Entomology and insect-plant interactions

The main interest of this research group is the study of biodiversity in any of its aspects, from the most descriptive to those more directed to the study of processes, focusing on the exploration of insect groups with a close relationship with plants, including phytophagous and pollinators.

The group’s scientific activity combines multidisciplinary approaches to its research, generating molecular data for taxonomic, phylogenetic, genomic and phylogeographic studies. In this way, field, interaction, and distribution data are obtained to discover and describe new species, for niche modelling and other ecological data, and for spatio-temporal monitoring of populations. The group’s activity is associated with a very relevant research resource: the collection of insect DNA and tissues, being of particular importance the collection of migratory and Afrotropical butterfly species and chrysomelids from all over the world, with an emphasis on different regions of the tropics.

 
Research group objectives

The lines of research currently cover several fundamental questions:

  • To deepen the taxonomy, classification, and description of the biodiversity of different groups of insects.
  • To study the evolution and historical biogeography of diurnal butterflies and chrysomelid beetles at different taxonomic levels and geographical areas, with the aim of understanding both their diversification and speciation processes and to contribute to their systematics and conservation.
  • To study the ecology of movement, population dynamics and the genomic evolution of migratory behaviour in insects, with particular emphasis on the study of diurnal butterflies.
  • To study the trophic ecology of herbivores through field and experimental work, the molecular diagnosis of diets by metabarcoding and phylogenetic methods, or the analysis of pollen and other plant remains.
Ongoing projects

  • ENTOMIGROME. Genómica y ecología del comportamiento migratorio en insectos. – Agencia Estatal de Investigación-Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (PID2020-117739GA-I00)
  • An interdisciplinary scheme to advance in the field of ecology and evolution of insect migration – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (LINKA20399).