology and geography on the morphology of crossbills (Loxia spp.): an extreme specialist bird”
Mireia Fuertes Clavero (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “Catch me if you can! Testing the eco-evolutionary consecuences of habitat choice via de manipulation of the phenotype” (Co-supervised by Juan Ramón Peralta Rincón)
Manuel Jarillo (MSc Biodiversity and Conservation Biology – Universidad Pablo de Olavide) “The confusion between mortality and dispersal: a bibliographical analysis of captura-recaptura models” (Co-supervised by Dr. Simone Santoro)
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 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”
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 Doff joined our lab as a post-graduate Leonardo da Vinci visitor for three months and has been a very useful addition.
Graciela Escudero maintained all lab-based research, set up scientific logistics, helped take care with the breeding of Zebra finch, Fruit flies, and grasshopper, helped with the analyses of samples and data, and organized national and international fieldwork, such as the expedition to Senegal. (Funded by several grants from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness).
Fatima Zohra Aoulad Taher has rejoined 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).
Estrella Barreiro Perez has been a huge help with the Zebra finch project, taking good care of the birds and co-running all the technological aspects of the project (automatic feeders, cameras, etc.). She also coordinated the graduation projects of two students in Environmental Sciences. (Funded by a contract of the Junta de Andalucia)
Consuelo Rodriguez Bernal: first 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!
José Luis Tella