Over seven years after defending my PhD, I have established myself as an independent researcher. I am mainly focused in the study of biodiversity and diversification and evolution of flowering plants at different evolutionary scales. My aims are to quantity the biodiversity (How many species are there? How are those species delimited and related?) and to disentangle the mechanisms that generate and maintain such biodiversity. I have worked with several lineages from different flowering plant families but I have mainly used as study-group the family Cyperaceae and especially the genus Carex. Why Carex? With more than 2,000 species, Carex is one of the most species-rich genera of angiosperms and the most diverse in the northern temperate zone. These facts suggest Carex as a model group for studying biodiversity in temperate zones.
To overcome the stated goals we have created the Global Carex Group. This international collaborative group aims to produce a global phylogeny and systematic revision of Carex and disentangle the patterns of evolution and diversification in this genus. Through collaborations among researchers on all continents where Carex may be found, we are building a global phylogenetic framework using DNA sequence data as a foundation for a global reclassification and studying evolution and patterns of biodiversity. We have accomplished several studies (some of them leaded by me) that have disentangled exiting Carex’s biodiversity patterns and shed light on important mechanisms and processes that generate and maintain such remarkable biodiversity.
My interests in plant biodiversity emerged early from my education. I obtained my degree in Environmental Sciences at University Pablo de Olavide (2000-2005, Seville, Spain) and my MSc in Plant Biology at University of Seville (2005-2007, Seville, Spain). I completed my PhD entitled “Evolutionay pattens in Carex sect. Spirostachyae (Cyperaceae): cytogenetic, systematic and evolutionary approach” in Plant Systematics and Evolution at University Pablo de Olavide (Dec 2009, Seville, Spain). I was a FPU fellow (Spanish program) during my PhD student period (2006 - 2009).
I have finished a postdoctoral Fulbright fellowship at The Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL, USA; September-2010 to September-2012). During this postdoc time I have focused on macroevolutionary patterns of angiosperm evolution, using sedges al model group. I have also finished the outgoing period of a postdoctoral Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship at Field Museum of Natural History (October-2012 to present, Chicago, IL, USA) and the return period of my postdoctoral Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship at Doñana Biological Station CSIC (April-2014 to March-2015, Seville, Spain). During this postdoc time I have focused on microevolutionary patterns of angiosperm evolution, using again sedges al model group. From April 2015 I have enjoyed a postdoctoral research position (Postdoctoral Formation MINECO 2013) at University of Seville. During this postdoc time I have been focused on new research lines as evolution reproductive strategies in angiosperms and community phylogenetics in high mountain grasslands.