Conservation Biology and Global Change: We perform multidisciplinary research aiming at providing the scientific knowledge needed for the conservation of biodiversity in all its forms. Our research is oriented towards threatened ecosystems, communities, species and populations. We have no a priori taxonomic or regional bias. Nevertheless due to historical and practical reasons most of our work deals with vertebrates, with much research carried out in Andalusia (notably Doñana). During the last 15 years we have broadened our research lines and now conduct quality research into aquatic invertebrates and plants, parasites and emergent diseases, and remote sensing of wetlands. We use long-term data series to evaluate changes in composition, processes and dynamics in ecosystems, communities, populations and individuals as well as the impact of specific human activities at local, regional and global levels and the role of global change drivers. We make use techniques from many disciplines (physiology, epidemiology, complex systems modeling, etc) in order to determine causes, evaluate effects and make projections. We work in cooperation with other researchers both from CSIC and national and international Universities and research institutions.
Ecology and Evolution: Our goal is to improve the conceptual integration of the different levels of complexity in explaining trait evolution and species diversification. We are pushing the boundaries of current evolutionary theory by examining the possible role of both genetic and non-genetic inheritance, the role of the environment as a phenotypic inductor via epigenetic regulation, and the possibility that such epigenetic changes may evolve under selection into accommodated genetic variation. One important characteristic of this research line is its interdisciplinary component, based on the integration of several approaches, mainly evolutionary ecology, population genetics, and theoretical ecology. This results in an eminently collaborative research. We dig into the histories of species, populations and communities using both traditional genetics and new omics tools. By incorporating and consolidating novel molecular techniques we seek to test ecological hypotheses, study host-parasite interactions, and identify functional polymorphisms in candidate genes to account for ecologically and evolutionarily divergent life history traits.
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