Vicente García-Navas Corrales, PhD


Evolution and Genetics of Love, Life and Death Group - Erik Postma Lab

University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190 (Irchel Campus)
8057, Zurich, Switzerland



This page is no longer updated (last update: 19 June 2015). Please, visit my new website


 I have broad interest in behavioural ecology and evolutionary ecology. My current project (Insuline-Like Growth Factor -1 as a mediator of life-history trade-offs in a free-ranging mammal) aims to examine variation at the insuline-like growth factor (IGF-1) gene and its role in shaping life-history variation in the wild. By using a candidate gene approach, I study the association between IGF-1 polymorphisms and fitness-related traits in a snow vole (
Chionomys nivalis) population, which is object of a long-term study in the Swiss Alps.  The main goal of this project is to improve our understanding on the role of this gene as candidate for mediating life-history trade-offs among growth, reproduction and lifespan in natural populations.

Other side-projects:

- Morphological variation in Orthopterans in relation to ecological factors and patterns of genetic variation (in collaboration with Joaquín Ortego) - We aim to integrate phylogeographic information with studies of morphological and ecological phenotypic variation in order to elucidate the relative contributions of selection and phylogenetic processes in generating observed patterns of variation within- (population divergence) and among- (speciation) grasshopper species.

- Sexual dichromatism and its evolutionary correlates across a continent-wide radiation of songbirds - I will study the evolution of female (mutual) ornamentation in New World warblers (Parulidae), an avian clade in which we can observe a broad spectrum of male-female differences in ornamentation, using phylogenetic comparative analyses. 


31.  García-Navas, V., Bonnet, T., Waldvogel, D., Wandeler, P. & Postma, E. (2015). Gene flow counteracts the effect of drift in a Swiss population of snow voles fluctuating in size. Biological Conservation, 191: 168-177.

30.  García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S., Cáliz-Campal, C., Bueno-Enciso, J., Barrientos, R., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2015).  Spatiotemporal and genetic contingency of extra-pair behaviour in a songbird. Animal Behaviour, 106: 157-169.

29. Ferrer, E.S., García-Navas, V., Bueno-Enciso, J., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2015). Multiple sexual ornaments signal heterozygosity in male blue tits. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 114: 362-375.

28. García-Navas, V., Valera, F. & Griggio, M. (2015). Nest decorations: an "extended" female badge of status? Animal Behaviour, 99: 95-107. [Covered by Scientific American and NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands)]

27. García-Navas, V., Cáliz-Campal, C., Ferrer, E.S., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2014). Heterozygosity at a single locus explains a large proportion of variation in two fitness-related traits in great tits: a general or a local effect? Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 2807-2819.

26. Ferrer, E.S., García-Navas, V., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2014). Individual genetic diversity and probability of infection by avian malaria parasites in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 2468-2482.

25. García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2014). The role of immigration and local adaptation on fine-scale genotypic and phenotypic divergence in a less mobile passerine. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 27: 1590-1603.

24. García-Navas, V.Ferrer, E.S. & Serrano-Davies, E. (2014). Experimental evidence for parental, but not parentally biased, favouritism in relation to offspring size in Blue Tits. Ibis, 156: 404-414.

23. García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S., Bueno-Enciso, J., Barrientos, R., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2014). Extra-pair paternity in Mediterranean blue tits: socio-ecological factors and the opportunity for sexual selection. Behavioral Ecology, 25: 228-238.

22. García-Navas, V., García del Rincón, A., Ferrer, E.S. & Fathi, H. (2013). Mating strategies, parental investment and mutual ornamentation in Iberian Rock Sparrows Petronia petronia. Behaviour, 150: 1641-1663.

21. García-Navas, V., Ortego, J., Ferrer, E.S. & Sanz, J.J. (2013). Feathers, suspicions and infidelities: an experimental study on certainty of paternity and parental care in the blue tit. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 109: 552-561.

20. García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S. & Sanz, J.J. (2013). Prey choice, provisioning behaviour and effects of early nutrition on nestling phenotype of titmice. Écoscience, 20: 9-18.

19. Ferrer, E.S., García-Navas, V., Sanz, J.J. & Ortego, J. (2012). Molecular characterization of avian malaria parasites in three Mediterranean blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) populations. Parasitology Research, 111: 2137-2142.

18. García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2012). Yearly and seasonal variation of breeding parameters in a declining multi-brooded passerine, the tree sparrow. Ardea, 100: 79-88.

17. García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2012). Environmental and within-nest factors influencing nestling feeding patterns in Mediterranean Blue Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Condor, 114:  612-620.

16. García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S. & Sanz, J.J. (2012). Prey selectivity and parental feeding rates of Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus in relation to nestling age. Bird Study, 59:  236-242.

15.  García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S. & Sanz, J.J. (2012). Plumage yellowness predicts foraging ability in the blue tit Cyanistes caeruleus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106: 418-429.

14.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). Females call the shots: Breeding dispersal and divorce in blue tits. Behavioral Ecology, 22: 932-939.

13.  Ortego, J., García-Navas, V., Ferrer, E.S. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). Genetic structure reflects natal dispersal movements at different spatial scales in the blue tit, Cyanistes caeruleus. Animal Behaviour, 82: 131-137.

12.  Sanz, J.J. & García-Navas, V. (2011). Nest ornamentation in blue tits: Is feather carrying ability a male status signal? Behavioral Ecology, 22: 240-247.

