Research in the Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations encompasses a number of areas primarily in evolutionary biology and ecology, particularly in evolution driven by selection, where we attempt to understand the ecological and sexual causes, the genetic potential, and the evolutionary consequences of adaptations. These causes can be multiple forms of interactions within and between species, and within and between the sexes of the same species. The genetic potential, in turn, refers to the effect that genetic interactions between traits has on the direction of evolutionary change. Finally, our interests in the consequences of adaptations focus on the idea that evolutionary histories inferred from present-day signals provide parameters to predict the response of organisms to future ecological and climatic events, such as invasions, events of diversification, extinctions and climate change. Collectively, these problems are largely covered by the theory of adaptive radiation.
The study of adaptive evolution requires a number of analytical approaches to address a number of (sometimes very different, but always connected) questions. My research employs both intraspecific and interspecific approaches, both in the field and in the lab. Yet, I have mostly concentrated on comparative studies among several species or populations, which demand the use of phylogenetic techniques to control for the impact of shared ancestry on the expression of traits. I have also worked on different model systems, although most of my research has been conducted on the South American Liolaemus lizard evolutionary radiation. Other model systems I have worked on are the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea (quantitative genetics of sexual selection, with John Hunt), and the beetle Callosobruchus maculatus (sexual conflict coevolution, with Tom Tregenza and Laurene Gay), as well as other lizards. See my collaborators to have a better idea.
Finally, a longstanding challenge of our research has been the study of the ecology and biodiversity of Liolaemidae lizards. Given their extraordinary diversity and their remarkable spatial and environmental distribution, explorations in remote areas may uncover unknown species or unknown ecological records, which we have reported in a number of studies.
Below a summary of LEEA main research fields of interest
Evolutionary Ecology of Adaptations
Macroecology of Biodiversity Evolution
Ecological and Evolutionary Consequences of Climate Change
Ecology and Biodiversity of Liolaemidae