Research labs

Water and Cave Beetle Evolution lab

This lab is interested in the origin and distribution of biodiversity, whether morphological, genetic, ecological or functional. The study groups of the Water and Cave Beetle Evolution lab are different lineages of aquatic and subterranean Coleoptera, mostly (but not exclusively) focused on the Holarctic, and, especially, the Mediterranean. Current research topics include (1) the Phylogeny, taxonomy and biogeography of different lineages of water and subterranean beetles; (2) the effect of habitat constraints in the macroecology and macroevolution of freshwater invertebrates; and (3) evolutionary convergence in subterranean beetles.

Principal investigator: Ignacio Ribera

Members of the lab: Arnaud Faille, Postdoctoral Researcher; Adrián Villastrigo, PhD Student, and Xhiaozhu Luo, visiting PhD Student

Oral presentations and talks given: 2

Main publications and other research activities:

Abellán, P. & Ribera, I. (2017) Using phylogenies to trace the geographic signal of speciation. Journal of Biogeography, 44: 2236-2246.

Andújar, C., Pérez-González, S., Arribas, P., Zaballos, J.P., Vogler, A.P. & Ribera, I. (2017) Speciation below ground: tempo and mode of diversification in a radiation of endogean ground beetles. Molecular Ecology, 26: 6053-6070.

García-Vázquez, D., Bilton, D.T., Foster, G.N. & Ribera, I. (2017) Pleistocene range shifts, refugia and the origin of widespread species in Western Palaearctic water beetles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 114: 122-136.

Pallares, S., Arribas, P., Bilton, D.T., Millán, A., Velasco, J. & Ribera, I. (2017) The chicken or the egg? Adaptation to desiccation and salinity tolerance in a lineage of water beetles. Molecular Ecology, 26: 5614-5628.

Rizzo, V., Sánchez-Fernández, D., Alonso, R., Pastor, J. & Ribera, I. (2017) Substratum karstificability, dispersal and genetic structure in a strictly subterranean beetle. Journal of Biogeography, 44: 2527-2538.

Rudoy, A. & Ribera, I. (2017) Evolution of sexual dimorphism and Rensch’s rule in the beetle genus Limnebius (Hydraenidae) – is sexual selection opportunistic? PeerJ, 5: e3060.

Funding (active projects in 2017 only):

Name of the project The evolution of habitat transitions in aquatic Coleoptera
Principal investigator Ignacio Ribera
Funding institution MINECO


Name of the project Convergent evolution in subterranean Coleoptera
Principal investigator Ignacio Ribera
Funding institution MINECO


Name of the project Grup de recerca consolidate en Biodiversitat Animal y Evolució
Principal investigator Salvador Carranza
Funding institution Generalitat de Catalunya

More information: Water and Cave Beetle Evolution lab’s website

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