Presentation

Dr Juan Carlos Illera

I am a biologist interested in understanding how species proliferate and change over time. My work uses molecular tools and fieldwork approaches to investigate evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at both the individual and population level.

Much of this work has focused on island birds (using extinct and extant taxa) where I investigate the causes and consequences of adaptive (and non-adaptive) genetic variation in relation to understand the mechanisms driving avian radiations.

In addition, I am also interested to investigate the ecological and evolutionary role of pathogens in island systems because of the high susceptibility of native and endemic birds to introduced pathogens.

However, despite my passion are birds, I acknowledge that invertebrates are really nice models to tackle these questions too. Thus, I am also collaborating with other colleagues at UMIB where continental alpine grasshoppers are the focus of my attention.

I carry out my research mainly focused on the Macaronesian region (Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canary Islands and Cape Verde) and nearby continental areas both Iberian Peninsula and north Africa.

However, due to my stonechat dependency I am also expanding my research throughout Europe and Africa as well.