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  • 17/03/23 New research paper published!

    Our IP Sara Varela participated in a research paper just published and led by Maria Losada about mammal and tree diversity through different types of soil organic matter in the northern Amazon.

    Find out more about this research:

    • Losada, M., Cortizas, A. M. M., Silvius, K. M., Varela, S., Raab, T. K., Fragoso, J. M., & Sobral, M. (2023). Mammal and tree diversity accumulate different types of soil organic matter in the northern Amazon. Science. 26 (3): 106088. doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2023.106088

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  • 27/02/23 New paper out!

    Our PI Sara Varela participated in the new research work: Better incentives are needed to reward academic software development published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.

    Software innovation is critical for integrating, synthesizing and modelling big data in ecology and evolution, and increasingly underlies analyses in high-profile research. But we need to give better incentives to reward academic software development, including maintenance!

    • Merow, C., Boyle, B., Enquist, B. J., Feng, X., Kass, J. M., Maitner, B. S., McGill, B., Owens, H., Park, D.S., Paz, A., Pinilla-Buitrago, G.E., Urban, M.C., Varela, S.  & Wilson, A. M. 2023. Better incentives are needed to reward academic software development. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 1-2. doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023-02008-w

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  • 07/12/22 New paper published!

    Our team member Alessandro Chiarenza is a co-author of the paper entitled Shifts in food webs and niche stability shaped survivorship and extinction at the end-Cretaceous published in Science Advances, you can now check our paper out now in our Research section.

    In this research authors used 1600 fossil occurrences of non-marine vertebrates from North America to explore the trophic & niche dynamics across the K/Pg mass extinction in order to reconstruct food web dynamics & quantified ecological niche partitioning combining fossil data with paleoclimatic, land surface & paleogeographical envelopes, also analysing realized niche breadth.

    Shifts in food webs and niche stability shaped survivorship and extinction at the end-Cretaceous

    Discover more:

    García-Girón, J., Chiarenza, A. A., Alahuhta, J., DeMar Jr, D. G., Heino, J., Mannion, P. D., Williamson, T.E., Wilson Mantilla, G.P. & Brusatte, S. L. (2022). Shifts in food webs and niche stability shaped survivorship and extinction at the end-Cretaceous. Science Advances8(49), DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.add5040

  • 15/07/22 New paper published!

    Our team member Sara Gamboa lead a paper to test Vrba eco-evo hypothesis using data from butterflies.

    Discover more:

    Gamboa, S.Condamine, F. L.Cantalapiedra, J. L.Varela, S.Pelegrín, J. S.Menéndez, I.Blanco, F., & Hernández Fernández, M. (2022). A phylogenetic study to assess the link between biome specialization and diversification in swallowtail butterfliesGlobal Change Biology001– 13https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16344

  • 25/06/22 New paper is out!

    Our PI Sara Varela participate in a research to analyze if the thermal niche is linked to range size variations due to climatic oscillations, with cold-adapted species currently suffering a more striking range reduction compared to temperate species. The results from this work support the persistence of Afro-Palearctic migrations during the LGM due to the presence of climatically suitable wintering areas in Africa even during glacial maxima.


    Carrera, L., Pavia, M. & Varela, S. Birds adapted to cold conditions show greater changes in range size related to past climatic oscillations than temperate birds. Sci Rep 12, 10813 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-14972-7

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  • 27/04/2022 New lab visitors!

    We received the visit from the researcher Alex Milcu, who is the director of the CNRS Ecotron of Montpellier and a researcher at the CNRS, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (France).

    He is an ecosystem ecologist working on the consequences of biodiversity loss and climate change on the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems.

    In this talk, he presented the capabilities of advanced controlled environment facilities for ecosystem research (Ecotrons). ECOTRONS are of great interest because they have the capacity to simultaneously control environmental conditions while allowing for ecosystem-level measurements of carbon and water fluxes.

    We also received a visit from the researcher Mar Sobral, and we are sure that new ideas and projects will come out of these meetings.

  • 08/04/2021 We have a visitor!

    Postdoctoral researcher Violete Chiara Logo Researchgate, a member of the GEA group (University of Vigo’s Animal Ecology Group), visited our lab. She gave us a talk on “How do social spiders achieve synchronization during collective hunting?” based on her latest paper: A variable refractory period increases collective performance in noisy environmentsLogo Researchgate

  • 08/03/2022 A new paper is out!

