I have a broad interest in different questions related to plant ecology and evolution. One important part of my research focuses on study of the evolution of complex traits of plants with a relevant ecological function in the plant model for temperate grasses Brachypodium distachyon (Poaceae). I try to answer the general question of what ecological and evolutionary forces promote and maintain the natural variation often existing in these complex traits among and within natural plant populations. In particular, I am interested to understand the ecological and evolutionary basis underlying natural variation on plant traits related to tolerance and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress in this species. Another line of my research is focused on the evaluation of the ecological consequences and the adaptive significance of allopolyploidy in plants in the Brachypodium distachyon species complex.
From the applied side, I am investigating how changes in the land use are affecting diversity, species interactions and ecosystem services in agroecosystems (olive tree orchards) and in severe fragmented populations of Ziziphus lotus in the Mediterranean. Currently, I am conducting my research in the Departament of Animal Biology, Plant Biology and Ecology at the University of Jaen, in southern Spain.
Duke University (USA): Post-doctoral Period (2006-2010).
University of Sevilla and Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC, Spain): Ph.D. 2005. Thesis: Ecology and evolution of seed dispersal in Helleborus foetidus (Ranunculaceae). Geographical variation in animal-plant interactions.
University of Jaén (Spain): B.S. 1998.