Rey Jaime I Award, Environmental Sciences


I’m very honored with being awarded the Rey Jaime I Award in Environmental Sciences this year. I was surprised with the decision of the jury during my stay in Brazil during this year’s Ciência Sem Fronteiras stay. It was great to have many, many messages with support and congratulations from many colleagues. My sincere thanks to all them!

I’m very happy with the award, as it aids supporting conservation efforts in the natural areas where I do my field work: Cazorla, Doñana, Alcornocales, Islas Canarias.

University of Sevilla PhD award for Francisco Rodríguez

The University of Sevilla has awarded Francisco Rodríguez with the PhD Excellence Award, 2012. Paco carried out his PhD project in the lab, working on dispersal ecology of Laurus nobilis. Big congratulations Paco!!!

Last papers

Last papers: “Our last papers have appeared in Molecular Ecology Resources, dealing with the description of new DNA microsatellite markers for Frangula alnus and Rhamnus alaternus (Rhamnaceae), two species we study in Los Alcornocales area. The next related paper will describe the markers for Neochamaelea pulverulenta (Cneoraceae). These works are largely the result of efforts by our technicians JuanMi Arroyo and Cristina Rigueiro.”

(Via Weblog de Pedro.)

Moving to new building

Moving to a new building

It has been a long time since my last post here… We are now in a new house: at Isla de La Cartuja. Much better in terms of functionality and space but without the lovely charm of Pabellon del Perú. We moved to the Pabellon in April 1984, so it’s been a long time there.


Kimberly arrived

Kimberly Holbrook arrived today. She will be here with a post-doc contract (Juan de la Cierva post-doc from the Spanish Minsterio de Educación), working on seed dispersal patterns of tropical species compared to temperate species. What we want to do is to assess comparatively the long-distance dispersal patterns mediated by tropical and non-tropical frugivores.


Web page updates

I’ve updated the web page with new information about the research lines at the lab, projects, and personnel. This includes brief descriptions of the main research lines, collaborations, etc. All are accesible from the Research web page under Research Lines.

PhD thesis defense by Jofre Carnicer

Jofre Carnicer defended his thesis at Universitat Auntónoma de Barcelona. The thesis is entitled: “Species richness, interaction networks, and diversification in bird communities: a synthetic ecological and evolutionary perspective”. He addresses large-scale patterns of species diversity and interactions for passerine bird species, taking case studies with the North American avifauna, the bird fauna of Catalonia, and frugivorous birds in SW Spain. The defense went very well and he has already published or has in press manuscripts of several chapters. Congratulations Jofre for an excellent work!

Some updates after summer

After summer

Well, it has been a long time without news in the blog, but here we are again. 😉 Summer has been quiet; I’ve been at Cadiz coast with Myriam and Perico, with a short visit by Diego. It has been a great time to read, think and write but, again, no painting at all… 😦
After summer the group has been plenty of news. Geno Schupp and Janis Boettinger arrived in Sevilla for a new sabbatical year. We have plenty of time ahead to start new projects and revisit old ideas, besides enjoying the ‘tapas’ landscape around us.
We (Jordi, Jens and myself) got the Mercer Award of the Ecological Society of America for the Science paper; and Jordi, Jessica and Miguel Angel went to the meeting in San Jose (California) and enjoyed a splendid ceremony. This award is in recognition for the paper in Science (2006) on interaction asymmetries in mutualistic networks.
We have a new incorporation of Rocío Rodríguez, to start her PhD project on long-distance seed dispersal in Laurus nobilis and Frangula alnus. In addition, Itziar Sarasa also arrived to the group for a short-term stay until December with an introductory grant from CSIC.
Additional good news include the new grant-contracts that Arndt Hampe and Kimberly Holbrook obtained for the next 2 years in the group. Arndt is getting back to work on relict oak populations and Kimberly will keep going with the genetic analysis she started with Virola for her PhD, within a comparative project with Prunus.
Now I’m concentrating on the revision of the megafauna paper with Paulo and Mauro as well as in mss with Alfredo and Martin (fruit colors) and Jordi and Jens (networks); besides there is pending work with Geno on dispersal effectiveness and dispersal limitation that we want to finish. We really have a lot of things going on here, all great fun.

Pre-doctoral grant available

Pre-doctoral grant available

La convocatoria de ayudas para becas predoctorales FPI está próxima a ser publicada por el MEC.

Dentro de nuestro proyecto “DISPERSIÓN DE SEMILLAS POR ANIMALES FRUGÍVOROS: EVENTOS A LARGA DISTANCIA Y REDES DE CONECTIVIDAD EN POBLACIONES FRAGMENTADAS” (CGL2006-00373), estamos interesados en recibir candidaturas para una beca FPI del MEC para desarrollar una Tesis doctoral.

