September 2023. Very glad to know that Rubén Pérez-Blanco will join our group next two years through a Juan de la Cierva postdoctoral fellowship! Welcome Rubén!
August 2023. New 3-year project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation! Time to work on plant-herbivore interactions on islands.
August 2023. Three papers accepted at Oikos: (1) effects of tree species diversity and conspecific seedling density on insect herbivory and pathogen infection, (2) effects of dominant ant species on ant community structure and ant-hemipteran interactions, (3) effects of experimental warming at the microhabitat scale on oak leaf traits and insect herbivory across a contrasting environmental gradient.
March 2023. The Consell Insular de Menorca just funded our proposal "Effects of rabbits on defences, pollination, reproduction and viability of the endemic flora in Menorca". Time to work on this beautiful island with our colleague Miquel Capó!
October 2022. New paper accepted at Trends in Plant Science linking herbivory and ecosystem services in urban forests! The Spanish government considered that these ideas were not interesting enough to be funded. However, they were finally published in the top journal in Plant Sciences.
October 2022. Vitor Miguel da Costa Silva (from Brazil) joined our group as a PhD student. He will be working on ant-plant interactions mediated by extrafloral nectar in the Brazilian cerrado.
August 2022. New paper accepted at Functional Ecology testing the effect of water availability on volatile-mediated communication between potato plants in response to insect herbivory.
June 2022. Good news! Our project entitled "Effects of global change drivers on Latin-American tropical dry forests: integrating research perspectives towards a more robust understanding and mitigation of impacts" got funded from the CSIC call "LINCGLOBAL". Time to visit our Mexican and Brazilian friends.
December 2021. Naila Aguiño will join our group next six months through a JAE-Intro fellowship! Welcome Naila!
November 2021. New paper accepted at Journal of Biogeography showing no support for the idea of lowered defenses in insular plants.
November 2021. Good news!!! Our proposal entitled "Investigating plant-plant signaling via volatile organic compounds as a tool for sustainable management of cotton plantations in Mexico" has been funded through the I-COOP program of the CSIC. Time to visit my friend Luis Abdala-Roberts in Mexico!
September 2021. New opinion paper accepted at Global Ecology and Biogeography where my friend Luis Abdala-Roberts and me provide a roadmap for future research on insularity effects on plant-herbivore interactions. Hope to get some funding in the future to answer all these interesting questions!
July 2021. New paper accepted at Forest Ecology and Management about the proximate drivers of population inter-annual variation in seed output for a masting conifer species.
June 2021. Inmensely happy to know that Carla Vázquez-González will join our group and the Mooney lab at University of California-Irvine next three years through a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship! Welcome Carla!
May 2021. New paper accepted at Plant and Soil testing the effects of soil abiotic factors and plant chemical defences on seed predation on sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum). Great collaboration with the University of Seville!
November 2020. New paper accepted at Plant, Cell and Environment investigating airborne communication between potato plants in response to pathogen infection.
September 2020. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany investigating the effects of latitude and conspecific plant density on insect leaf herbivory in oak saplings and seedlings.
September 2020. New meta-analysis testing insularity effects on herbivory and plant defences published at Journal of Biogeography. This work is part of my summer stay in Majorca!
August 2020. New paper accepted at Scientific Reports investigating micro-climatic effects on plant phenolics at the community level in a Mediterranean savanna. Great collaboration with IRNAS-CSIC!
July 2020. New paper accpeted at Journal of Ecology investigating the effects of soil salinity on the expression of direct and indirect defences in wild cotton.This is the first chapter of Tere's PhD thesis.
April 2020. Great news! our paper about tree species diversity and forest resistance to insect pests has been accepted at Annual Review of Entomology.
April 2020. The ECO-EVO lab is working intensively at home during this quarantine. New manuscripts, datasets and even a PhD dissertation are coming soon!
February 2020. New paper accepted at Journal of Ecology showing ontogenetic consistency in oak defence syndromes.
December 2019. New paper accepted at Annals of Botany showing how latitudinal variation in seed predation correlates with latitudinal variation in seed defensive and nutritional traits in Quercus robur.
October 2019. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany showing parallel increases in insect herbivory and defenses with increasing elevation for both saplings and adult trees of oak (Quercus) species. This is the third chapter of Andrea's PhD thesis.
September 2019. New paper accepted at Scientific Reports about sexual and genotypic variation in terpene quantitative and qualitative profiles in my favourite plant system (Baccharis salicifolia)!