11.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). The importance of a main dish: Nestling diet and foraging behaviour in Mediterranean blue tits in relation to prey phenology. Oecologia, 165: 639-649.

10.  García-Navas, V., Sanz, J.J., Merino, S., Martínez-de la Puente, J., Lobato, E., del Cerro, S., Rivero, J., Ruiz de Castañeda, R. & Moreno, J. (2011). Experimental evidence for the role of calcium in eggshell pigmentation pattern and breeding performance in blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. Journal of Ornithology, 152: 71-82.

9.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). Seasonal decline in provisioning effort and nestling mass of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus: Experimental support for the parent quality hypothesis. Ibis, 153: 59-69.

8.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). Short-term alterations in songbird breeding schedule lead to better synchronization with food availability. Auk, 128: 146-155.

7.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2010). Flexibility in the foraging behavior of blue tits in response to short-term manipulations of brood size. Ethology, 116: 744-754.

6.  Sanz, J.J., García-Navas, V. & Ruiz-Peinado, J.V. (2010). Effect of habitat type and nest-site characteristics on the breeding performance of great and blue tits (Parus major and P. caeruleus) in a Mediterranean landscape. Ornis Fennica, 87: 41-51.

5.  García-Navas, V., Arroyo, L. & Sanz, J.J. (2010). Woodcrete nestboxes: Are they adequate for multibrooded species? Ardeola, 57: 159-166.

4.  García-Navas, V., Ortego, J. & Sanz, J.J. (2009). Heterozygosity-based assortative mating in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus): Implications for the evolution of mate choice. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 276: 2931-2940

3.  Sanz, J.J. & García-Navas, V. (2009). Eggshell pigmentation pattern in relation to breeding performance of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus. Journal of Animal Ecology, 78: 31-41.

2.  García-Navas, V., Arroyo, L. & Sanz, J.J. (2008). Nestbox use and reproductive parameters of tree sparrows Passer montanus: Are they affected by the presence of old nests? Acta Ornithologica, 43: 32-42.

1.  García-Navas, V., Arroyo, L., Sanz, J.J. & Díaz, M. (2008). Effect of nestbox type on occupancy and breeding biology of tree sparrows Passer montanus in central Spain. Ibis, 150: 356-364.

 Publications (Non-SCI Journals & Popular Science)*

7.  García-Navas, V. García del Rincón, A. & León, M. (2015). Ornamentos, armamentos y batalla de sexos: la singular vida sexual del gorrión chillón. Quercus, 352: 16-25.

6.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2011). El acarreo de plumas como ornamento sexual en el herrerillo común. Quercus, 305: 20-27.

5.  García-Navas, V. & Sanz, J.J. (2010). El patrón de pigmentación en los huevos del Herrerillo Común (Cyanistes caeruleus L.) en relación con su éxito reproductor. In: Actas II Congreso de Naturaleza de la Provincia de Toledo. Pp. 221-231, Diputación de Toledo, Toledo.

4.  Sanz, J.J. & García-Navas, V. (2009) Datos sobre reproducción de aves trogloditas en cajas-nido dentro del Parque Nacional de Cabañeros. Anuario Ornitológico de Ciudad Real 2006-2007: 21-31

3.  Arroyo, L. García-Navas, V., Díaz, M. & Sanz, J.J. (2009) Uso de cajas-nido por la comunidad de aves trogloditas del Campus Universitario de la Fábrica de Armas de Toledo. Anuario Ornitológico de Toledo, 2: 150-161

2. García-Navas, V., Arroyo,  L., Sanz, J.J. & Díaz, M. (2008). Selección de cajas-nido por el gorrión molinero: causas y consecuencias sobre el éxito reproductor. Quercus, 266: 14-21.

1.  García-Navas, V. (2008). Gorrión Molinero (Passer montanus L.). In: Carrascal, LM. & Salvador, A. (Eds.). Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Terrestres. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC). 
Academic service

             I have reviewed papers for the following journals:

Ardeola; Acta Ornithologica; Journal of Field OrnithologyIbis; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society; Ethology; PeerJ Animal Conservation; Heredity; Journal of Biogeography; Behavioral Ecology; Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology; Functional Ecology; PLoS ONE; The Auk; Animal Behaviour; Bird Study; Journal of Avian Biology; Wilson Journal of Ornithology; Oecologia; Conservation Genetics

Research grants and awards

2014. Forschungskredit fellowship, University of Zurich, Switzerland.                                                                                                                
2014. Postdoc CONICET fellowship, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Awarded and Declined.                               
2013. Research grant. BOU career development boursaries. British Ornithologists Union (2.800E).  
2012. Research grant for young researchers. Diputación de Toledo (2.500E).                                                                                      
2008 - 2012. FPI Predoctoral scholarship. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación-European Social Fund.

Scientific career

 2014 - present. Postdoc position, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich.
 2013 - 2014. Hired researcher, Faculty of Environmental Sciences. University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo.
 2012 - 2013. Visiting scholar, Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM).
 2008 - 2012. PhD student. Faculty of Environmental  Sciences. University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo.

 2006 - 2007. Hired researcher at the Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC.
 2001 - 2005. Degree in Environmental Sciences, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo.


  * Please, e-mail me for pdfs that you need,   vicente.garcianavas[at]