En plantas en las que los animales influyen directamente en el flujo génico via polen y semillas, la variabilidad genética aparece fuertemente estructurada a diferentes escalas espaciales. El mantenimiento de esta estructura espacial se basa en la conectividad entre poblaciones via polen y semillas, distribuidas por animales mutualistas. En escenarios de fragmentados es esencial comprender cómo se estructura esta conectividad a fin de poder predecir los efectos de pérdida (extinción local) de poblaciones y limitación de los procesos de dispersión. En este proyecto abordamos estos aspectos centrándonos en especies forestales amenazadas o relictas, para las cuales ya disponemos de información a raíz de proyectos anteriores. En esta propuesta abordamos el problema de la persistencia de las poblaciones de estas especies basándonos en una mejor comprensión de la conectividad que existe entre ellas y de la dependencia de animales polinizadores y frugívoros para el reclutamiento. Nos centraremos en Olea europaea var. sylvestris, y abordaremos también aspectos demográficos y genéticos en Frangula alnus, Laurus nobilis, y Prunus mahaleb. Nuestra propuesta sintetiza las principales líneas de trabajo que mantiene nuestro grupo y aborda cuestiones clave sobre la preservación de la biodiversidad de especies, interacciones y acervo genético en escenarios de cambio ambiental. El enfoque es interdisciplinar, aunando diferentes aproximaciones (análisis estadístico de bases de datos, teoría de redes complejas, métodos de genética molecular y simulaciones de ordenador).

El trabajo de tesis se centraría en los aspectos de conectividad en poblaciones fragmentadas. Perfil requerido: formación en biología y/o ciencias ambientales con un buen expediente académico. Se valorarán positivamente los conocimientos en ecología, genética molecular y estadística, con una fuerte motivación e interés por estos temas. Se requiere inglés hablado/escrito con nivel alto. El trabajo previsto incluye tareas de campo y de laboratorio.

Las bases de la convocatoria serán publicadas próximamente por el MEC (ver para convocatorias anteriores).

Las personas interesadas deben ponerse en contacto lo antes posible con Pedro Jordano adjuntando su CV actualizado (con datos de contacto) junto con copia de su expediente académico. El plazo de la convocatoria, que se publicará en BOE en breve, será sólo de unos 15 días. Más información sobre el grupo de investigación y sobre nuestro trabajo se puede encontrar en las páginas web:>>

Cris García PhD defense

Cris García PhD defense

The defense of Cris’ PhD Thesis took place the 5th Dec at University of Sevilla. We had a great time and everything went well. Members of the committee were Salvador Talavera, Sophie Gerber, Miguel Verdú, José María Gómez, and Gabriel Gutiérrez. The thesis is entitled: “Patterns of animal assisted dispersal and gene flow via pollen and seeds in heterogeneous landscapes”.

Visits to IEG

Visits to IEG

We had a number of visits at IEG during September and the first half of October: Andy Jones (at STRI, Panama), and Sabrina Russo (Univ. Cambridge, UK), Yoshihisa Suyama and Motoshi Tomita (Tohoku Univ, Japan). Also we had Margarita Rios, from Colombia (Fundación Ecoandina y Wildlife Conservation Society) for a short stay at the lab. In addition Paulo came for a short stay.

Paulo’s PhD thesis

Paulo’s PhD thesis

Paulo R. Guimarães Jr. defended his PhD thesis at University of Campinas, Brazil. He has worked on plant-animal interaction networks from a theoretical perspective, addressing connectivity patterns, the origin of truncation in the connectivity distributions, nestedness patterns and the structure of ant-plant and fish-cleaning interactions in comparison with other mutualisms. He has been advised by Sérgio Furtado Dos Reis, Marcus Aguiar, Jordi Bascompte and myself. It has been a privilege to work with Paulo in this project.

Joel Cohen visit

This week we had the pleasure of having Joel Cohen visiting us. Invited by Jordi, he was discussing work with different people, and gave an interesting talk. We visited Doñana natl. park and the Los Alcornocales area.

EURYI Awards in Stockholm

EURYI Awards in Stockholm

We went to Stockholm for the EURYI Award ceremony, which took place during the Open Science Forum 2004. There were six spanish scientists awarded. Here are a couple of shots of the ceremony, and Jordi with the certificate of the prize. Very nice moments for all us, and it’s a pleasure to share them with all you.

Visitors form INIA group and great discussion

Today we had a great visit: Peter Smouse and Fréderic Austerlitz with the group at INIA, including Ricardo Alía, Santiago C. González-Martínez, Juanjo Robledo-Arnuncio and María Valbuena Carabaña. We were discussing for the whole day about gene flow estimates for pollen and seed dispersal in woody species. We presented our ongoing research as brief talks (on our part, Godo, Cris, Jordi and myself) and fantastic discussion.