June 2019. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany showing that the phylogenetic distance to native oaks predicts escape from insect leaf herbivores in saplings of non-native oak species...and a picture of our work was selected as the journal cover!
May 2019. Great experience acting as the opponent of Daniela Weber's PhD dissertation at SLU Alnarp (Sweden).
May 2019. Happy to join Scientific Reports Editorial Board!
April 2019. New grant proposal funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities! Time to work on plant-plant communication in response to herbivory in potato. Fully funded 4-year PhD fellowship associated with this grant!
March 2019. New paper accepted at Journal of Biogeography investigating the effects of insularity on insect leaf herbivory and chemical defences in a Mediterranean oak species.
March 2019. Giving a seminar at the Instituto de Ciencia de la Vid y el vino (ICVV-CSIC). Great visit to Logroño and new collaborations are coming soon!
March 2019. New accepted paper at Ecology about herbivore effects on plant attractiveness to pollinators. I performed this meta-analysis during my short stay at IMEDEA-CSIC last summer. Thanks Anna for hosting me!
February 2019. We hosted Tere for a couple of weeks. She is carrying out a new greenhouse experiment here. Her PhD is going really fast!
February 2019. Andrea is presenting her second PhD chapter at SIBECOL meeting in Barcelona. Elevational gradients in plant defensive strategies.
January 2019. New paper accepted at Journal of Ecology investigating the effects of early-season insect herbivory on subsequent pathogen infection and ant abundance on wild cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). Congrats Luis!
November 2018. New paper accepted at Biology Letters showing that host plant frequency and secondary metabolites both correlate with insect herbivory in a dominant riparian tree (Alnus glutionosa).
November 2018. New paper accepted from Andrea's PhD dissertation at Tree Physiology. We found that oak species with high elevational ranges exhibited a greater inducibility of phenolic compounds, but this gradient was not accounted for by climatic predictors. In contrast, constitutive defences and the correlated expression of constitutive phenolics and their inducibility did not exhibit elevational clines.
October 2018. Carlos García-Verdugo (Jardín Botánico Atlántico, Gijón) gave a great seminar at Biological Mission of Galicia entitled "Islands as a conceptual framework for ecological and evolutionary studies in plants".
October 2018. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany demonstrating that weather cues associated with masting behavior dampen the negative autocorrelation between past and current reproduction in oaks. Masting rules!
October 2018. New paper accepted at Ecology testing the specificity of plant-plant communication with respect to plant sex and genotype using my favourite plant species (Baccharis salicifolia). We demonstrate specificity of communication with respect to plant sex but not genotype. In particular, female emitter plants only induced resistance on female receivers, whereas male emitter plants induced resistance on both male and female receivers.
September 2018. Carla Vázquez and the rest of Scott Ferrenberg's lab (New Mexico State University) travelled to Arkansas to sample leaves of saplings and mature trees belonging to several Quercus species. This will be part of our study testing the ontogenetic effects on oak defense syndromes.
September 2018. Long trip across northern Spain and southern France sampling Quercus ilex populations for a new project. Last stop at the fascinating Bordeaux to visit Bastien Castagneyrol!
August 2018. Our picture has been chosen as journal cover at Journal of Ecology, congrats Bastien!
Here is the paper: besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2745.12956
Here is the paper: besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2745.12956
August 2018. New paper accepted at Scientific Reports showing that Brassica oleracea domestication decreases both constitutive and induced chemical defences by direct selection against defensive traits.
August 2018. New paper accepted at PLoS ONE investigating the interspecific variation in leaf functional and defensive traits in oak species and its underlying climatic drivers.
July 2018. New paper accepted at Oikos! In this study, we identified the main drivers of urbanization effects on oak-herbivore interactions across 18 European cities.
July 2018. Two fantastic weeks working with Anna Traveset at the IMEDEA (CSIC). A new meta-analysis about the effects of herbivory on pollinators is coming very soon.
July 2018. New paper accepted at Current Opinion in Insect Science! We synthesize important advances from incipient work on the ecological specificity of plant communication according to three main aspects: plant-based specificity, herbivore-based specificity, and the importance of the abiotic context. We also provide some ideas for future research to improve our understanding of the specificity of plant communication and its ecological and evolutionary importance.
