home research interest study areas Curriculum Vitae publications
research interest

I am broadly interested on conservation biology, especially focused on raptors and seabirds, and island ecology. However, I have also studied some aspects of evolutionary and behavioral ecology of other taxa. Until now, my main research lines are:

Attraction of petrels to artificial lights

Thousands of fledglings are attracted to lights every year during their first flights from their nests to the open ocean worldwide. This mortality source is growing in parallel with the increase of light pollution levels. However, the lost of the night has been overlooked until recent as a part of global change. Currently, it is starting to emerge as an area of interest in biodiversity conservation.

Natural history and spatial distribution of Canarian raptors

As other organisms, raptors show insular syndromes. Thus, for example, tree-nester species at the mainland are cliff-nester on the islands. We study how habitat selection, trophic ecology and other life history traits of raptors are affected by humans on densely inhabitated islands.

Migratory connectivity of the lesser kestrel

My PhD project focused on the connectivity of wintering and breeding lesser kestrel populations. We used extrinsic (geolocators) and intrinsic (MHC genes) markers to assign individuals to populations. This topic, population connectivity, is crucial for the effective development of conservation and management initiatives of threatened migratory species.

MHC genes

We investigate the role of adaptive genetic variation on individual fitness. We use genes involved in the immune response, the MHC genes of the lesser kestrel, as a study system. The role of MHC genes is crucial to the way the individuals have to cope on new pathogens in a changing world.

Plant-animal interactions on islands

On oceanic islands, where faunas are disharmonic in contrast to mainland ecosystems, new actors act in the plant-animal interactions. In the Canarian ecosystems, many native plant species have a Mediterranean origin. While at the mainland their seeds are mainly dispersed by mammals and migrant birds, at the insular ecosystems, seeds are dispersed by lizards and resident birds.