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The Department's work is part of research and teaching on Ecology and evolution in dry ecosystems. Within this framework, we direct our efforts to the study of ecological and evolutionary processes that affect species, populations and communities in ecosystems dominated by drought and other stressors, as well as the study of the factors that shape the response of organisms.

The research we do in the Department includes from studies on the characteristics and dynamics of the climatic and edaphic factors that shape the response of living beings, to studies on the biology of plants and animals, the response of living things to disturbances. -especially forest fires-, interactions between plants, soil and erosion, interactions between species of plants –with special emphasis on facilitation processes-, interactions between animals and plants (pollination, seed dispersal, herbivory, etc. ) as well as the rules that determine and structure the composition of species in communities and the evolutionary consequences of all these factors.

From an applied point of view, many of the studies we carry out have implications for the management of the territory, the conservation of biodiversity and ecological restoration.

At the same time, many of us actively participate in teaching within Undergraduate and Postgraduate programs in Universities and other national and foreign educational institutions, as well as participate in advisory committees and carry out dissemination tasks - such as conferences, articles, books, interviews to the media, etc.

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  • Juli G. Pausas (Scientific researcher, CSIC): Fire ecology and regeneration, morphological and functional types of plants, evolution of traits associated to fire, post-fire regeneration, dynamic models of Mediterranean plants.
  • Miguel Verdú (Scientific researcher CSIC): Phylogenetic of communities, facilitation processes, ecological genetics, reproductive biology of plants.
  • Patricio García-Fayos (Scientific researcher, CSIC): Vegetal colonization, reproductive biology of plants, seed ecology, plant-soil-erosion relationships, semi-arid environments ecology.
  • Mª José Molina (Scientific researcher, CSIC): ecology, uses, functions and soil quality in dry ecosystems; biogeochemistry and plant-soil relationships.
  • Francesco de Bello (Senior Scientist, CSIC): functional diversity, evolution of functional attributes, plasticity in functional attributes and maternal effects, stability of communities, ecosystem services.
  • Esther Bochet (Contracted researcher, CSIC): Eco-geomorphologic processes in semiarid environments, plant-soil-erosion relationships, plant colonization, morphological and functional types of plants, ecological restoration of eroded hillslopes.
  • Jose M. Fedriani (Contracted researcher, CSIC): defaunation, dense-dependence, seed dispersal, spatial ecology, gene flow, plant-animal interactions, plant-plant interactions, tritrophic interactions, modeling based on the individual, small populations, pollination, overfaunation, recruitment, restoration.
  • Cesar Azorin-Molina (Contracted Ramon y Cajal, CSIC): climatic variability of wind speed and study of the “stilling” phenomenon, changes in climatic extremes (maximum wind gusts), quality control and homogenization of climatic series, meteorological observation.
  • Jose A. Navarro Cano (Post-doctoral researcher, CSIC): Plant dynamics, regeneration niche, facilitation applications, ecological restoration, global change, plant conservation.
  • Alicia Montesinos (Juan de la Cierva researcher, CSIC): Plant-plant interactions mediated by fungi, ecological networks, phylogenetic pattern of biological interactions, nutrient transference among plants (Stable isotope labeling).
  • Bruno Moreira (Post-doctoral researcher, CSIC): Fire ecology, plant ecology, post-fire regeneration strategies (germination and resprout), plant flammability, trait variability and community structure in Mediterranean fire-prone ecosystems.
  • Lola Álvarez (Pre-doctoral intern, CSIC): Effects of fire on wildlife, especially on reptiles and the incidence of parasites on them.
  • Carmen Guiote (Pre-doctoral intern, CSIC): Ecology and evolution of plant-animal interactions. Forest fire and predispersal seed predation.
  • Maya Zomer (Pre-doctoral intern, CSIC): Plant ecology, post fire regeneration strategies of Mediterranean plants, variability in response to global change. 
  • Ricardo Sánchez (Pre-doctoral intern, CSIC): Ecology and evolution of the transfer of nutrients among plants in vegetation communities developed on gypsum outcrops
  • Julia Jimeno Alda (Pre-doctoral intern, CSIC): Plant and microbial ecology of functional traits relevant for ecosystem functioning.