Evolution unfolds in an ecological theatre. The context within which selection takes place is set not only by interactions between the organisms and abiotic factors but also by inter- and intra-specific interactions. Within the latter, sexual interactions are paramount in sexually reproductive species because offspring production is contingent on access to members (and gametes) of the other sex. This implies intense selection acting on all traits having to do with sexual interactions, which in turn raises questions about the genetic variation underlying these traits and the factors that maintain such variation.
The main interests of the research group relate broadly to the evolutionary ecology of the interactions between the sexes, and includes the study of the causes and consequences of female multiple mating (polyandry), the estimation of genetic variation (heritability, evolvability) in sexually selected traits and life history traits, the study of coevolutionary male-female adaptations to sexual selection and sexual conflict, the study of risk-spreading behaviour in the evolution of mating systems, and the study of male-driven transgenerational effects on offspring life histories.
The research carried out by the group is question-driven and predominantly follows empirical approaches using several model systems (mainly insects).
We carry our research at Doñana Biological Station-CSIC (Spanish Research Council), in Seville, but we collaborate profusely with researchers worldwide.