Jacob
González-Solís

Full Professor, doctor of biological sience

     

  



I am a researcher in the fields of evolutionary, population and environmental biology. My research aims to understand the key processes driving the spatial and temporal dynamics of animal populations. I mainly focus on movement ecology, symbiotic interactions and marine environmental chemistry, using seabirds as the main study model. I am concerned with the loss of biodiversity and therefore all my research intends to contribute to the field of conservation biology. My research includes observational and experimental field studies integrating multidisciplinary approaches and tools, such as molecular, stable isotope, physiological, microbiological and contamination analyses. I am leading a team of two posdocts, 9 PhD students and a number of MSc and undergrad students. We instrument animals with different sort of devices, such as GPSs, GLSs, wet-dry sensors and accelerometers, to track their foraging and migratory movements and behaviour. Our tracking data are contributing to several processes of identification and assessment of important bird areas at sea (mIBAs), marine protected areas and the study of seabird-fishery interactions in the Atlantic and Mediterranean regions. Our activities also include building capacity in developing countries by training students, technicians and field assistants as well as increasing public awareness on anthropogenic threats to seabirds and to the marine environment. Our main research sites are in the Macaronesic archipelagos, particularly Cape Verde and Canary Islands, as well as in some Antarctic and subantarctic localities. Long-term studies in ecological research are essential to document key changes in the environment and therefore we monitored some of these study sites for >10 years now. We hold a large network of international research collaborations in France, UK, Germany, Portugal, Iceland, Cape Verde, Senegal, South Africa and Chile. We also collaborate with a number of NGOs in Spain and Cape Verde.

        

 Teaching.

  • Marine
    Sciences
    Degree

    Anthropogenic Impacts on the Marine Environment

    [6 ECTS]     Teaching Plan

  • Grans Vertebrats Marins

    [3 ECTS]     Teaching Plan

  • Master in
    Biodiversity

    Mecanismos Evolutivos del Comportamiento y Montaje de Comunidades

    [6 ECTS]     Teaching Plan

  • Master in
    Oceanography
    and Marine
    Env. Manag.

    Biodiversidad de Aves Marinas

    [3 ECTS]     Teaching Plan

 Topics.

Movement Ecology

Movement is a fundamental trait in animal life shaped by an infinity of ecological and evolutionary processes.

Movement is a fundamental trait in animal life shaped by an infinity of ecological and evolutionary processes. It is a key trait for basic activities such as foraging for food, escaping predators, finding a partner or migrating to better places. Animal movement has strong consequences on all levels of organization, from individual fitness to population dynamics and community and ecosystem structure as well as on conservation and human health. It is therefore essential to improve our knowledge on the movement of animals and the factors that influence them. Movement is linked to habitat features both, physical and biological, and therefore the study of the interactions between these traits and animal movement will help us understanding the main factors driving it. In this context, we focus on (1) improving segmentation methods to understand behavioural modes based on the combination of information obtained from different tracking and sensing devices; (2) understanding the degree of individual specialization in several seabird species and what are the main factors driving it as well as understanding the ecological and conservation consequences; (3) understanding migratory connectivity and the importance of seasonal interactions and carry-over effects on different fitness components and ultimately population dynamics; (4) understanding the role of plasticity and microevolution on the adaptive potential of the migratory behaviour and the genetic/learning basis of animal movement.

Conservation Biology

A major challenge in our world is the loss of biodiversity, and marine ecosystems and seabirds do not escape this tendency.

A major challenge in our world is the loss of biodiversity, and marine ecosystems and seabirds do not escape this tendency. In fact, over the last decades, seabird conservation status has worsened more than any other group of birds. The huge mobility of seabirds makes them particularly vulnerable, since they can travel for even thousands of kilometres and be exposed to threats in remote areas we even do not know. At sea, the most important threat are different type of fisheries, in particular seabird bycatch in longlining. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand seabird movements and the threats they are suffering. In this context, we focus on:

(1) understanding the influence of fisheries on seabirds movements and main factors driving their interactions
(2) finding method to mitigate seabird by-catch in longliners that make this fishery sustainable and environmentally friendly
(3) contributing to the identification and definition of marine protected areas in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, by providing new tracking data on several seabird species
(4) evaluating the spatial and temporal consistency in the foraging and wintering areas at individual and population levels.

Symbiotic Interactions

The close and persistent association between two or more phylogenetically distant organisms is extraordinarily interesting from an evolutionary perspective.

Marine Environmental Chemistry

We live in a world where the chemical footprints of human activities reach the most remote and pristine places on the planet.

 Projects.

 People.

 Featured Publications.