Currently I am involved in several projects on molecular systematics and evolution of orb-weavers and evolution of complex behavioral and morphological traits.
What are the underlying factors that govern the spatial patterns of biodiversity? Despite decades of intensive research this major question remains unanswered. I combine species evolutionary histories with contemporary distributional data and information on historical distributions, in addition to data sets on historic and contemporary climate and other environmental factors, in attempt to elucidate some of the primary mechanisms underlying the distribution of life on Earth. Examples of current highlights are listed bellow.
Changes in the environment are one of the major historical drivers for speciation and species extinctions. A better understanding of the mechanisms through which environmental changes affect biodiversity is essential for our efforts to protect and preserve the biosphere. By studying how variations of climate in the past have affected species diversity and distributions I try to ascertain possible scenarios for the future.
As part of my research I also develop software and online tools which are helpful for my purposes. Here I list links to these resources with the hope that they will be helpful for more researchers.
The three most recent publications are listed bellow. For a full list of publications follow the link above.
Ph.D. Zoology (2005). University of Barcelona. Spain
Diploma of Advanced Studies (2003). University of Barcelona. Spain.
D.S.P.U. in environmental management (1999). MaiCh. C.I.H.E.A.M. Greece
M.S. Biology (1998). Sofia University "Saint Climent Ohridsky". Bulgaria.
Postdoctoral Researcher. Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
Mercator Fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Affiliate Member. ESI (Evolutionary Studies Institute) at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
Research Associate. Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Adjunct Research Associate . Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University. Washington, D.C., USA.
Many but here is a short list of the most prominent ones: Spider taxonomy, evolution and systematics; Molecular systematics, phylogenetics, phylogenomics, computational systematics; Macroecology, biodiversity modeling and conservation, biogeography and phylogeography. Have a look at the links on the research page for more details
Sergei Tarasov - PhD candidate (co-supervisor with V. Gusarov and L. Bachmann). University of Oslo
Nadia Pauck Holm Hansen - undergraduate (co-supervisor with N. Scharff). University of Copenhagen, completed fall 2012
Anastasia Kondakova and Anahita Shaya – undergraduates (co-supervision with G. Hormiga). The George Washington University
Contribution to the supervision of graduate students Fernando Álvarez-Padilla, Lara Lopardo, Ligia Rosario Benavides and Daniela Andriamalala. The George Washington University
Complete list of grants and awards is available in the pdf version of my CV here.