    A new paper is out! Maraísa Resende Braga studied how birds from the family Tyrannidae might be impacted by the ongoing climate change.

    Results suggest that tropical and temperate species would suffer from different stressors. Neotropical austral migrant species would lose part of their breeding ranges, while Nearctic-Neotropical species would need to fly long distances to reach the same climatic conditions of their current breeding ranges.

    Resende Braga, M., Jorge, L.R., Jahn, A.E., Loyola, R. and Varela, S. 2022. Future climate change will impact the migration of New World migrant flycatchers (Tyrannidae). Ornithol. Res. 30, 63–74 10.1007/s43388-022-00081-6 


    Illustration by @CireniaSketches

  • 01/03/2022 New paper published in Historical Biology

    We are pleased to be part of the new paper published in Historical Biology, a work dedicated to the palaeontologist Jorge Morales.

    A macroevolutionary study published in Historical Biology and led by professor Manuel Hernández Fernández (UCM, IGEO) from the PMMV team who invited us to participate entitled “Macroevolution and climate changes: a global multi-family test supports the resource-use hypothesis in terrestrial mammals”

    The link for the paper is available in our Research section.

  • 27/02/2022 We had a guest at our lab!

    We had a guest visitor at our lab. Today Borja Jimenez Alfaro, from the Research Unit of Biodiversity (CSIC, Uni Oviedo, Asturias) talking about biodiversity up in the mountains.

    Visit of Borja Jimenez Alfaro Visit of Borja Jimenez Alfaro Visit of Borja Jimenez Alfaro

  • 17/01/2022 We have a visitor at MapasLab

    We are delighted to welcome Lucas Buffanat at the MapasLab, a Master’s student from l’École Normale Supérieure de Lyon who start a short stay with us. #WelcomeToMapasLab!

    MapasLab January 2022  Mapas Lab January 2022 with Lucas Buffanat

  • 22/12/2021 Our team member Lewis Jones published a new paper

    The press reports the new study published by our member Lewis Jones entitled: “Uneven spatial sampling distorts reconstructions of Phanerozoic seawater temperature“: Press release

    You can access the article here.

  • 02/12/2021 Marcello, come here! Hurry up...we have dinosaurs!

    Check this post about the research published by our team member Alessandro Chiarenza published on Nature Portfolio Ecology and Evolution Community website.

    You can also check the open-access paper in Scientific Reports here.

  • 23/11/2021 Alessandro Chiarenza participate in an online seminar

    Our team member Alessandro Chiarenza participate in a seminar talking about dinosaur macroevolution and also got the chance to talk about our lab!

    Alessandro seminar MAPAS Lab at Alessandro seminar

  • 22/11/2021 Sofia teaching at the UCM

    Our team member Sofía Galván has been teaching at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in the Master’s degree in Zoology, in the subject of Methods in Zoological Research with Professor Rafa Barrientos.

    Sofia teaching at the UCM

  • 25/10/2021 Sara Varela and Sofía Galván participate at the AEET meeting

    We are pleased to participate at the last Asociación Española de Ecología Terrestre (AEET) meeting, which was held in Plasencia (Cáceres) on-site!

    Our PI Sara Varela was one of the keynote speakers and she was in charge of the opening conference of the congress with a plenary session entitled: “What can we learn from the past? Combining paleoclimatology with fossil records to enhance our knowledge about life on Earth“.

    Moreover, our team member Sofía Galván presented a poster entitled “No bird database is perfect: citizen science and professional datasets contain different and complementary biodiversity information” which is available here.

    We are very happy to show our research results and to be able to participate one more year in the AEET conference.

  • 15/10/2021 Lewis A. Jones participated in organizing the International Fossil Coral and Reef Society Early Career Researcher Symposium

    Our team member Lewis A. Jones participated in organizing the International Fossil Coral and Reef Society Early Career Researcher Symposium. The meeting will be online and take place on October 15th.

    IFCRS Early Career Researcher Symposium

  • 09/07/2021 - September 2021 CPEG Berlin - Workshop Sara Varela

    Our PI Sara Varela will run one of the workshops at CPEGBerlin

    9th September – Workshop: Mapping past species distributions