My research focuses on the ecology and management of biological invasions, particularly in understanding the distribution of invasive alien species and in contributing to the development of novel approaches for their management. During my PhD studies at the University of Girona (2003-2006), I formulated predictions of the distribution of the highly invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) at multiple spatial scales by means of species distribution models. Subsequently, I refined those results by incorporating information on the species’ dispersal capacity within a spread model, and also investigated the relative roles of abiotic, biotic and human-related factors on the worldwide distribution of the species. Despite my numerous contributions to the study of exotic ants, my research on biological invasions has broadened since the beginning of my postdoctoral studies. The aim of my postdoctoral research at the Center of Excellence for Invasion Biology (2007-2009) was to develop a decision-making tool for the management of invasive alien trees in the Cape Floristic Region (South Africa). During the project I conducted numerous interviews and workshops with managers in order to understand how management actions take place and what the most influential variables are. This information was used to design of a prioritization tool, subsequently incorporated into a spread model to assess the effects of using different management strategies. This research reflects a successful interaction between scientist and management whose common goal is to tackle biological invasions more efficiently. The knowledge acquired during my PhD and first postdoctorate made me aware of the importance of prevention at the early stages of the invasion process, when eradication or control is still feasible. I started my research on risk analyses during my second postdoctorate at the Centre Tecnològic i Forestal de Catalunya (2009-2010) and continued this work during my full-time teaching positions at the University of Girona (2010-present). The most important contributions I made during this period were the organization of an international workshop on risk analysis for invasive species and, as a result, the development of a common conceptual framework based on an extended revision of all works dealing with both quantitative and qualitative approaches on risk analyses. The field had been over-extended for some years and the lack of a common conceptual background severely hindered the identification of best practices and the comparison/refinement of existing tools. Throughout these years I have acquired an in-depth knowledge on the functioning of biological invasions and the numerous tools available for their management. My aim is to continue working, participating in and leading cutting-edge science projects that help to understand and solve real, everyday problems of invasive alien species.
2016-present: Interim Associate Professor - Àrea de Biologia Animal, Departament de Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Girona.
2010-2016: Assistant Professor - Àrea de Biologia Animal, Departament de Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Girona.
2009-2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Pests and invaders: causes and consequences in forest ecosystems under global change, Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya (Solsona, Catalonia).
2007-2009: Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Development of an integrated tool for managing biological invasions across spatial scales, Centre for Invasion Biology (Stellenbosch, South Africa).
2003-2006: PhD – Predicting Argentine ant distribution across spatial scales via ecological niche models, Universitat de Girona.
2000-2002: DEA – Transformation of a rural mountain landscape in the southern Madres and Mont Coronat massifs, Eastern Pyrenees (1953-2000), Réserve Naturelle de Nohedes (Nohedes, France) and Universitat de Girona.
Associate editor of Frontiers of Biogeography (2009-present)
Associate editor of Diversity and Distributions (2010-present) (IF=3.667; ISI Ranking: 7/44 in Biodiversity Conservation, and 32/145 in Ecology)
Associate editor of Biological Invasions (2014-present) (IF=2.586)
Google Scholar Profile
Scopus Author ID: 8373610100