June 2018. New paper accepted at Phytochemistry! We assessed the influence of biogeographical region and phylogenetic history on chemical defences and herbivory in Quercus species. Science is global, but also local...collaborative work between four groups at MBG-CSIC, University of Neuchâtel and Autonomous University of Yucatan.
April 2018. Very happy to have hosted Bastien Castagneyrol and Elena Valdés-Correcher (INRA, Bordeaux) in my institution as part of our recent I-LINK grant. New collaborative projects are coming soon!
March 2018. New paper accepted at Journal of Ecology! We conducted a meta-analysis of studies on plant-mediated effects of initial attackers on performance of subsequent attackers to test the hypothesis of cross-talk between plant hormonal signalling pathways.
February 2018. Giving a seminar at IRNAS-CSIC in Seville about the specificity of plant-plant communication in response to herbivory.
January 2018. New paper accepted at Journal of Ecology testing the interactive effects of drought and neighbours on anti-herbivore defences and insect herbivory in birch trees. Great collaboration with my colleagues at BIOGECO-INRA (Bordeaux, France).
January 2018. Teresa Quijano-Medina got a CONACyT fellowship to do the PhD with my friend Luis Abdala-Roberts (Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico) and me. She will investigate the biotic and abiotic drivers of plant-herbivore interactions in wild cotton plants. Happy to host her in Pontevedra again!
January 2018. New paper accepted at Oecologia testing the relative effects of genetic variation and sexual dimorphism on plant traits and associated arthropod communities in Baccharis salicifolia plants.
December 2017. New grant proposal funded by CSIC I-LINK! Time to work on elevational gradients in plant-herbivore interactions with Arndt Hampe and Bastien Castagneyrol at INRA-BIOGECO.
December 2017. Excellent PhD defence by Pilar Fernandez-Conradi at INRA-BIOGECO on tree diversity and chestnut resistance to pests and pathogens.
December 2017. New paper accepted at Scientific Reports investigating latitudinal clines in plant nutrient concentration and their underlying abiotic correlates. This is the third manuscript from our UC-Mexus grant with the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora.
November 2017. Our review paper entitled "Elevational gradients in plant defences and insect herbivory: recent advances in the field and prospects for future research" has been accepted at Ecography. It is now under consideration for the Ecography Award for Excellence in Ecology and Evolution (The E4 Award). Glad to work with the anteaters!
November 2017. Happy to host Thomas Damestoy (INRA, France) for two weeks. He was analyzing leaf phenolics in oak trees at the HPLC.
October 2017. Glad to host Teresa Quijano-Medina (Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico) at my lab for two months. She will be working on several experiments involving cotton-herbivore interactions.
September 2017. New paper accepted at Ecography showing how latitudinal variation in plant chemical defenses in a dominant oak species drives latitudinal patterns of leaf herbivory. This was part of a big collaborative project including nine research institutions in Europe and North America.
September 2017. New paper accepted at Journal of Ecology providing a global analysis of elevational gradients in leaf herbivory and its underlying drivers. This manuscript is Andrea's first PhD chapter!
July 2017. Luis Abdala-Roberts visited the Biological Mission of Galicia to work on our I-COOP grant. Great time with very good friends...See you in Mexico next year!
May 2017. New paper accepted at Scientific Reports about the interactive effects of plant neighbourhood and ontogeny on insect herbivory and plant defensive traits in a dominant oak species.
April 2017. Bastien Castagneyrol (INRA, Bordeaux, France) gave a seminar at Biological Mission of Galicia entitled "Insect herbivory in a drier world: direct and trait-mediated and enemy-mediated effects of neighbours". A collaborative meta-analysis investigating the crosstalk between induced defence pathways is coming very soon!
March 2017. Will Petry (ETH-Zurich) gave a really nice talk entitled "Competition, herbivory, and the structure of plant biodiversity".
January 2017. Andrea Cortegoso joined the group as a PhD student. She will be working on elevational gradients in herbivory and plant defenses in Spain and Switzerland. Welcome Andrea!
December 2016. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany testing the ecological and evolutionary consequences of tri-trophic interactions using the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora as a plant system.
December 2016. Visiting Switzerland for a week! Glad to see my friends Sergio Rasmann at University of Neuchâtel and Will Petry at ETH-Zürich.
December 2016. New paper accepted at Plant Biology showing that leaf habit in oak trees does not determine the investment in both physical and chemical defences and pairwise correlations between these defensive traits.
December 2016. New paper accepted at Oikos investigating the functional responses of contrasting seed predator guilds to masting in two Mediterranean oak species. Masting rules!
