2013 - 2014 Global Change Fellow
Where are they now?
Carlos is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Washington University as of Summer of 2015.
Statement of Purpose:
I am an integrative evolutionary ecologist broadly interested in how basic ecological processes can influence micro- and macro-evolution. I use tools from behavioral ecology, phylogenetic comparative methods, and theoretical biology to study the effects of quasi-periodic oscillations in ecological conditions (particularly climate-related variables) on the dynamics and outcome of evolution. Through this line of inquiry, I am exploring questions related to the evolution of cognition, phenotypic plasticity, and biological complexity, and I am generating a theoretical framework that can help us identify and address some of the long-term consequences of climate change.
Description of research:
The frequency of extreme weather events and the general variability and predictability of local climate patterns are changing globally as a consequence of climate change. My research addresses the SECSC’s mission by developing a better understanding of how these environmental features have shaped the evolution of phenology, morphology, physiology, and behavior, and of how their current changes may impact animal populations worldwide. For example, I am addressing Science Theme 4, tasks 1 and 3, by developing theoretical models and using comparative methods to explore the relationship between environmental predictability and the evolution of important reproductive behaviors such as clutch/litter size and reproductive investment. My research program is also exploring the connections between environmental uncertainty and other critical features of animal life such as sociality, diet, and host-parasite interactions.