The mission of the Department of Wetland Ecology is to contribute to the study of wetlands, with special interest in the species inhabiting them and in their interactions, studying their ecology, behaviour, population genetics and dynamics, dispersal, and all aspects related with their conservation and restoration.
We aim to carry out top quality basic and applied research in wetlands, and to promote their conservation, with special reference to the Doñana wetlands which are some of the most important and best conserved in Europe.
Wetland Ecology includes all subtopics relevant to the ecology of "wetlands", as defined in the broad sense used by the Ramsar Convention (essentially all continental and estuarine waterbodies).
The natural wetlands (mainly seasonal marshes and temporary lagoons) and artificial wetlands (ricefields, salt pans, fish farms) of the Doñana area in the Guadalquivir delta are of especial importance for our research, although we are active in wetland research across the Mediterranean region and elsewhere in the world (e.g. Latin America, Australia).
Our particular interests include the ecology of waterbirds (as defined by the Ramsar Convention), amphibians and aquatic reptiles and aquatic invertebrates. We also focus on the ecological interactions between these different groups, as well as on plant-waterbird interactions (including seed dispersal and herbivory).
We are also very active in the study of wetland dynamics using remote sensing and in wetland restoration. Other priorities for us include the study of exotic species, emergent diseases, parasites and contaminants in wetland ecosystems, and the population genetics of aquatic vertebrates and zooplankton.
Department Head: Luis Santamaria
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