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Lorenzo Pérez Rodríguez

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Lorenzo Pérez Rodríguez

Postdoctoral researcher (IREC)

Research Themes

My research can be framed in the interface between behavioural ecology and ecophysiology. I am particularly interested in the physiological mechanisms mediating individual trade-offs and processes in an evolutionary context. In other words, my research is aimed at explaining the evolutionary processes (ultimate causes) that shape individual phenotypes and behaviours by focusing on the key mechanisms (proximate causes) that underlie these traits. In this context, I am particularly interested in the physiological pathways regulating the honesty of social signals.

Taking birds as models, my work is focused in the study of coloured traits as a signals of individual quality, paying special attention to carotenoid-based traits (what determines their expression? what is their relationship with the immune and antioxidant system? do carotenoid pigments play a significant role as antioxidants?). More recently, I have started exploring the informative content of complex visual patterns. Also, in the framework of individual trade-offs, my research is focused in the role of oxidative stress in life history traits (what factors –both internal and external- increase oxidative stress? How does oxidative stress impact individual fitness?), studying these effects from early development to adulthood.

 

Curriculum Vitae

I received my first degree in Biology in the University of Córdoba, where I was awarded with the Special Price for the Best Academic Qualifications (year 2002). In 2003 I received a PhD grant under the supervision of Javier Viñuela at the Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), a research institute belonging to the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM). In 2007 I finished my PhD, entitled “Honest signalling in the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa): body condition, testosterone and carotenoids”, that was awarded with the Special Price for the Best PhD in Experimental and Health Sciences in the UCLM. In that PhD we studied the physiological mechanisms –mostly endocrine and nutritional- determining the expression of carotenoid-based traits in this species. From 2007 to 2009 I enjoyed a postdoctoral contract (supervised by Francois Mougeot and Stephen Redpath) in the University of Aberdeen (UK) where I explored the interactive effects of parasites and testosterone on sexual ornamentation in the red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus), deeping into the role of oxidative stress as a mediator of these relationships. From 2009 on I joined the research group of Diego Gil in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), to study the role of steroid hormones and oxidative stress on several aspects of the physiology and behaviour of spotless starlings (Sturnus unicolor). After a 5-months stay in the Behavioral Ecology Group of CIBIO (Vairao, Portugal), in december 2013 I joined the Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC; Seville, Spain) with a "Severo Ochoa" postdoctoral contract.