PhD Estación Biológica de Doñana

Research, science, ecology, animal, plants, conservation, tips…


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Jorge Doña

jorge_donaI am interested in describing biodiversity through a DNA Barcoding approach and understanding speciation mechanisms in mutualistic species.

I started my PhD in March 2014 under Roger Jovani and David Serrano supervision at the Evolutionary Ecology Department. My PhD thesis is about the evolutionary ecology of the interaction between feather mites and birds aiming to understand the mechanisms underlying the diversity and the ecology of this ectosymbiont group. I am using a multi scale approaching from the foraging and population ecology of the species to the gene flow and assemblages of the host-symbiont communities.  It will be solved with an integrative taxonomy approach (morphological + high throughput sequencing data) and ecological network analysis.


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Eduardo Rodríguez Expósito

Eduardo Rodriguez Exposito

I started my PhD at the department of Etology and Conservation of Biodiversity (EBD-CSIC) in January under the supervision of Francisco García González. Sexual selection favors the evolution of traits involved in reproduction and underlies the development of complex interactions between males and females. Polyandry has a key role in sexual selection. It allows sexual selection to continue after copulation through post-copulatory sexually selected processes (cryptic female choice and sperm competition) that determine reproductive success. This thesis will shed light on the mechanisms underlying the origin and maintenance of polyandrous behaviour, and will investigate the genetic variance in female mating rates and the relation between mating system and sexual conflict dynamics. I am interested in the study of sexual conflict, based on the differences in the evolutionary interest of both sexes and its consequences. Interestingly, it may lead to antagonistic sexual coevolution. While males develop traits for increasing their efficacy ensuring the paternity of major number of descendents, females develop traits to avoid male control over copulation. To this end, we will use bean beetles, Callosobruchus maculatus, as study system and will carry out innovative experimental evolution approaches combined with quantitative genetic experimental designs.

email: edroex@ebd.csic.es


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Miguel Camacho

Miguel Camacho

I started my PhD on 2011 on the Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group (Dept. of Integrative Ecology). My advisor is Jennifer Leonard (EBD-CSIC) and my co-advisor is Jesus Maldonado (National Zoo, US). I study the diversification of mammals in Sundaland. I want to understand the role that the topography and the geological history have played in generating and maintaining the biodiversity on this region. I am using DNA sequences to describe the neutral variation of some groups across the region. I have focused on Sundamys, a group of rats, as a model to evaluate the effect that sea level fluctuations and vegetations changes in the recent geological past have had on shaping the biodiversity on this region. I will compare neutral variation to other genes involved in adaptation to high altitude to study how and when mammal communities endemic to mountains on this region have formed. I have participated in two field expeditions to Borneo to collect animal samples for genetic analysis. My work also involves collaborations with other groups that do fieldwork on this region and working with museum specimens. We are using novel strategies to sequence mitochondrial and nuclear DNA from recent and museum samples using high-throughput platforms. I am interested in collaborating with people that is working on describing biodiversity on Southeast Asia or is currently doing fieldwork in Sundaland to share resources.

email: miguel.camacho@ebd.csic.es

Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Miguel_Camacho4

Google Scholar: http://scholar.google.es/citations?user=1M02-S4AAAAJ&hl=es

Group webpage: www.consevol.org


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Martina Ferraguti

MartinaFerragutti

My name is Martina and I was born in Rome on 4 June 1987. I was graduated in Biological Sciences at the University of Roma Tre, with specialization in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management in 2011.

Throughout the university career I have awarded with two grants in the LLP Programme / Erasmus and Erasmus Student Placement. In the latest, I started my research career in the field of the Ecology of Parasitism. My research interests focused on the study of the transmission dynamics of avian malaria pathogens. I improved my experience on the use of analytical techniques, including molecular analysis techniques, to identify both blood parasites and insect vectors such as Mosquitoes and Culicoides.

