Principal Investigator: Ignacio Ribera Principal Investigator: Ignacio Ribera


Research lines Research lines

We study evolutionary processes using beetles, the world’s most diverse group of animals. 250 MY of evolutionary history and a vast ecological and morphological variation enables us to use them to address virtually every problem in evolutionary biology. We use water and cave beetles to address different questions centred on the origin and distribution of biodiversity. Our current focus is the study of the causes and consequences of range expansions, and the evolution of adaptations to new habitats and ecologic conditions: the subterranean life in cave beetles and hypersaline waters in different lineages of aquatic beetles.


Origin of widespread species of European lotic water beetles

Most species have narrow geographic ranges, but many groups also include some widespread species. In most cases why and how these widespread species have reached their current ranges is unknown.  A particularly intriguing case is that of species with continental-scale distributions despite belonging to lineages with generally poor dispersal abilities. We investigate the origin of these species, to understand how they have reached their current distributions.


Evolution of the complex male genitalia in Hydraenidae

The extraordinary complexity of the male genitalia of some arthropods has always intrigued evolutionary biologists. Using a comparative phylogenetic and morphometric approach we study the selective forces shaping the evolution of male genitalia in different groups of beetles.


Evolution of the tolerance to salinity

Life in water with salt concentrations many times that of seawater requires extreme physiological adaptations, which only few organisms have managed to acquire. In a project in collaboration with the Aquatic Ecology group of the University of Murcia we study the evolution of these adaptations to determine the mechanisms involved and how they originated. 


Evolution of subterranean beetles

Cave animals have fascinated evolutionary biologists since their discovery in the early XIX Century. The origin of the morphological modifications of subterranean species - loss of pigments and eyes, elongation of body and appendages, modifications of the life cycle and physiology among others - is still controversial, specially in that many of these changes have independently evolved in many unrelated lineages, sometimes to an astonishing degree of similarity. We study the evolution of troglomorphy in different lineages of beetles in the Mediterranean area.


Lab website: Beetle Evolution Lab

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Principal Investigator Principal Investigator

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Publications since 2011 Publications since 2011

Villastrigo, A.; Fery, H.; Manuel, M.; Millán, A.; Ribera, I. 2018. Evolution of salinity tolerance in the diving beetle tribe Hygrotini (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae). Zoologica Scripta. 47(1):63-71 doi: 10.1111/zsc.12255

Villastrigo A., Fery H., Manuel M., Millán A., Ribera I. 2018. Evolution of salinity tolerance in the diving beetle tribe Hygrotini (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae). Zoologica Scripta. 47(1): 63-71 doi: 10.1111/zsc.12255

Thomson SA.; Pyle RL.; Ahyong ST.; Alonso-Zarazaga M.; Ammirati J.; Araya JF.; Ascher JS.; Audisio TL.; Azevedo-Santos VM.; Bailly N.; Baker WJ.; Balke M.; Barclay MVL.; Barrett RL.; Benine RC.; Bickerstaff JRM.; Bouchard P.; Bour R.; Bourgoin T.; Boyko CB.; Breure ASH.; Brothers DJ.; Byng JW.; Campbell D.; Ceríaco LMP.; Cernák I.; Cerretti P.; Chang CH.; Cho S.; Copus JM.; Costello MJ.; Cseh A.; Csuzdi C.; Culham A.; D'Elía G.; d'Udekem d'Acoz C.; Daneliya ME.; Dekker R.; Dickinson EC.; Dickinson TA.; van Dijk PP.; Dijkstra KB.; Dima B.; Dmitriev DA.; Duistermaat L.; Dumbacher JP.; Eiserhardt WL.; Ekrem T.; Evenhuis NL.; Faille A.; Fernández-Triana JL.; Fiesler E.; Fishbein M.; Fordham BG.; Freitas AVL.; Friol NR.; Fritz U.; Frøslev T.; Funk VA.; Gaimari SD.; Garbino GST.; Garraffoni ARS.; Geml J.; Gill AC.; Gray A.; Grazziotin FG.; Greenslade P.; Gutiérrez EE.; Harvey MS.; Hazevoet CJ.; He K.; He X.; Helfer S.; Helgen KM.; van Heteren AH.; Hita Garcia F.; Holstein N.; Horváth MK.; Hovenkamp PH.; Hwang WS.; Hyvönen J.; Islam MB.; Iverson JB.; Ivie MA.; Jaafar Z.; Jackson MD.; Jayat JP.; Johnson NF.; Kaiser H.; Klitgård BB.; Knapp DG.; Kojima JI.; Kõljalg U.; Kontschán J.; Krell FT.; Krisai-Greilhuber I.; Kullander S.; Latella L.; Lattke JE.; Lencioni V.; Lewis GP.; Lhano MG.; Lujan NK.; Luksenburg JA.; Mariaux J.; Marinho-Filho J.; Marshall CJ.; Mate JF.; McDonough MM.; Michel E.; Miranda VFO.; Mitroiu MD.; Molinari J.; Monks S.; Moore AJ.; Moratelli R.; Murányi D.; Nakano T.; Nikolaeva S.; Noyes J.; Ohl M.; Oleas NH.; Orrell T.; Páll-Gergely B.; Pape T.; Papp V.; Parenti LR.; Patterson D.; Pavlinov IY.; Pine RH.; Poczai P.; Prado J.; Prathapan D.; Rabeler RK.; Randall JE.; Rheindt FE.; Rhodin AGJ.; Rodríguez SM.; Rogers DC.; Roque FO.; Rowe KC.; Ruedas LA.; Salazar-Bravo J.; Salvador RB.; Sangster G.; Sarmiento CE.; Schigel DS.; Schmidt S.; Schueler FW.; Segers H.; Snow N.; Souza-Dias PGB.; Stals R.; Stenroos S.; Stone RD.; Sturm CF.; Štys P.; Teta P.; Thomas DC.; Timm RM.; Tindall BJ.; Todd JA.; Triebel D.; Valdecasas AG.; Vizzini A.; Vorontsova MS.; de Vos JM.; Wagner P.; Watling L.; Weakley A.; Welter-Schultes F.; Whitmore D.; Wilding N.; Will K.; Williams J.; Wilson K.; Winston JE.; Wüster W.; Yanega D.; Yeates DK.; Zaher H.; Zhang G.; Zhang ZQ.; Zhou HZ. 2018. Taxonomy based on science is necessary for global conservation. Plos Biology. 16(3):e2005075 doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2005075

Sánchez-Fernández D., Rizzo V., Bourdeau C., Cieslak A., Comas J., Faille A., Fresneda J., Lleopart E., Millán A., Montes A., Pallarés S., Ribera I. 2018. The deep subterranean environment as a potential model system in ecological, biogeographical and evolutionary research. Subterranean Biology. 25():1-7 doi: 10.3897/subtbiol.25.23530

Ribera, I.; Bilton, D.T.; Cardoso, A. (2018) The Meladema Laporte, 1835 (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae) of the Sahara Desert. Zootaxa. 4399(1):119-122 doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4399.1.7

Ongoing projects Ongoing projects

In the media In the media

18th September 2017. Quo"Cuando conseguimos el primer ADN de neandertales fue como pisar la luna". Interview with Carles Lalueza-Fox, the principal investigator of the Paleogenomics Lab of the IBE.2017

10th September, 2017. La Vanguardia - Magazine. "En un mundo sin insectos". With comments of Xavier Bellés, Ignacio Ribera and Roger Vila.

14th October, 2014. TV3. "Què, Quí Com: Evolució, rere els passos de Darwin". Video with comments of Ignacio Ribera.