Department of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology

Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC

Ctra. de Sacramento s/n

La Cañada de San Urbano

04120 Almería, Spain


Tel.: 00 34 950 28 10 45

Fax: 00 34 950 27 71 00




The program BINMATNEST calculates the nestedness temperature of binary presence-absence matrices. You can download from this page both the program and some sort of User's Manual. The use of this program is completely free. Whenever used, it should be cited as

Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A. & Santamaría, L. 2006. A new algorithm to calculate the nestedness temperature of presence-absence matrices. Journal of Biogeography, 33: 924-935.


Research interests

At present, my research focuses on mutualistic plant-animal interactions. I find the dark side of these interactions particularly interesting: to what extend are floral traits shaped to keep parasites at bay? Do hummingbirds hover in front of flowers because this foraging technique maximises their net intake rate, or because plants with hanging flowers receive fewer visits from nectar robbers? Do hummingbird-pollinated flowers produce dilute nectar because it is more attractive to hummingbirds or because it makes it easier to get rid of bees? I believe that, to answer these questions, we must understand the foraging behaviour of flower visitors, and how this behaviour is affected by the set of resources simultaneously available and the set of competitors exploiting these resources.

With a broader perspective, the question that underlies most of my research is how conflicts between interacting individuals are resolved. I have addressed this question in a number of different contexts, such as parent-offspring conflict, brood parasitism, predation or sexual conflict. And I quite willingly jump into any new project that sounds fun.


Effect of predators on plant-pollinator interactions

Over the last couple of years we have been looking at the effect of predators on plant-pollinator interactions, using crab spiders (Thomisidae) and weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) as model predators. We use this system to answer questions at many different levels, from behavioural mechanisms (how do pollinators detect the presence of predators?) to ecological patterns (can predators alter the topology of pollination networks?)


The visual system of pollinators

Although the visual system of social bees, in particular honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus terrestris) have been studied in great detail, relatively little is known about the visual system of other insect pollinators. In this project, we plan to compare how different groups of pollinators perceive and classify colours.  


Previous positions and studies

Ramón y Cajal Fellow, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, 2003-2005.

Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study Berlin), 2002-2003.

Career break (yonder the seas… and below), 2001-2002.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Plant-Animal Interactions, NIOO-CL (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Centre for Limnology), 1999-2001.

Marie Curie Fellow, University of Groningen, 1997-1999.

VATAT Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tel Aviv, 1995-1997.

DPhil, University of Oxford, 1991-1995.

DEA in Neurosciences, Université Claude Bernard (Lyon), 1990-1991.

DEA in Theoretical Physics, École Normale Supérieure de Paris, 1988-1990.



Most articles are available in pdf format upon request.

Llandres, A.L., Gonzálvez, F.G. & Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2013. Social but not solitary bees reject dangerous flowers where a conspecific has recently been attacked. Animal Behaviour, 85: 97-102.

Amo, L., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Barbosa, A. 2013. Olfactory detection of dimethyl sulphide in a krill-eating Antarctic penguin. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 474: 277-285.

Gonzálvez, F.G., Santamaría, L., Corlett, R.T. & Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2013. Flowers attract weaver ants which deter less effective pollinators. Journal of Ecology, 101: 78-85.

Corcobado, G., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Moya-Laraño, J. & Avilés, L. 2012. Sociality level correlates with dispersal ability in spiders. Functional Ecology, 26: 794-803.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2012. Possible top-down control of solitary bee populations by ambush predators. Behavioral Ecology, 23: 559-565.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Bosch, J. 2012. Effects of body size and sociality on the anti-predator behaviour of foraging bees. Oikos, 121: 1473-1482.

Llandres, A.L., de Mas, E. & Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2012. Response of pollinators to the trade-off between resource acquisition and predator avoidance. Oikos, 121: 687-696.

Sánchez-Lafuente, A.M.; Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Parra, R. 2011. Interaction frequency and per-interaction effects as predictors of total effects in plant-pollinator mutualisms: a case study with  the self-incompatible herb Linaria lilacina. Oecologia, 168: 153-165.

Llandres, A.L. & Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2011. Spider movement, UV reflectance and size, but not spider crypsis, affect the response of honeybees to Australian crab spiders. PLoS One 6: e17136. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone0017136.

Llandres, A.L., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., & Dirzo, R. 2010. Plant stages with biotic, indirect defences are more palatable and suffer less herbivory than their undefended counterparts. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 101: 536-543.

Corcobado, G., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., de Mas, E. & Moya-laraño, J. 2010. Introducing the refined gravity hypothesis of extreme sexual size dimorphism. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 10: 236. DOI 10.1186/1471-2148-10-236.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Corcobado, G. & Moya-Laraño, J. 2010. Silk elasticity as a pontential constraint on spider body size. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 266: 430-435. DOI 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.06.031

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., & Santamaría, L. 2010. How foraging behaviour and resource partitioning can drive the evolution of flowers and the structure of pollination networks. Open Ecology Journal, 3: 1-11.

Martínez, A., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Barbosa, A. 2009. Can bird carotenoids play an antioxidant role oxidizing other substances? Ardeola, 56: 287-294.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., & Llandres, A. L. 2008. Resource competition triggers the co-evolution of long tongues and deep corolla tubes. PLoS ONE, 3: e2992. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002992

Rabaneda-Bueno, R., Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A., Aguado-de-la-Paz, S., Fernández-Montraveta, C., de Mas, E., Wise, D. H. & Moya-Laraño, J. 2008. Sexual cannibalism: high incidence in a natural population with benefits to females. PLoS One, 3: e3484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003484.

