Diego Sotomayor – Bio

I am a 4th year PhD student at the Lab. I am interested in deserts and the processes that maintain their biodiversity. I have worked on plant dynamics and seed banks during my previous studies. My dissertation focuses on nurse plants and how they mediate direct and indirect effects for the surrounding biota, mainly plants and pollinator invertebrates. My field sites are located along the Atacama desert in 2 countries: Chile and Peru. When I am not enjoying research I play basketball, watch different kind of movies and travel to exciting places.




Hello everyone, just wanted to update you on a few things I’ve been doing:

1. Seed biology project. Currently testing conditions to start the experiment, weighing seeds and starting viability and germination trials. Competition experiments to come. Also, new seeds are being produced on the field sites so a new protocol must be designed.

2. Understorey species pollination project. Executed during short stay in Chile. Four days with 10 cameras (5 open, 5 under shrub) are available to start analyzing, as well as samples from pan traps at the same number of replicates. Under-storey species surveyed: Chaetanthera linearis (Asteraceae).

3. Starting research and planning for Cali project.

4. Revisions on Syst Rev on their way.

5, Big mensurative experiment. Data collection taking place in Peru, data collected at Chile during short stay. Currently processing and constructing data base.

Another interesting paper

For those of you invasion biologists


Eight questions about invasions and ecosystem functioning

David L. Strayer

Ecology Letters 15: 1199-1210


I pose eight questions central to understanding how biological invasions affect ecosystems, assess progress towards answering those questions and suggest ways in which progress might be made. The questions concern the frequency with which invasions affect ecosystems; the circumstances under which ecosystem change is most likely; the functions that are most often affected by invaders; the relationships between changes to ecosystems, communities, and populations; the long-term responses of ecosystems to invasions; interactions between biological invasions and other anthropogenic activities and the difficulty of managing undesirable impacts of non-native species. Some questions have been answered satisfactorily, others require more data and thought, and others might benefit from being reformulated or abandoned. Actions that might speed progress include careful development of trait-based approaches; strategic collection and publication of new data, including more frequent publication of negative results; replacement of expert opinion with hard data where needed; careful consideration of whether questions really need to be answered, especially in cases where answers are being provided for managers and policy-makers; explicit attention to and testing of the domains of theories; integrating invasions better into an ecosystem context; and remembering that our predictive ability is limited and will remain so for the foreseeable future.


It is available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01817.x/abstract