I obtained a PhD in Biology in 2008 at the University of Valencia and held a postdoc at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) in Barcelona from 2008 to 2010. In 2012, I co-founded Transmitting Science of which I am currently the scientific director.
Since I was a student, I was mystified for how evolution works. I would like to understand how evolution operates to generate/restrict morphological diversity. For me (a paleontologist’s point of view with few or no access to genetic data) that mean to analyze changes in morphology in the light of phylogenetic and functional constraints.
At the end of my degree, I became fascinated by xenarthrans, as they are so unique, mostly unknown, strange mammals. In consequence, I did my PhD developing ecomorphological analysis and body mass estimation on mainly Pleistocene glyptodonts and ground sloths. As so many ecological and physiological characteristics correlate with body mass, accurate estimations are very important in palaeontology.
Now I keep working with them, trying to identify patterns of integration in the xenarthran skull with the help of geometric morphometrics methods, with the aim of understanding why they had (and have) this huge disparity in comparison with other clades of mammals.
Despite my personal obsession with xenarthrans, I like to collaborate with colleagues working with other vertebrates, always a good occasion to get new points of view and to learn more about diversity and evolution.
As scientific director and course coordinator in Transmitting Science, my main role in the Plant.ID ITN is to give support to the organization of some training and host students in our own courses and workshops on phylogenetics and evolution.