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Antonio Castilla

FCT postdoctoral fellow

Email: acastilla(a#t)utexas.edu

URL: http://www.antoniorcastilla.com

CV: Descarregar

My primary research interests are to understand the underlying genetic mechanisms that allow plant populations to adapt to global change and apply molecular tools to the conservation and restoration of the biodiversity. Specifically, I am particularly interested in the forces shaping the genetic diversity in tree populations such as the geographic variation in the patterns of local adaption to biotic factors and the gene flow among and within tree populations. My research combines molecular tools, statistical modeling, GIS tools, and field work. In my research program, I work at the interface between conservation genetics, evolutionary biology, and landscape ecology. Overall, my research program addresses: a) effects of habitat fragmentation on the gene flow among plant populations, b) statistical modeling of dispersal processes within spatially structured tree populations and c) impacts of global change on the local adaptation of forests to geographically variable biotic interactions.

I am currently conducting a postdoctoral project in the laboratory of Dr. José Fedriani at Centre for Applied Ecology “Prof. Baeta Neves” funded by the Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research, and Technology (FCT). I am integrating information on genetics, seed dispersal kernels, vertebrate seed dispersers’ spatial behavior, and plant demography to provide a mechanistic understanding of the colonization of Mediterranean old fields. The overall goal of my postdoctoral project is to investigate what extent genetic diversity from source populations is captured during the colonization of old fields and how this genetic diversity impacts recruitment and long-term viability of founding plant populations.

Castilla, A.R., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2016, To be or not to be better pollinated: differences between sex morphs in marginal gynodioecious populations. Special Issue: “The Ecology and Evolution of Pollen Performance” American Journal of Botany 103: 388-395.

Castilla, A.R., Pope, N., Jaffé, R., Jha, S., 2016, Elevation, not deforestation, promotes genetic differentiation in a pioneer tropical tree. PLoS One 11: e0156694

Castilla, A.R., Pope, N., Jha, S., 2016, Positive density-dependent reproduction regulated by local kinship and size in an understory tropical tree. Annals of Botany 117: 319-329.

Castilla, A.R., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2015, Sex-specific phenotypic selection and geographic variation in gender divergence in a gynodioecious shrub. Plant Biology 17: 186-193.

Jaffa, R., Castilla, A.R., Pope, N., Imperatriz-Fonseca, V.L., Metzger, J.P., Arias, M.C., Jha, S., 2015, Landscape genetics of a tropical rescue pollinator. Conservation Genetics 17: 267-278.

Castilla, A.R., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2013, Herbivory at marginal populations: consequences for maternal fitness and vegetative differentiation. Acta Oecologica 49: 32-38.

Castilla, A.R., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2012, Genetic structure of the shrub Daphne laureola across the Baetic Ranges, a Mediterranean glacial refugium and biodiversity hotspot. Plant Biology 14: 515-524.

Castilla, A.R., Wiegand, T., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2012, Disturbance-dependent spatial distribution of sexes in a gynodioecious understory shrub. Basic and Applied Ecology 13: 405-413.

Castilla, A.R., Alonso, C., Herrera, C.M., 2011, Exploring local borders of distribution in the shrub Daphne laureola: individual and populations traits. Acta Oecologica 37: 269-276.

Old-Field Recolonization in the Mediterranean Europe

Funding: FCT.  Period: July 2014 to June 2019. Reference: IF/00728/2013.