Expression of Interest

Contact Person/Scientist in Charge

  • Name and surname: Pedro Rey Zamora
  • Email:


Department / Institute / Centre

  • Name: UNIVERSIDAD DE JAÉN - Dept. of Animal and Plant Biology and Ecology
  • Address: Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071, Jaén
  • Province: Jaén

Research Area

  • Life Sciences (LIF)

Brief description of the institution:

The University of Jaén (UJA) is an EHEA medium-sized Spanish public university (some 16000 students and almost 1000 lecturers) that was established in 1993 and is organized into 6 main Schools/Faculties (Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Work, Faculty of Human Sciences, Faculty of Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and two Schools of Engineering). In addition to its 124 research groups, the University of Jaén is proud of its 4 Advanced Research Centers (Earth Sciences, Energy and Environmental Sciences, Olive Oil Research and Development, and Computational Sciences) and of its Institute on Iberian Archaeology Research. Moreover, UJA is integrated into a university network recognized as Campus of International Excellence in the fields of Agrifood (CEIA3), Climate Change (CamBio) and Historical Heritage (PatrimoniUN10).

UJA permanently welcomes new foreign research proposals as part of a conscious effort to increase its international profile and widen both its knowledge and its horizons.

Brief description of the Centre/Research Group (including URL if applicable):

Our group addresses a wide set of topics related with the ecology and evolution of Mediterranean plant species and ecological and conservation aspects of Mediterranean plant communities. Currently the group is formed by four senior scientists: Pedro J. Rey (group leader), Julio M. Alcántara, Antonio J. Manzaneda and Ana M. Fernández-Ocaña. We regularly host 2-4 Ph.D. students as well as several project associated technicians assisting in lab and field work.

Our projects usually involve hard field work (both observational and experimental) in some of the most beautiful landscapes of Andalusia (natural protected areas in Sierra de Segura, Cabo de Gata and Sierra Nevada, or the olive orchards of the Guadalquivir Valley), but we also rely strongly on molecular studies, mathematical models and statistical analyses. Our research projects are funded through grants obtained from EU, national, regional and University competitive calls. We regularly publish our results in the 1st quartile journals of the SCI rankings.

Research facilities ascribed to our group include a small lab equipped for basic genetic and optical work and a 4x4 vehicle. We have also access to the University facilities at the CICT (Technical and Scientific Instrumentation Centre), including: experimental garden, portable equipment for ecophysiological measurements, growth chambers, molecular analysis lab (DNA, RNA, protein expression), quantitative composition analyser (C, H, N, S, O), and electronic and optical microscopy equipment.

More information can be found in:

Project description:

We are interested in reinforcing two of our currently active research lines:

Line1:Inference of Community Stability and Dynamics from Ecological Interaction Networks. The objective is understanding how plant community dynamics and stability are driven by the set of ecological interactions that plants maintain with each other and with other organisms. We have already developed a mathematical model of woody plant community dynamics based on a network of interactions between adult and juvenile plants. Now we want to explore how other interactions (especially with herbivorous insects) may affect the structure of this network, and hence the dynamics of the plant community. We look for candidates interested in studying plant-herbivorous insect interactions from the ecological networks perspective, and/or in theoretical ecology (we seek to develop new methods for the combination and analysis of multiple ecological networks).

Line 2:Untangling the origin of the ecological differentiation of the allotetraploid Brachypodium hybridum (Poaceae) in the Iberian Peninsula. We seek to explore the genetic basis of differentiation of B. hybridum populations in the Iberian Peninsula across an aridity gradient. We would use next generation sequencing technics to investigate whether among-population divergence in water use efficiency and gas exchange result from adaptive or neutral genetic differentiation. We will use GBS data to calculate Fst/Qst as indicator of environmental adaptability. Molecular data will be used to explore the origin of B. hybridum in relation to its diploid ancestors (B. distachyon and B. stacei) and to perform association studies (GWAS) in our germplasm collection. This work would be conducted in collaboration with the University of Virginia Tech (EEUU).


CV, Motivation letter and Summary of project proposal (250 words) by 15th June 2018

I want to contact the Institution

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