Ecology, Evolution, and Development
Científico Titular CSIC. He's interested in the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and the role of plasticity in evolution.
Investigadora Científica CSIC. She's interested in ecological interactions in freshwater systems.
H. Christoph Liedtke
Juan de la Cierva Research Associate. He is interested in life history evolution and developmental plasticity. He is currently working in understanding the evolution of genome size in amphibians and the regulatory system that controls accelerated metamorphosis in spadefoot toads.
After successful postdocs at Uppsala University, Universidad de Oviedo and Glasgow University, Pablo has joined the group again as research associate (Juan de la Cierva). He is interested in the physiological basis of life history evolution and senescence. He has studied the physiological consequences of those environmental factors typically affecting larval development in anurans. Moreover, he has combined laboratory and mesocosm experiments to study costs of developmental plasticity in tadpoles. In particular he is interested in how enhanced growth and accelerated development affect oxidative stress and telomere length during larval development.
Verónica Castaño Sanz
Verónica is getting immersed in the transgenerational effects world, where parents' experience can affect the phenotype of their offspring through non-genetic inheritance.
She is interested in paternal and maternal effects using a bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus, as study organism in order to better understand the working mechanisms, the prevalence and the evolutionary role of these transgenerational effects.
Rafa has been interested in evolutionary ecology since he started his studies in biology. He is currently studying the behavioral and morphological antipredator responses of various anuran species and their dependence upon stress hormones. He is also addressing the adaptive divergence in developmental plasticity among populations from a functional genomic perspective.
Alexandra is interested in conservation and evolutionary ecology of leptodactylid frogs living in extreme environments: the rock pools of inselbergs on the shore of the Orinoco river. She is studying how amphibian larvae respond to the challenges imposed by very high water temperatures and high risk of pool drying by modulating their development, considering that at the same time they are at risk of predation.
Paula is a biologist who has always been intrigued by genetics and epigenetics. She has recently become interested in bioinformatics and now studies how genome size and architecture may have been shaped during evolution in relation to developmental rate and plasticity. To this end, she works with the larvae of several closely related anuran species
Grascen is a PhD student in Jessica Hua's lab at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY. She is broadly interested in how human activities, including chemical contamination and light pollution, impact wildlife on a sublethal level. Here at EBD, Grascen is working on a project investigating the physiological costs of baseline and plastically-induced salt tolerance in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpoles.
Gregorio's interest focuses on evolutionary biology, mainly on processes operating at small spatial and temporal scales. He has expertise in integrating genetic analyses and population monitoring by capture-mark-recapture techniques to study demography in different amphibian species
Past Group Members
Lola's original training was in anatomy and pathology, and over the years she has added skills in molecular biology, physiology and animal husbandry. She developed an interest on amphibians, water fleas and beetles alike. She has now obtained her Masters degree and become a high school teacher.
Rosa's core interests are on biodiversity conservation and freshwater ecology, and she has studied the consequences of competition and predation at multiple trophic levels within aquatic communities.
Hyeun-Ji conducted her PhD thesis in the group. She took a truly multidisciplinary approach from transcriptomics to stable isotopes to study population differentiation in life-histories and developmental plasticity across amphibian populations. She is also interested in carry-over effects across life stages and transgenerational effects of exposure to different environmental factors.
María Jesús Piñero
Mari obtained her PhD in the group focusing on the ecological role of amphibian larvae in temporary ponds and their interaction with aquatic plants. Her ultimate goal is to provide important insight towards a better conservation of freshwater habitats. Her interests are to discover the interaction networks of amphibian larvae with different components of freshwater ecosystems, identifying threats to amphibians and their habitats.
Iñigo was a Severo Ochoa Research Fellow while at EBD and is now Tenure Researcher at the National Museum of Natural History in Madrid, Spain. Iñigo is an expert herpetologist with broad interests in systematics, phylogeography and evolutionary biology of amphibians.
Nuria is now Assistant Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She is a behavioral ecologist and is currently studying adaptive geographic variation in learning capacity among amphibian populations with different degrees of exposure to invasive predators.
Mamen is a field biologist at heart, and has participated in extensive and intensive field work. She worked with us as technician conducting experiments on water fleas, assessing behavioral plasticity in response to predators.
Elisa came as a postdoctoral researcher supported by CONACyT. She is interested in many aspects of the ecology of amphibians and reptiles. She has studied the effects of biological invasions and the effects of habitat fragmentation on animal populations and communities. Her research project in our group involved the study of the responses (morphological, ecological and behavioral) of native newts and frogs to invasive fish in temporary ponds.
Julie has recently obtained her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. She was co-adviced by James Vonesh and Ivan Gomez-Mestre and has conducted really interesting work on carry-over effects of alterations in growth and developmental rate during larval stages of toads and salamanders. She is also modelling how the consequences of such carry-over effects scale-up to shape the demography of populations.
Saurabh joined the lab for a few stages while he was a graduate student in the Buchholz lab at the University of Cincinnati. In the lab he worked on comparative endocrinology of larval development in spadefoot toads, and the metabolic consequences of induced developmental acceleration. Saurabh is currently Postdoctoral Associte of Pediatrics at Yale School of Medicine, CT.
Chi-Shiun Wu is Associate Professor at the Chinese Culture University, in Taipei (Taiwan). He is expert in amphibian ecophysiology, especially in responses to osmotic stress and adaptation to different thermal regimes.
Past Master Students
Past Master Students
Karem is interested in evolution, ecology and conservation focused on herpetofauna. She is passionate about understanding the underlying mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity, and in particular background matching, aposematism, and predator defense mechanisms. Karem used transcriptomics to study the regulation of plasticity in pigmentation in amphibian larvae. She is now working towards obtaining her PhD at the Max Planck Institute.
Marina Garrido Priego
Marina has an interest in ecology and conservation, focused on amphibians. She has previously worked on ecological restoration in the rainforest of Costa Rica, studying dung beetle diversity and amphibian communities. Currently, she is working to expand the scientific knowledge of an endangered and endemic amphibian species of Costa Rica analyzing its ecological niche and studying its home range, movements, and microhabitat. She is working towards her PhD at the University of Bern.
Tomás is studying developmental plastic responses in spadefoot toad tadpoles against conflicting environmental stimuli, such as pond drying and predator presence. He is combining outdoor mesocosms experiments with physiological analyses.
Diego is uncovering potential cryptic species in a group of understudied African toads, and he's using phylogenetic reconstruction to understand the evolution of morphological innovations arisen within the group.
Juan Carlos Torres Montoro
Juan Carlos did his Masters Thesis on consequences of developmental alterations on body condition and gonadal maturation in spadefoot toads.
Pablo did his Masters Thesis on tadpole-plant interactions, examining the relationship between plant quality and body condition and larval development in amphibians.
Ana Lopez Malvar
Ana did her Masters Thesis on parental effects on condition-dependent expression of male horns in dung beetles, co-adviced by Paco Garcia-Gonzalez.
Past Visiting Students
Hannah is a Erasmus Plus student interested in trait evolution in vertebrates, from fish to amphibians. She is currently involved in an ongoing project on carry over effects of developmental plasticity in spadefoot toads.
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