PhD Estación Biológica de Doñana

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

Vanessa Céspedes Castejón

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Foto-Vanessa Céspedes Castejón_EBD_PhDBlog

I am currently at the beginning of my PhD project on the “Ecology of the invasive species Trichocorixa verticalis and their effects on the ecosystem” with a Severo Ochoa grant with Andy J. Green and Marta I. Sánchez who are my supervisors. We aim to increase understanding of the variety of traits observed in aquatic Hemiptera and other insects, as well as their ecophysiology and interactions with the environment, predator-prey interactions, (including those with other Hemiptera, Cladocera and Artemia), besides host-parasite interaction. In addition, we are studying the biogeography and dispersal of Hemiptera, especially the movement of flying adults between wetlands and their movement within wetlands, in particular the distribution patterns of the invasive species Trichocorixa verticalis and the ecological mechanisms that govern its establishment and spread in recipient habitats or regions. The invasion and impact can be expected to depend on a combination of species traits, characteristics of the receptive ecosystem and invasion event factors such as time since invasion and the frequency of introduction. We will apply techniques within a multidisciplinary context, from molecular genetics and from population modeling to isotopic analyses, using theoretical, experimental and observational approaches. Ultimately, our aim is to build the scientific basis needed for the conservation of biological diversity, particular with respect to the impacts of the invasion by T. verticalis in Doñana Ecological Station and ultimately across Europe and the Mediterranean region.


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