I am a PhD student at the Wetland Ecology Department. My supervisor is Ivan Gomez-Mestre and my co-director is Carmen Diaz Paniagua (Poli). The title of my thesis is “Effects of amphibian larvae on the structure and dynamics of temporary ponds”.
My research interests are mainly community ecology, behavior and evolutionary ecology but I am always curious about learning.
I am currently working with this research on how the amphibian guild affects other components of the community of Mediterranean temporary ponds, at various trophic levels. I am also assessing how the presence of native and invasive predators can modify the interactions between amphibians and other organisms, either via density-dependent effects or via alterations in their behavior, morphology and/or development.
The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) is an introduced species that has a huge impact as a predator but also causes an alteration on the trophic web of aquatic environments. I have used this species as an invasive predator, as it is common in the area of Doñana National Park, and I am interested in knowing more about the causal effects of this species modifying the environment where the amphibian larvae have to develop till metamorphosis.
Moreover, I would like to study the trophic structure and competence relationships of amphibian communities not only in Mediterranean areas but also in the Neotropical communities.
I am also interested in analysing through a multivariate approach (Path Analysis) if the phenotype of the tadpoles is associated with pond features and/or potential predators.
Therefore, the main aims of my thesis is to know how amphibian larvae affect other organisms of aquatic systems and how this effect can be mediated through their interactions with competitors and/or predators, using a multi-disciplinary approach.
Fellowship: FPI Grant (MINECO)
research group: http://www.gomez-mestre.net