ECOlogical and coevolutionary dynamics of SPECIES interactions

Current projects

- Tropical Ecology: We are exploring all aspects of tropical biodiversity, particularly its evolutionary origins and ecological mechanisms shaping present day ecosystems. Our studies combine natural history, statistical models, and extensive field inventories and experimentation of species and their interactions in both wet and dry tropical ecosystems. Most of our studies are based in Mexico and Brazil.

- Landscape Ecology: We use field studies, spatial data, simulation modeling and geographic information systems (GIS) to describe how the diversity of species and interactions (mainly dung beetles and ants) is influenced by the structural characteristics of the landscape at multiple spatial scales in order to provide a strong scientific basis for natural resource conservation decisions and promote sustainable landscape management.

- Ecological Networks: Using empirical data and theoretical models, my collaborators and I are seeking to understand how biological properties affect the structure and dynamics of plant-animal interaction networks at different levels. Moreover, we are seeking to understand how species interactions vary through space-time, and how they are influenced by environmental perturbations in different ecosystems around the world.

- Protective mutualisms: We are studying the underlying processes shaping coevolution in protective mutualisms. Specifically, we want to understand the main mechanisms that influence temporal and spatial variations in ecological interactions involving ants, plants bearing extrafloral nectaries, myrmecophytes and hemipterans.