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Research lines

Graphical summary of my research:

1. Animal movement ecology

In this research line, I mainly work with colleagues of the Laboratory of Movement and Population Ecology of the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil). My main interest is this topic to understand the effect of intrinsic (e.g., sex, personality) and extrinsic factors (e.g., environmental temperature, habitat structure) on the movement patters of vertebrates, to apply results to enhance conservation plans. To understand the effect of these factors on animal movement patterns, I assess different aspects of movement ecology, such as habitat selection (at different scales), home range size and shape, trajectories, movement pattern classification (through net squared displacement), etc. Then, I use integrative approaches, such as structural equation modelling, to aid comprehending the effect of different factors on different movement metrics.

2. Thermal biology

Thermal biology is directly related to animal fitness and also conditions animal behavior, heavily in ectotherms, but also notably in endotherm animals. Climate change urges us to understand the role of environmental temperature as a driver of animal behavior and how we can use this knowledge to enhance animal conservation in this changing scenario. I studied thermal biology and thermoregulation of reptiles for more than 10 years, deepening on the effect of habitat and climatic variables and conducting meta-analyses to generalise thermoregulaton patterns. Currently I am mainly interested in the link between thermal biology and movement ecology of reptiles and mammals, and finding ways to predict and mitigate the impact of climate change and habitat modification on animal populations.

3. Animal conservation

In collaboration with many colleagues and institutions of Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom and the United States, I am conducting research to enhance the conservation plans of many animal species, such as giant anteaters, hoary foxes, titi monkeys, many lizard species and marine turtles. Besides, I supervise a project to reduce vertebrate roadkills in the south of Spain.

4. Antipredatory behavior

As a behavioral ecologist, I also studied many aspects of antipredatory behavior of amphibians and reptiles for years. Main findings were related to the ability of lizards to discriminate and respond to scents of predatory snakes and the rapid capability of some species, such as the Ibiza wall lizard, to acquire this behavior. Currently, I only conduct research in this topic to supervise interested students.

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