general research aim & some relevant topics general research aim & some relevant topics

We aim to provide the basis for informed management of disrupted natural systems. Our work focuses on the composition, structure and processes at different levels of resolution: genes, individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. We use two complementary approaches, one reactive and another proactive. The first is problem solving normally on social demand. We offer to our users and stakeholders the best of our capacities and the use of the most up to date knowledge and techniques. In the proactive approach we aim at building our prediction capacity. Only in that way we can expect that the society reacts to environmental problems before they appear. This approach is built on our own internal intellectual demand and normally requires the development of new theory.



(1) Behavioral conservation, (2) Biological invasions, (3) Climate change, (4) Conservation endocrinology and physiology, (5) Conservation genetics, (6) Ecological interactions and community structure, (7) Ecology of endangered species, (8) Ecology, dynamics and viability of spatially structured populations, (9) Ecosystem functioning, (10) Effects of land-use change, (11) Habitat loss, fragmentation and restoration, (12) Life history evolution and conservation, (13) Patterns of species distribution, (14) Predictive modeling, (15) Protected areas and reserve management, (16) Restoration ecology and reintroductions, (17) Spatial and movement ecology, (18) Top-down and bottom-up cascading effects, (19) Trophic ecology and predation, (20) Wildlife management and conservation



Human-wildlife conflicts

Conflicts between human activities and wildlife have increased in the last decades due to an increase of human population and activities in wildlands and, in some areas, also due to the recovery and expansion of wildlife populations. As a result, those negative interactions can jeopardize the coexistence, especially in areas where human density and the associated infrastructures are higher. This research topic includes questions such as the factors behind the increase in the number large carnivores attacks on humans and helping to moderate predation damages on domestic animals and crops. 



Juvenile dispersal

The study of the ecology and evolution of the dispersal process defined as the period of time before the settlement of an individual as a breeding adult as well as the movement strategies used by individuals. This research is being carried out mainly from the perspective of long-lived species (mainly predators) and in different parts of Europe. One of the most relevant implications of this research emphasizes the importance of dispersers for the viability of populations and the role of temporary settlement areas in population conservation.



Movement Ecology

The study of individual displacements during different activities (such as foraging and other spatio-temporal routines) together with the environmental covariates has had a central role in ecology for decades. Nevertheless, it is not until recently that "movement ecology" has emerged as an integrative subdiscipline. Movement is key in obtaining food, mates, refuge and any other factor relevant for individual fitness and, consequently, affecting the fate of populations and communities. We maintain research on the movement ecology of many species, including large body-sized vertebrates (e.g. carnivorous mammals, birds of prey) also with a strong applied component aimed at their conservation and the restoration of their threatened populations.



Ecosystem services

Human societies benefit from wild organisms, communities and ecosystems. It is clear that supplanting their ecological services may be impossible in most cases and even when we can it results in an increased anthropogenic footprint on Earth. Empirical evidence points to the existence of a strong relationship between the richness and diversity of species and communities and both ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services they provide. Examples of research on this subject are the quantification of the services provided by large avian scavengers as well as to the quantification of the changing balance between regulating and cultural (non-material) benefits.