We are interested in understanding the evolutionary processes by which life diversified into the variety of traits observed nowadays. Our research lies in the intersection of ecology, development and evolutionary biology and approaches organisms' biology by explicitly considering evolutionary histories and their genetic, physiological and developmental determinants, as well as interactions with the environment, including other organisms. Our work involves genetics, phylogenetics, comparative and population studies and addresses life history evolution, behaviour, cooperation, physiology, predator-prey interactions, parasitism, and other interactions by means of a combination of both field, experimental and lab oriented disciplines.
We are interested in the "hows and whys" of organisms traits of any kind, in particular in their connection, or lack thereof, to fitness. We understand the goals of evolutionary biology as the study of patterns and processes shaping the different stages of the organisms' life histories and transitions between them, which are mediated by selective factors impinging on survival and other components of Darwinian fitness (e.g., mating and fertilization success, reproductive success, physiological performance, etc.). Such a broad definition encompasses classical problems addressed in biology. These issues are addressed through short-term, long-term and experimental work using several model organisms in different taxa (insects, amphibians, birds, mammals –including humans), according to the various individual's research profiles. This work is basic to understand the origin of evolutionary innovations and how selection pressures, being natural, sexual or kin, shape life history traits. We study both micro- and macroevolutionary patterns and processes, and we are interested in bridging the gap between them. An additional scientific mission is to investigate the mechanisms that generate and maintain genetic variation in natural populations in order to address consequential questions in ecology, evolution, conservation and behaviour. We also apply this knowledge to the conservation and management of biodiversity and natural resources.