Group Members

Fernando AMOR GONZALEZ (Ph-D) is a freelance researcher who collaborates with the EBD. His research interest concerns the ecology and evolution of Cataglyphis desert ants. His researches encompass adaptation to heat and dryness, social evolution, and phylogeography.




Paloma ALVAREZ BLANCO (Ph-D) is interested in biodiversity conservation. Currently, she is doing her PhD on the impacts of invasive species on native communities with special focus on the predator-prey relationships. Her study model is the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile), one of the worst invaders worldwide.





Elena ANGULO AGUADO (Ph-D) is Associate Professor of Research at the Doñana Biological Station (CSIC) in Sevilla, Spain. Her main current line of research focuses on biological invasions and aims at understanding the impacts of invaders in natural communities and ecosystems. Her main model system is the Argentine ant invasion in the Western Mediterranean Basin.


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Raphaël BOULAY (Ph-D) (1973 - 2018) was a professor of Ecology at the University of TOURS, France and group leader at the Institute of Insect Biology. His main current researches concerned the evolution of social behavior, the phenotypic and molecular adaptations of ants to their abiotic environment and consequences of urbanization on bees.






Sara CASTRO COBO (Ph-D) is interested in insect conservation. She is doing her Ph-D at the Doñana Biological Station on the success of invasion as a function of the invasibility of native communities through three mechanisms: biotic resistance, enemy release and biotic facilitation. Her model species are the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) and the Ibiza wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis).





Ana CARVAJAL MALDONADO is technician in the ant group of Seville since 2004. She is doing both laboratory and field experiments and also supervises the use of climatic chambers at the EBD.


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Xim CERDA (Ph-D) is Associate Professor of Research and group leader at the Doñana Biological Station a research institute of the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas). He is a community and evolutionary ecologist working with ants as model system. His main current research interest is the evolution of caste system in the thermophilous Cataglyphis desert ants and  the ecological advantage of thermophyly.


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Séverine DEVERS is technician at the IRBI. She is taking care of behavioral, physiological and molecular experiments on ants.

Oscar GONZALEZ JARRI  is Agricultural Technical Engineer. He is working at the EBD as an expert in ornithology and ringing. Since 2012 he is involved in the monitoring of the effects of the Argentine ant on passerine birds.


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Mubarak HASSABALLA ALI is doing his Ph-D on the impact of beekeeping practices on native bees of Dinder Natonal Park in Sudan. He is also teaching at the University of Gezira



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Patrocinio ORTEGA NUÑEZ is a biologist concerned by the behavioral evolution, phylogeography and taxonomy of social insects, especially ants. She is involved in studies on Spanish desert-ants of the genus Cataglyphis.

Daniel SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA is interested in ant taxonomy, ecology and conservation. He studies a master’s degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at Pablo de Olavide University, Seville, and he is doing his MSc thesis at the Doñana Biological Station. His MSc thesis aims at studying the taxonomic and functional diversity of ants in different ecosystems of Doñana, mainly based on biotics (competition) and abitotics (temperature) factors.


José Manuel VIDAL CORDERO is interested in insect conservation.  His PhD project aims at analyzing the consequences of fire on three groups of arthropods (ants, bees and spiders) and how species, communities and ecosystems respond to environmental changes caused by fire. He is studying 1) patterns of abundance, species richness and diversity of ants, beetles and spiders, 2) functional diversity of ants, bees and spiders and 3) the dominance relationships in the communities of ants. more info:


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Irene VILLALTA ALONSO  (Ph-D) is a researcher employed at the Doñana Biological Station and working on ant Phylogeny and Adaptive genomics.  She is currently working on the phylogeography of Cataglyphis ants and on the adaptive genomics of Aphaenogaster ants to heat and cold along an altitudinal gradient.


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Former Group Members

Cristela SANCHEZ (Ph-D)



Léa RAMI Former Master student



Olivier BLIGHT (Ph-D).


Jessica PEARCE (Ph-D).


Juan Antonio GALARZA (Ph-D).


Stephane CAUT (Ph-D).


Michael JOWERS (Ph-D).


Camille RUEL (Ph-D).


Angel BARROSO (Ph-D).


Louise Van OUDENHOVE (Ph-D).


Antonio José MANZANEDA AVILA (Ph-D).


José Maria FEDRIANI (Ph-D).



Main Collaborators