Martinez, A., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Barbosa, A. & Costas, M. 2008. Donator acceptor map for carotenoids, melatonin and vitamins. The Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 112: 9037-9042.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Santamaría, L. 2007. Resource competition, character displacement, and the evolution of deep corolla tubes. American Naturalist 170: 455-464.

Moreno, J., Merino, S., Lobato, E., Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A. & Vásquez, R. A. 2007. Sexual dimorphism and parental roles in the thorn-tailed rayadito (Furnariidae). Condor 109: 312-320.

Santamaría, L. & Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2007. Simple linkage rules explain the topology of plant-pollinator networks. PLoS Biology, 5: e31; doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050031

Rodríguez-Gironés. M.A. & Santamaría, L. 2006. Models of optimal foraging and resource partitioning: deep corollas for long tongues. Behavioral Ecology, 17: 905-910.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2006. Resource partitioning among flower visitors: extensions of Possingham’s model. Evolutionary Ecology Research, 8: 765-783.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Santamaría, L. 2006. A new algorithm to calculate the nestedness temperature of presence-absence matrices. Journal of Biogeography, 33: 924-935.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Santamaría, L. 2005. Resource partitioning among flower visitors and the evolution of nectar concealment in multi-species communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 272: 187-192.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. & Santamaría, L. 2004. Why are so many bird flowers red? PLoS Biology, 2: e350.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Sandsten, H. and Santamaría, L. 2003. Asymmetric competition and the evolution of propagule size. Journal of Ecology, 91: 554-562.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Vásquez, R.A. 2002. Evolutionary stability of vigilance coordination among social foragers. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 269: 1803-1810.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Zúñiga, J.M. and Redondo, T. 2002. Experience and relative size modify the begging strategies of nestlings. Behavioral Ecology, 13: 782-785.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2002. Predicting body temperature of endotherms during shuttling. Journal of Thermal Biology, 27: 393-403.

Santamaría, L. and Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 2002. Hiding from swans: optimal burial depth of sago pondweed tubers foraged by Bewick's swans. Journal of Ecology, 90: 303-315.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Vásquez, R.A. 2002. Selección dependiente de la frecuencia. In: M. Soler (Ed.) Evolución. La base de loa biología, pp. 283-292 (Proyecto Sur de Ediciones, Granada).

Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A., Enquist, M. and Lachmann, M. 200. Role of begging and sibling competition in foraging strategies of nestlings. Animal Behaviour, 61: 733-745.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A. and Enquist, M. 2001. The evolution of female sexuality. Animal Behaviour, 61: 695-704.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M. A. and Kacelnik, A. 2001. Relative importance of perceptual and mnemonic variance in human temporal bisection. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, A: Human Experimental Psychology, 54A: 527-546.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Zúñiga, J.M and Redondo, T. 2001. Effects of begging on growth rates of nestling chicks. Behavioral Ecology, 12: 269-274.

Kedar, H., Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Yedvab, S., Lotem, A. and Winkler, D.W. 2000. Learning modifies offspring signalling of need to their parents. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 267: 1723 – 1727.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1999. Sibling competition stabilizes signalling resolution models of parent-offspring conflict. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 266: 2399-2402.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Lotem, A. 1999. How to detect a cuckoo egg: a Signal-Detection Theory model for recognition and learning. American Naturalist, 153: 633-648.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., and Kacelnik, A. 1999. Behavioral adjustment to modifications in the temporal parameters of the environment. Behavioural Processes, 45: 173-191.

Payne, R. J. H. and Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1998. The origins of parent-offspring signalling. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 195: 273-279.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Lotem, A. 1998. Acceptance by the splendid fairy-wren of parasitism by Horsfield's bronze-cuckoo: re-examination of Brooker and Brooker's equilibrium model. Behavioral Ecology, 9: 419-420.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Enquist, M. and Cotton, P. A. 1998. Instability of signaling resolution models of parent-offspring conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 95: 4453-4457.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Kacelnik, A. 1998. Response latencies in temporal bisection: Implications for timing models. In: V. De Keyser, G. d’Ydewalle and A. Vandierendonck (Eds.) Time and the Dynamic Control of Behavior, pp. 51-70 (Hogrefe & Huber, Seattle).

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. and Vásquez, R. A. 1997. Density-dependent patch exploitation and acquisition of environmental information. Theoretical Population Biology 52: 32-42.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Cotton, P. A. and Kacelnik, A. 1996. The evolution of begging: signaling and sibling competition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 93: 14637-14641.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1996. Siblicide: the evolutionary blackmail. American Naturalist 148: 101-122.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A., Drummond, H. and Kacelnik, A. 1996. Effect of internal state on social status in blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii). Behavioral Ecology 7: 82-88.

Krakauer, D. and Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1995. Searching and learning in a random environment. Journal of Theoretical Biology 177: 417-429.

Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1994. Estrategias Evolutivamente Estables: El juego de la eficacia biológica. In: J. Carranza (Ed.) Etología: Introducción a la Ciencia del Comportamiento, pp. 181-204 (Publ. Univ. Extremadura, Cáceres).

Gordon, M.B., Peretto, P. and Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1992. Learning in feed-forward neural networks by improving the performance. Physica A. 198:402-410.

Peretto, P., Gordon, M.B. and Rodríguez-Gironés, M.A. 1992. A brief account of statistical theories of Learning and Generalization in neural networks. In: Goles, E. & Martínez, S. (Eds.) Statistical physics, automata networks and dynamical systems. (Kluwer, London)




Ctra. de Sacramento s/n, La Cañada de San Urbano, 04120, Almería (Spain)

Tel: (+34) 950281045 Fax: (+34) 950277100 ISN: 0*1592 sip: Skype: voip.eeza


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