David Alonso homepage
After three and a half years as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, working under the advice of Mercedes Pascual (Feb 04- Gen 07), and Annette Ostling (Feb 07- Aug 07), in April 2007 I was awarded with a VENI grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). So I moved from Michigan back to Europe. In total, in the Netherlands, I spent from Oct 2007 to July 2011. I worked at the Conservation and Community Ecology Group directed by Han Olff in the Center for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen. While in Groningen, I also visited frequently Michigan as well as other international centers, such as the Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, University of Leeds, where I took a short postdoc position under the direction of Stephen Cornell.
In 2010, I was awarded with a highly competitive 5 year "Ramon y Cajal" contract from the Science and Innovation ministry of the Spanish goverment. These contracts provide a status similar to a "tenure track" assistant professor/researcher. In Summer 2011, I moved back to Spain and started this new position for the Spanish Council of Scientific Researh (CSIC) at the Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (CEAB), Spain, where I currently live.
My primary research interests lie in the interdisciplinary study of ecology and evolution on the basis of the integration of physics, mathematics, biology and computer simulation. In practice, I have been working essentially on two research topics: the evaluation of risks of spread and emergence of infectious diseases as a consequence of human-induced global environmental change and the study of the variety of mechanisms involved in the origins, maintenance and loss of species in ecological communities. Community ecology, population biology, infectious diseases, biodiversity research, climate change, environmental forcing, stochastic birth-death processes, non-linear interactions, self-organization, and complex systems are all common key-words on which my research agenda is focused.
Underlying all these challenging problems in community ecology and infectious diseases, there is a common goal: to explore the interplay between individual-based local interactions ---the processes at the microscale--- and the system-level regularities and collective behavior which are observed at larger scales ---the macroecological and evolutionary patterns. In essence, I am very interested in exploring to what extent natural systems in their tremendeous complexity due to an extremely high number of degrees of freedom can be described by and understood in terms of simple ---perhaps universal--- low dimensional abstractions and useful approximations.