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About me

After a day of fieldwork in the Straight of Gibraltar. Africa on the other side.

Collecting anatomic samples in the Rocky Mountains
 I was born in Seville (Spain) in the 1980s, and I did my BSc in Environmental Sciences at UCA. I carried out my MSc at a combined program in Management of Natural Resources between UCA and Kingston University of London. In this project, I modelled the population dynamics of Rhododendron ponticum L. (Ericaceae) in Spain, where it is an endangered species, and in the UK, where it is an invasive. The purpose was to find optimal treatment solutions for its preservation (Spain)/eradication (UK).

After my MSc, I worked as an associate researcher. First, in Vienna, at the Faculty Centre of Biodiversity of the University of Vienna, where I studied the effects of biogeographic factors on the rates anagenetic vs. cladogenetic speciation. In the second position, at the University of Seville within the group EVOCA, I was involved in a project exploring the effects of habitat fragmentation on the Mediterranean forest vegetation.

I obtained my PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity at the Department of Biology of the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 2011. There, I examined why and how plants decrease in size, an overlooked ecological phenomenon, and the ecological and evolutionary implications of plant shrinkage at the modular, whole-individual, and population levels.

I then took a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany. There, I explored questions related to senescence in plants and animals by means of carrying out comparative analyses with projection matrix models and integral projection models, as well as continuing long-term demographic censuses (15 years) in a desert perennial species in the Great Basin desert (photo below).

Doing demography work in Utah

In 2013, I did a postdoc with Yvonne Buckley at the University of Queensland, Australia. During that time, I explored patterns of demographic viability in the plant and animal kingdoms, relationships between functional traits and demographic buffering strategies, and the effects of climate change in mallee eucalypts in the Simpson Desert, in collaboration with Glenda Wardle.

In 2014, I obtained a DECRA fellowship (Australian Research Council), and I started working with Hugh Possingham, while I  was also named research fellow of the MPIDR. My work during that time was mostly focused on using a combination of field, lab-based and computational techniques to further explore the causes of plant and animal population performance.

Population of Bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) in the White Mountains (CA, USA)

In 2016, I moved to the UK. I spent a year at the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield as a NERC Independent Research Fellow. In May 2017, I moved my lab to the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, where I have recently been offered an associate professorship in ecology and tutorial fellowship at Pembroke College, both starting in September 2018.