I am a tenure-track scientist at University of Extremadura (UEx), currently working in the Biology Research Group and the recently created unit Ecology in the Anthropocene (CSIC-UEx). My research interests are centred on animal ecology, and more specifically include the following areas: ecophysiology, ecoparasitology, behavioural ecology, evolutionary ecology, and conservation biology.

My PhD work investigated the energetic costs of living in saline environments and the trade-offs between osmoregulation and immunity in shorebirds. In 2010, during PhD internship at the University of Groningen, I began to work with Theunis Piersma on the functional ecology of saltglands in shorebirds. Since then we have been working on the salt-water balance of shorebirds and many other exciting topics. After my PhD, I moved back to the Netherlands with a post-doctoral grant to become, officially, part of Team Piersma at NIOZ, where I resumed my work on salt tolerance — red knots of course!

After three more post-docs on physiological and comparative ecology at various international institutions (University of Hull, Universidad Austral de Chile, and University of Lisbon), I returned to UEx as a tenure-track fellow. Although much of my work has investigated the responses of birds to heat and salt stress, my current research also focuses on the migration and breeding ecology of (shore)birds, host-parasite interactions, and the traits promoting invasion success in vertebrates. My research is question-driven. I answer my questions using a combination of empirical and comparative approaches.

For an overview of and links to my publications and more details about my research, see my ResearchGate and Google Scholar.


Ring-reading in Banc d’Arguin (Mauritania). Photo: Marwa Kavelaars