November 2016. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany testing the biotic and abiotic factors associated with altitudinal variation in plant traits and herbivory in a dominant oak species.
October 2016. I got a 4-year grant from the regional government of Galicia to study the geographical gradients in oak defensive strategies. Great news!
October 2016. Great news! Our review article entitled "Factors influencing current evidence for the direction and magnitude of altitudinal gradients in plant defences and herbivory" was short-listed for the second phase of the E4 Award competition at Ecography. The E4 Award will be given to an early career research scientist who displays exceptional promise in research on spatial and/or temporal ecological patterns. The journal invited us to submit the full review in next few months. http://www.ecography.org/news/e4-award
October 2016. Back to the office...fieldwork season is finally over! Excited to allocate time to analyze data and write manuscripts.
September 2016. Visiting the INRA at Bordeaux. Some great collaborations about chemical traits in tree diversity experiments are coming very soon. Bordeaux is a really nice city to live and work. Thanks Bastien for inviting me!
August 2016. Kailen Mooney (+ Luis Abdala, Sergio Rasmann and Will Petry) visited Biological Mission of Galicia to give a seminar entitled "Causes and community-level consequences for clinal adaptation in a foundational plant species". Next meeting will be in California!
August 2016. New paper accepted at American Journal of Botany testing the effects of plant intra-specific diversity across three trophic levels.
July 2016. New paper accepted at Plant Biology demonstrating how masting behaviour in a Mediterranean pine tree alters seed predator selection on reproductive output.
July 2016. New paper accepted at New Phytologist using my favourite plant species (Baccharis salicifolia) and testing herbivore specificity and the chemical basis of plant-plant communication.
June 2016. New collaborative project ("Evaluation of the role of tree chemical defenses and insectivorous birds in a tree diversity experiment") granted by CONACyT. Congrats Luis and Víctor!
May 2016. Finished a new greenhouse experiment to test how biogeography (Europe vs. North America) can drive the expression of defensive syndromes in Quercus sps.
March 2016. Luis Abdala-Roberts (Autonomous University of Yucatan) visited the Biological Mission of Galicia to work on our I-COOP grant and to give a seminar entitled "Effects of plant intra- and inter-specific diversity on higher trophic levels: a tropical tree plantation as a case of study". Finally, we closed the circle Irvine-Merida-Pontevedra!!
March 2016. New paper accepted at PLoS ONE investigating the mechanisms underlying the expression of defense syndromes in pine trees.
March 2016. Ignacio M. Pérez-Ramos (IRNAS-CSIC) visited the Biological Mission of Galicia to give a nice seminar entitled "Evaluating the effect of global change on Mediterranean plant communities from a demography and functional perspective".
February 2016. My proposal to study oak defense syndromes in the Iberian Peninsula has been funded! More great work is coming!
December 2015. Raquel Campos-Herrera (University of Algarve) visited the Biological Mission of Galicia to give a nice seminar!
December 2015. Granted by The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) to collaborate with my colleague Luis Abdala-Roberts at Autonomous University of Yucatan (Mexico)!
November 2015. New paper accepted in Journal of Ecology where we performed a test of biotic and abiotic correlates of latitudinal variation in defenses in the perennial herb Ruellia nudiflora. Our second manuscript of the UC-MEXUS grant, congrats Luis Abdala-Roberts!
October 2015. New paper accepted in Current Opinion in Insect Science. We reviewed how plant diversity influences the community of insect herbivores and their natural enemies. Interestingly, we provided some recommendations for addressing key gaps in knowledge for research on plant diversity effects on higher trophic levels. Five researchers from five different countries (Spain, Mexico, USA, France and Switzerland) were involved in this nice project.
September 2015. New paper accepted in Oikos about the specificity of plant-plant communication in Phaseolus lunatus. This study is part of my fieldwork in Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca, Mexico).
September 2015. After three weeks in the field I just finished the sampling of several populations of pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) across Northwest Spain. This will be part of a big collaborative study with some colleagues in France, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden. Great and exciting work!
July 2015. Sergio Rasmann (University of Neuchâtel) visited Biological Mission of Galicia (CSIC) to give a seminar entitled "Chemically mediated trophic interactions in agricultural and natural ecosystems". Great time in Galicia with the whole family!
July 2015. Two new papers accepted in Agricultural and Forest Entomology about plant diversity effects on tri-trophic interactions. Congrats Luis Abdala-Roberts!
