Our objectives are framed within the scientific fields “systematics and evolutionary biology” and “ecology and biodiversity conservation”. We study the mechanisms which, as a result of ecological processes, promote evolutionary change at different levels (individual, population, species and communities). We try to understand the relationship between individual traits and the environment where they evolved and developed – environment that includes other organisms as an essential constituent. The adaptationist program, therefore, constitutes a central feature of the theoretical and methodological base of our research.
We also hope to contribute to understanding the proximate or physiological causes of phenotypic variation, and for this purpose we explore the effect of phenotypic traits on the fitness of organisms.
To understand current biodiversity patterns one first has to know the evolutionary history of species and their interactions. In this respect, our research sheds light on the mechanisms and evolutionary processes which, in the broad sense, are responsible for current biodiversity. Knowing them will help us to understand, and even to predict, the response of organisms to the environmental changes that are currently under way throughout the planet (global change). Our research therefore aims to be of direct use for society and to contribute to a more suitable approach to conservation strategies. We aim for a better integration of basic