H Index of Web of Science 33
H Index Google 40
I started my career studying amphibian behavior and acoustic communication. My efforts focused on the quantification of temporal and spectral features of mating calls of hundreds of species to establish interspecific comparisons, infer phylogenetic links and sort out taxonomic matters. Later I developed deeper studies about habitat use and propagation of sound in an ecological framework mainly focusing on sexual selection. I was interested in the quantification of the intensity of sexual-selection mechanisms, with the consolidation of an archaeobatrachian as a model organism being my most valuable contribution. Subsequently, my sexual-selection research incorporated evolutionary factors and I included neurophysiology techniques.
Thereafter, my research focused on the causes of global amphibian declines, including paliative methods and control of emerging threats. My current research is set to develop programs for monitoring and reintroducing amphibians in protected areas, and I collaborate with and advise environmental managers on conservation actions. I am particularly interested in the second and third main drivers of global amphibian declines, namely introduced species and emerging diseases. The effects of introduced fish on native amphibians is well known in lentil water bodies, and I am particularly interested in the interactions of amphibians with introduced salmonids in montane areas, including behavior experiments about defensive mechanisms and the analysis of eradication techniques.
My focus on emerging amphibian diseases originated in our finding of the first record of chytridiomycosis in Europe. After almost two decades of intensive monitoring, we are starting to understand disease dynamics in the affected populations. Recently this has allowed us to study some indirect effects of the disease such as changes in distribution and abundance of species due to asymmetric competition. Furthermore we have pioneered the analysis of the role of global warming, and small-scale environmental conditions, in triggering amphibian diseases in temperate areas. In many areas of Spain we have undertaken comprehensive monitoring of disease impacts and multiple drivers. In Mallorca we have determined the path of pathogen access to water bodies and amphibian species (mostly unknown elsewhere), while in close collaboration with environmental managers we have completed the first successful attempt to eradicate the pathogen from the natural environment, stirring the interest of the international scientific community (www.nature.com/news/2010/100609/full/465680a.html). Finally, with the goal of recovering amphibian populations affected by chytridiomycosis and introduced species, I coordinate several programs of captive breeding and reintroduction in liaison with local stakeholders. These programs also include the treatment of infected animals through novel therapies (e.g., bio-augmentation using symbiotic bacteria) and the release of hundreds of animals back to the environment.
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