Research Team

Prof. Juan Carlos Alonso, Director of the Project
Juan C. Alonso is Research Professor at the CSIC. His main research fields are behavioural ecology and conservation biology, and he has worked mostly with birds. He has participated in >45 research projects, in 40 of them as principal researcher. After obtaining a PhD degree at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in 1982, he worked at the CSIC as postdoctoral fellow and joined the research staff of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN) in 1986. He is author or co-author of >120 papers published in scientific journals, 10 books or monographs, >20 book chapters, and >60 contributions to international congresses or meetings. He has been supervisor of 10 doctoral and 3 postdoctoral students. As an internationally acknowledged expert on cranes and bustards, he has advised numerous Spanish and foreign official and private institutions involved in research and conservation of these species. He currently leads a research group on great bustards at the Evolutionary Ecology department of the MNCN. Using the bustard as a model species, he investigates the behavioural and ecological adaptations of a strong sexual selection, and human-induced conservation problems of steppe birds in farmland areas.

Dr. Carlos Palacín
Carlos Palacín works at the Department of Evolutionary Ecology of the MNCN since 1998, when he started his PhD on ‘Migratory behaviour of the great bustard in the Iberian Peninsula’. His research is centred on behavioural ecology and conservation biology. He is particularly interested in migration and spatial ecology (using life histories of radio-tagged individuals), population ecology (through long-term tracking), and the effects of human developments on threatened species. As a result of these research lines he was involved in the status evaluation and conservation plans of endangered farmland bird species in Spain. The ultimate objective of his research is to contribute to a more efficient conservation of threatened species.

Carlos Ponce
Carlos Ponce obtained his degree in Biology (specialization in Environment) at the Universidad Autónoma, Madrid. He is ornithologist and expert ringer, and has developed various projects on the Red-necked Nightjar, Citril Finch, Black-winged Kite, and other birds. He joined the team in December 2003 to study the effects of various human activities on great bustard populations, and more specifically, the mortality of steppe birds through collision with power lines.In 2006 he started his PhD thesis on ‘Efficiency of agri-environmental measures on steppe bird conservation’, which will be finished in 2012. During these years he has participated in all projects and initiatives developed by the team. He has also supervised various end-of-studies projects.

Carolina Bravo
Carolina Bravo obtained her degree in Biology at the Universidad Autónoma, Madrid. She joined the group to do her end of studies project on ‘Sex differences in the animal diet component of great bustards (Otis tarda L.) in Madrid’. Now she works at her doctoral thesis on ‘Sexual dimorphism and diet selection: a case study with the great bustard’. She also participates in various other research projects on the ecology and conservation of this species.

Aurora Torres
Aurora Torres obtained the graduate in Environmental Sciences and MSc in Ecology at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. She is a PhD-student funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education (FPU research and teaching Fellowship, 2009-2013). Her main research interests are related with the road ecology, environmental impact assessment, urban sprawl and population ecology. She is currently using an agro-steppe bird, the great bustard, to investigate changes in the spatial distribution and population viability following urban sprawl and landscape fragmentation in central Spain.

Iván Salgado
Iván Salgado graduated in Biology at the University of Alcalá de Henares, and obtained a Master degree in Biology at the Universidad Complutnese, Madrid. He joined the team in 2011 as a predoctoral student and currently works in his PhD thesis about sexual segregation in birds, with special emphasis on the great bustard.

Dr. José Manuel Álvarez
José Manuel Álvarez is PhD in Environmental Sciences (León University, 2010), with mention ‘Doctor Europeus’. His research has centered on land use changes in the Cantabrian mountains and their relationship with water quality in mountain streams. His thesis was about ‘Analysis and multiscalar modelling of the global change effects on the landscape dynamics in mountain areas. Applications to territory management’. Since early 2010 he joined the team at the MNCN as specialist in remote sensing techniques, GIS databases, and spatial and ecological modelling applied to territory dynamics and biogeography.

Dr. Javier Alonso
Javier Alonso is Lecturer in Zoology at the Zoology and Anthropology Department, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid. After obtaining his degree in Biology in 1976, he started working with Prof. F. Bernis on bird migration through Gibraltar. He obtained his PhD degree in 1980. His research has concentrated on cranes, bustards and storks as main study species, using his extensive experience on aerial location of radio-marked birds to investigate their spatial ecology, dispersal and migration in Spain, Germany, and France. After teaching Zoology for several years, since 1994 he devotes his teaching effort to Ethology.

Other researchers collaborating in th project:

Dra. Susana Suárez Seoane
Susana Suárez Seoane is Lecturer in Ecology at the University of León. Using terrestrial vertebrates as model species, she works on landscape ecology and species distribution modelling. After obtaining her degree in Biology at the University of León in 1992 she worked at the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in Rennes (France) and at the University of León, where she obtained her PhD degree in 1998. Later she was postdoctoral student at Striling University (1999-2001), researcher at the Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Ordenación del Territorio (INDUROT) of the Oviedo University for one year, teaching assistant at León University, and finally obtained her current position in 2007. Now she leads a group on spatial ecology at León University.