In July 2012, I finished an Official Master of II level in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville and I am currently in the second year of my PhD Thesis thanks a FPU grant. In my project, titled “Effect of biodiversity on the circulation of both pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes: West Nile Virus and Malaria Parasite”, I want to investigate the role of Biodiversity on the

transmission ecology of two avian pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes: West Nile virus (WNV) and the Malaria Parasite. I will study the spatial and temporal dynamics of mosquitoes and the incidence of pathogens in the avian host species model, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) in natural, rural and urban habitats in provinces of Seville, Huelva and Cadiz.

e-mail: mferraguti@ebd.csic.es

website: http://martinaferraguti.jimdo.com/

Research Group Webpage: http://161.111.232.204/jordi/people.html#phd


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Margarita Mulero Pázmány

Margarita Mulero-Foto

My PhD is in the Evolution Ecology department under the supervision of Dr. Juan José Negro, starting in January 2012. The project attempts to fill the gap of knowledge in the use of UAS in conservation biology. It describes for the first time the use of these systems in an immediately applicable way in impact assessment of infrastructures for wildlife and protection of endangered species. Furthermore, it presents UAS as a tool for obtaining high-resolution spatiotemporal information which helps to understand habitat use in rapidly changing human dominated areas and demonstrates that these systems can provide information as valid as the obtained by conventional techniques on the spatial distribution of species in protected areas.

mail: muleromara@hotmail.com

web. http://margaritamulero.wix.com/margaritamulero


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Irene Paredes

Irene Paredes

I commenced my PhD in October 2014 at the Department of Conservation Biology with a grant funded by “La Caixa” under the Severo Ochoa programme on the topic of water quality in the Doñana National Park. For the coming four years I will be working along with my supervisors Andy J. Green, Manuela G. Forero and Francisco Ramírez aiming to address the declining in water quality of the Doñana marshland system using a multidisciplinary approach where stable isotope approaches and quantifications of nutrient levels will be combined within a state-of-the-art GIS framework. The marshes of Doñana National Park are among the largest and well preserved Mediterranean marsh areas in Europe where wildlife and human activities have competed over decades for natural resources. This is particularly the case of water, a key resource that sustain the most important wetland complex in western Europe. However, in recent decades Doñana has suffered a rapid process of eutrophication associated with the development of agriculture and urban areas in the surroundings of the park which has reduced flow and increased nutrient inputs into the entry streams. The spatiotemporal characterization of the isotopic composition of different components of the ecosystem (e.g. plants and invertebrates) will provide valuable information on the specific origin of elements that is rarely obtainable with other methods. We will also analyse the relation between the land use changes occurred over the last decades with a historical data set of nutrient concentration across the marshes. In this context we expect to generate key information that will contribute to adapt the conservation management of the water resources of Doñana and be prepared for the ongoing trend in precipitation reduction affecting the south of the Iberian Peninsula.

Briefly some lines about my background: I completed my BSc and MSc degrees in Environmental Sciences at the Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain) and at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), respectively. I specialized in Aquatic Ecology and worked in different research projects regarding toxic phytoplankton studies, trophic transfers, bioremediation, microplastic pollution and catchment management.

e-mail: ireneparedes@ebd.csic.es


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José Manuel Vidal

Foto-Jose Manuel Vidal

I’m doing my doctoral thesis “The effects of fire on ants and other arthropods: A study on different depths” at the Department of Ethology and Biodiversity Conservation of the EBD-CSIC. I started in September 2014 with a Severo Ochoa-La Caixa contract and under the supervision of Xim Cerdá and Raphäel Boulay.

Fire is a disturbance that causes large changes in Mediterranean ecosystems, affecting the landscape and the dynamics and structure of communities. Although the main effect of fire is obviously the destruction of flora, indirect effects are diverse and complex. Extensive literature indicates that in fire-prone environments such as the Iberian Peninsula, native plant communities are relatively resilient and recover gradually after a fire. However, available information on the effects on animal communities, especially on invertebrates, is much more scarce.

With this PhD project we want to analyze the consequences of fire on three groups of epigeal arthropods (ants, beetles and spiders) often used as bioindicators for ecosystem recovery. The aim of the thesis is to understand how species, communities and ecosystems respond to environmental changes caused by fire. We will do so by studying the its effects on: 1) Patterns of abundance and species richness of ants, beetles and spiders, 2) functional diversity of ants, beetles and spiders, 3) the dominance relationships in the communities of ants and 4) the use of trophic resources by ants.

e-mail: jmanuelvidal@ebd.csic.es

website: http://jmanuelvidalcordero.wordpress.com/