July 2015. New paper accepted in American Journal of Botany about the specificity of induced defenses, growth, and reproduction in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus, Fabaceae) in response to multi-species herbivory
May 2015. New paper accepted in Journal of Ecology about the effects of climate on reproductive investment in a masting species: assessment of climatic predictors and underlying mechanisms.
May 2015. New paper accepted in Ecological Entomology about the mechanisms explaining plant species variation in bottom-up effects across three trophic levels.
April 2015. Leaving Neuchâtel. Last BBQ at our place!
March 2015. Kailen visited Neuchâtel to give a seminar.
December 2014. Mooney lab in Puerto Escondido!
December 2014. New paper accepted in Oikos about the influences of climatic drivers, herbivore identity, and natural enemies on latitudinal variation in herbivory. First manuscript from our collaborative UC-Mexus/CONACUC-MEXUS project!
November 2014. Luis Abdala-Roberts successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled "Ecological and evolutionary consequences of plant mediation of multi-trophic interactions" (UC-Irvine). Congratulations Dr. Abdala-Roberts!
November 2014. I just arrived to Puerto Escondido (Oaxaca, México). Several experiments with Phaseolus lunatus during the next three months.
November 2014. New paper accepted in Tree Physiology reporting how anatomical defenses in pine trees are costly and determined by nutrient availability and genetic growth-defense constraints
October 2014. New paper accepted in Journal of Biogeography about the phylogenetic and biogeographical patterns in the allocation to chemical defence and defensive strategies in Palearctic and Nearctic pine trees
August 2014. Presenting early results of our UC-Mexus project in the 15th Symposium on Insect-Plant Interactions at Neuchâtel (Switzerland). Great talks and poster presentations.
July 2014. I got a "Ramon y Cajal" position. I will be starting my lab at Forestry department at Biological Mission of Galicia (MBG-CSIC) next spring. Going back home!
July 2014. New paper accepted in PLoS ONE about the effects of plant genotypic and species diversity on anti-herbivore defences in mahogany.
April 2014. New paper accepted in Biotropica about how light availability influences growth-defense trade-offs in big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla King). Congrats Luis!
March 2014. First visit to my new work place (Neuchâtel, Switzerland). Some scientific meetings, a tour guide around the city and BBQ.
January 2014. New paper accepted in Journal of Ecology about the masting behaviour and predator satiation hypothesis in ponderosa pine. Masting rules!
January 2014. New paper accepted in Ecology Letters about how trade-offs between constitutive and induced defences drive geographical and climate clines in pine chemical defences. Our picture (Brachyderes lusitanicus) has been chosen as journal cover in Ecology Letters, awesome!
December 2013. Mooney and Rasmann labs saying goodbye. I will really miss these guys (and UCI!).
December 2013. Last week in Southern California. Paella, champagne and a lot of great moments. Thanks Mooney-Thomas family!
November 2013. New paper accepted in Ecology about the masting behaviour and pollination efficiency hypothesis in ponderosa pine.
November 2013. Celebrating Thanksgiving with Kailen and Kathy in Southern California
November 2013. Second visit to Luis Abdala-Roberts and Víctor Parra-Tabla in Merida (Mexico). Most of lab and field work with Ruellia is done
August 2013. Great time sampling Ruellia and mahogany in Mexico and Belize. Many thanks to Luis for hosting me!!!
July 2013. Kailen, Luis, Victor and me received two UC-Mexus grants. Nice work in Yucatan is coming soon!
June 2013. The Mooney lab celebrates the end of the year party at Kailen's house. Awesome gift that I hope to give back in the Fall. Thanks Kailen!
June 2013. The Mooney lab celebrates the end of the year party at Kailen's house. Awesome gift that I hope to give back in the Fall. Thanks Kailen!
May 2013. Great weekend in the Mooney lab retreat at James Reserve. Scientific conversations, hicking and wine. http://www.jamesreserve.edu/
May 2013. New paper accepted in Phytochemistry about the pattern of defensive responses of two pine species against two chewing insects (the pine weevil and the pine processionary caterpillar).
February 2013. Great time in Gordon Research Conferences "Plant-Herbivore Interactions" at Ventura (CA, USA). http://www.grc.org/conferences.aspx?id=0000215
February 2013. New paper accepted in Biology Letters about how intra-specific plant diversity affects the abundance and interactions among the arthropods residing on those plants.