Team members in previous years:

Dr. Enrique Martín (1990-98), pre-doctoral fellow of the Ministry for Education and Science 1993-97.
Dr. Manuel Morales (1992-2000), pre-doctoral fellow of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 1994-98, now Lecturer in Ecology at the Departamento Inter-universitario de Ecología of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.
Dr. Carlos Martín (1995-2006), pre-doctoral fellow of the CSIC 1995, of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 1996-2000, contracted as post-doctoral researcher in our team 2001-2006. Now working at the Zoology and Anthropology Department, Faculty of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid.
Dr. Simon J. Lane (1997-1999), was postdoctoral fellow of the European Union (Marie Curie Training and Mobility of Researchers Program), to work on the project “Habitat and space requirements of endangered great bustard Otis tarda populations in agricultural areas of Spain” (project ERB FMBI CT96-1471).
Dra. Beatriz Martín (1999-2006), COIE fellow UCM-CSIC 1999-00, pre-doctoral fellow at the MNCN 2001-2002, pre-doctoral fellow of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 2002-2006. Now working at the Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC.
Dr. Luis M. Bautista (2004-2008), is now researcher at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC.
Alfredo García (2005-2006), did his master project with us, and is now finishing his PhD thesis at the Biodiversity and Conservation Department, Rey Juan Carlos University, in Madrid.
Dr. Rafael Barrientos (2010), works now at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.
Dra. Marina Magaña (1998-2011), pre-doctoral fellow of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC.  She finished her PhD thesis on ‘The breeding behaviour of the Great Bustard’ (2007). Now working at the Faculty of Education, Complutense University, Madrid.

Finally, since 1997 various foreign researchers have collaborated with us in some of our projects:
Dr. Patirck Osborne, University of Stirling, UK; Prof. Christian Pitra, Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung, Berlin, Germany; Dr. Zine Arhzaf, SEEPOM, and Prof. Mohammed Dakki, Institute Scientifique de Rabat, Morocco.

Brief history of the team:
The team directed by Dr Juan C. Alonso has investigated several aspects of the socioecology of gregarious birds. They started studying the relationships between food availability and foraging behaviour in flocking birds, and now work on more complicated social relationships including parental care, phenotype-limited ideal free distribution systems, individual life histories, interindividual relationships within breeding groups, and metapopulation dynamics. The project referred to in this website is currently the main research line of the team: the breeding ecology, dispersal, population dynamics, and conservation biology of great bustards.
Juan C. Alonso and Javier A. Alonso have collaborated in several projects since 1979, and published numerous papers on the ecology and behaviour of various bird species, including cranes, storks and bustards.
Starting in the 90s, several predoctoral fellows joined the team: Enrique Martín (1990-98), pre-doctoral fellow of the Ministry for Education and Science 1993-97; Manuel Morales (1992-2000), pre-doctoral fellow of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 1994-98; Marina Magaña (since 1998) predoctoral fellow of CSIC/CAM/MNCN until August 2002, and Carlos Palacín, FPI predoctoral fellow until April 2001; both of them working later for the project CSIC-HENARSA; Carlos Martín (1995-2006), first as pre-doctoral fellow of the CSIC 1995, later of the Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 1996-2000, and finally contracted as post-doctoral researcher in our team 2001-2006; Beatriz Martín (1999-2006), first as student COIE UCM-CSIC 1999-00, later with a contract MNCN 2001-2002, and as predoctoral fellow Comunidad de Madrid – CSIC 2002-2006; Carlos Ponce (since 2003); Carolina Bravo (since 2006); Aurora Torres (since 2009); Iván Salgado (since 2011) (more details in section Doctoral Theses).

List of other students that have participated in the project:
Elena Izquierdo (becaria en prácticas UCM-CSIC, 1997-98)
Fernando Arévalo Ramón (becario en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2000-01)
Sonia Sánchez Rivilla (becaria en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2000-01)
Pablo Vergara (becario en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2001-02)
Iván de la Hera (becario en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2002-03)
Rubén Manzanedo (becario en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2003-04)
Pablo Sastre (contrato postdoctoral, 2003-2005)
Imelda Fernández (beca predoctoral con cargo a proyecto, 2003-2004)
Alicia de la Hoz (becaria en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2005-05)
Laura Martínez (becaria en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2005)
Desiree Rivera García (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2006-07)
Elena Blaya Calderón (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2006-07)
Maria Barreiro Sánchez (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2006-07)
Gema Hernán Martínez (becaria en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Laura Hernández Zamorano (becaria en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Alberto Lucas García (becario en prácticas C.O.I.E. UCM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Cristina Tello del Hierro (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Inés Jordana Trisan (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Víctor Blanco González (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Miriam Borrel Roda (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Víctor A. Rodríguez Díaz (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2006-07)
Javier Luna (Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2007)
Alberto Remacha (Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2007)
David García de León Hernández (becario de la Junta de Ampliación de Estudios para la Introducción a la Investigación, UAM, 2008; proyecto fin de carrera 2008-09)
Isabel Noguerón Caballero (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC 2008-09)
Ana Isabel Mora Urda (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC 2008-09)
Miriam de Simon Nihant (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC 2008-09)
Alfredo Alcalde Guibert (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC 2008-09)
Paloma Mas Peinado (Plan de Practicum UAM-CSIC 2008-09)
Noelia Panizo Delgado (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2008-09)
Dácil Unzué Belmonte (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2008-09)
María Gabriela Regodón Domínguez (estudiante COIE UCM, 2007-08)
Gonzalo Argandoña (proyecto fin de carrera UAM, 2008)
Blanca Casares Guillén (Practicum UAM, 2009)
Reyes Sansegundo Romero (estudiante COIE UCM, 2007-08, trabajo find e máster UCM, 2009)
Patricia Toledo Jiménez (Practicum UAM, 2009-10)
Sara Jiménez Martínez (Practicum UAM, 2009)
Javier Morente López (Practicum UAM-CSIC, 2009-10)
Borja Garzón Casado (Prácticas Máster de Ecología UAM, 2010)
Irene Robleño Moreno (Prácticas Máster de Ecología UAM, 2010)

Comments are closed.