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Daniel Montesinos, Ph. D.

Researcher (IF), Center for Functional Ecology - University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal

Research field: Biological Sciences - Plant Sciences
Plant Evolutionary Ecology
Plant Conservation Ecology
Weed Invasions


Awards and Grants

  •  Sep 2012 
    Marie Curie Career Integration Grant

Biographical Information

I am broadly interested in the evolutionary ecology of plants. Resources available are limited and plants have to split them between distinct demanding functions, like reproduction and growth; and to respond to different selective pressures, like competition and environmental stress. The study of such functional and evolutionary trade-offs and their plasticity is the underlying thread of my research. Biological invasions are planetary experiments in which to study these trade-offs, and I am using them extensively in my current projects. During my career I've been working with a number of organisms:

-Congeneric annual Centaurea species (Centaurea solstitialis, C. calcitrapa and C. sulphurea) suggest that biogeographic comparisons of these species may provide quite novel insights into invasive ecology. All of these species are native to Europe and all of them have been introduced into North America. The first species is a highly noxious invasive species but not common in its native range. The second is common in Spain, but has not become invasive in the US after 200 years. The last species is not common in either range. We are finding interesting differences in traits among species and ranges that may help to understand invasions in general. Data indicates that reproductive barriers are arising between native and non-native ranges of some of these species, which suggests that reproductive isolation can occur at fastest rates than it was previously thought, and might have broad biogeographic implications for the understanding of allopatry and speciation processes.

-Two congeneric Acacia species (Acacia dealbata and A. longifolia). Both species are native from Australia and introduced in Portugal. I am studying reproductive biology and dispersal systems of both species to understand how do they interact with (and distrupt) the Portuguese native networks of pollinators and dispersers.

-The masting dioecious tree Juniperus thurifera has to split resources between reproduction and growth in a harsh, high mountain, dry environment. In species with separate sexes (dioecious) females usually invest more resources than males in reproduction, resulting in different trade-offs between growth and reproduction for male and female plants. During my Ph.D. I studied gender biased ecological performance of males and females, and how experimentally modified resource availability affected each sex's pattern.

-The endangered endemic Silene diclinis, accounts only with 2500 wild individuals in a few, nearby populations in Eastern Spain. This species developed a mechanism (barochory or atelechory) by which seeds are dispersed immediatly below mother plants, making sure that all seeds reach a perfect site for germinating and growing but making it impossible for the species to colonize new areas and driving the species to extinction in an evolutionary dead end.


Professional Experience

2013 - Present
Editor-in-chief at Web Ecology
Coimbra, Portugal
2011 - Present
Researcher (IF) at Center for Functional Ecology - University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal
May 2009 - Apr 2011
Post Doctoral Researcher at The University of Montana
Missoula, Montana, United States
Oct 2007 - Jan 2009
Natural Park Technician at Natural Park Service - Generalitat Valenciana -Vaersa
Puebla de Benifasar, Spain
Jul 2002 - Jul 2007
Ph. D. student at CIDE (CSIC)
Albal, Spain
Sep 1999 - Sep 2001
Lab Tech at CIDE (CSIC)
Albal, Spain

Jun 2002 - Jul 2007
CIDE-CSIC in Albal, Spain
Ph. D.
Oct 1999 - Jun 2002
Oct 1994 - Sep 1999
Universitat de Valencia in Valencia, Spain
B. Sc.
Consulting Services

Editor-in-Chief of Web Ecology, journal of the European Ecological Federation (2013-present).

Expert evaluator for the European Comission's ERA, FP7, H2020. Expert evaluator for the Romanian National Research Council.

Referee for journals: Acta Oecologica; Annals of Botany; Biological Invasions; Ecology; Ecosystems; European Journal of Forest Research; Forest Ecology and Management; Global Change Biology; Journal of Arid Environments; Journal of Biogeography; Journal of Ecology; Journal of Evolutionary Biology; Journal of Vegetation Science; Oecologia; Physiologia Plantarum; Plant Biology; Plant Ecology; PLOS ONE; Trees – Structure and Function; Web Ecology.

Scientific advisor for the Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Territori i Habitatge, Generalitat Valenciana, for the habitat regeneration project of Spanish juniper forests in Valencia (2008-2010).

Scientific advisor for the Spanish Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino (2007), for the evaluation, conservation and management of the European Interest Habitats in Spain for the habitats: 5130 - Juniperus communis communities on calcareous grasslands; 5210 – Juniperus spp. arborescent shrubs and 9560 – Endemic Juniperus spp forests.

Scientific advisor for the Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Territori i Habitatge, Generalitat Valenciana, for the management and conservation of the endangered endemic species Silene diclinis (1999-2002).

Contact Information

Address: Centro de Ecologia Funcional - Departamento de Ciências da Vida - Universidade de Coimbra - Apdo. 3046, Coimbra, 3001-455, Portugal
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