I conduct interdisciplinary research by combining mathematical models, computer simulations, and database analysis, to answer questions that go beyond the traditional boundaries among disciplines, merging ecology with evolution, sociology, genetics, software design, and artificial life.

Learning how to do science from some of the best labs worldwide.

Labs I have been working in (as a graduate student or postdoc).

  • 2015

    Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies. University of Zurich (Switzerland).

    January 1, 2015 --- present.

    hosted by Jordi Bascompte,
    funded by the University of Zurich.

  • 2012

    Integrative Ecology Group. Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville (Spain).

    September 1, 2012 --- December 31, 2014.

    hosted by Jordi Bascompte,
    funded by the Program "Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios" (JAE-Doc) and co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

  • 2011

    Integrative Ecology Group. Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville (Spain).

    May 1, 2011 --- April 31, 2012.

    hosted by Jordi Bascompte,
    funded by a Marie Curie International Outgoig Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

  • 2010

    BEACON, NSF Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. Michigan State University. East Lansing, Michigan (USA).

    September 1, 2010 --- September 31, 2010.

    hosted by Charles Ofria,
    funded by a Marie Curie International Outgoig Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

  • 2009

    Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Princeton University, Princeton (USA).

    May 1, 2009 --- April 31, 2011.

    hosted by Simon A. Levin,
    funded by a Marie Curie International Outgoig Fellowship within the 7th European Community Framework Programme.

  • 2006

    Metapopulation Research Group. Department of Ecological and Environmental Sciences. University of Helsinki (Finland).

    November 1, 2006 --- December 31, 2006.

    hosted by Ilkka Hanski,
    funded by the Foreign Short Visit Programme of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

  • 2004

    Integrative Ecology Group. Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville (Spain).

    May 1, 2004 --- April 31, 2009.

    hosted by Jordi Bascompte,
    funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

  • 2004

    Ecological Modelling Department. Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ). Leipzig (Germany) .

    January 1, 2004 --- April 31, 2004.

    hosted by Karin Frank and Karin Johst,
    funded by a Marie Curie Training-Sites Fellowship within the 6th European Community Framework Programme.

Contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge.

Scientific production (papers, book chapters, and outreach).

Deciphering the interdependence between ecological and evolutionary networks

Sometimes disentangling a network is not enough to understand it: you need to tangle it with another.

Melián, Matthews, de Andreazzi, Rodríguez, Harmon, & Fortuna (2018)
in press

Ecological succession drives the structural change of seed-rodent interaction networks in fragmented forests

As Margalef used to say, ecological succession leads to more mature ecosystems and promotes specialization.

Yang, Yan, Zhao, Holyoak, Fortuna, Bascompte, Jansen & Zhang (2018)
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Non-adaptive origins of evolutionary innovations increase network complexity in interacting digital organisms

You might not need that trait right now, but you will later on and everybody will thank you.

Fortuna, Zaman, Wagner & Bascompte (2017)
downloadgithub

Analysis of spatial genetic variation reveals genetic divergence among populations of Primula veris associated to contrasting habitats

Living in different environments paves the way towards speciation.

Deschepper, Brys, Fortuna, & Jacquemyn (2017)
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The genotype-phenotype map of an evolving digital organism

In evolution, selection may decide the winner of a given game, but development non-randomly defines the players.

Fortuna, Zaman, Ofria & Wagner (2017)
downloadgithub

How does the functional diversity of frugivorous birds shape the spatial pattern of seed dispersal? A case study in a relic plant species

We are losing the many services biodiversity provides us, such as seed dispersal across fragmented landscapes.

Lavabre, Gilarranz, Fortuna & Bascompte (2016)
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Seasonal changes of species interactions minimize the impact of species turnover on the likelihood of community persistence

Who you interact with and when, will tell us your chances of success in an entangled web of interdependences.

Saavedra, Rohr, Fortuna, Selva & Bascompte (2016)
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Genetic specificity of a plant-insect food web: implications for linking genetic variation to network complexity

Common garden experiments show that intraspecific genetic variation plays an underappreciated role in shaping the web of life.

Barbour, Fortuna, Bascompte, Nicholson, Julkunen-Tiitto, Jules & Crutsinger (2016)
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Does removal of invasives restore ecological networks? An experimental approach

The ecological restoration of pristine habitats may be more challenging than anticipated.

Rodewald, Rohr, Fortuna & Bascompte (2015)
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Diversification and biodiversity dynamics of hot and cold spots

Biologists have always wanted to identify the mechanisms responsible for the distribution of diversity of life on Earth.

Melián, Seehausen, Eguíluz, Fortuna & Deiner (2015)
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The Web of Life

Would you like to know who interacts with whom in the entangled web of life? Check it out.

Fortuna, Ortega & Bascompte (2014)
downloadgithub

Host-parasite network structure is associated with community-level immunogenetic diversity

Do parasites really choose their host species or do they just track host genes?

Pilosof, Fortuna, Cosson, Galan, Kittipong, Ribas, Segal, Krasnov, Morand & Bascompte (2014)
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Community-level demographic consequences of urbanization: an ecological network approach

It is easier for a predator to find a prey in human-altered landscapes than in rural areas.

Rodewald, Rohr, Fortuna & Bascompte (2014)
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Temporal dynamics of direct-reciprocal and indirect effects in a host-parasite network

The role you play in a network may change over time by establishing new contacts and strengthening the existing ones.

Pilosof, Fortuna, Vinarski, Korallo-Vinarskaya & Krasnov (2013)
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Evolving digital ecological networks

Could the entangled web of life be disentangled by studying self-replicating and evolving computer programs?

Fortuna, Zaman, Wagner & Ofria (2013)
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Assessing the robustness of the networks of spatial genetic variation

The pairwise similarity among populations is also given by their indirect similarity to a third one, even when we are talking about genes.

Albert, Fortuna, Godoy & Bascompte (2013)
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Habitat loss and the disassembly of mutualistic networks

You should be careful walking at the brink of the precipice, since you can easily fall down.

Fortuna, Krishna & Bascompte (2013)
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Nestedness in mutualistic networks

Sometimes, apparently contradictory results can be easily turned upside-down if one does things right.

Rohr, Fortuna, Luque & Bascompte (2013)
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Phylogenetic signal in module composition and species connectivity in compartmentalized host-parasite networks

If you and me came following the same path, we will both suffer the same fate at the hands of our enemies.

Krasnov, Fortuna, Mouillot, Khokhlova, Shenbrot & Poulin (2012)
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NextGen VOICES: How will the practice of science change in your lifetime? What will improve and what new challenges will emerge?

Come on! everybody knows that research groups play today the role that scientists played in the 19th century.

Gilarranz, Lever, Rohr & Fortuna (2012)
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Evolution of a modular software network

Isn't it interesting to find parallelisms between software development and the patterns of who eats whom in the web of life?

Fortuna, Bonachela & Levin (2011)
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Redes tróficas marinas

If you cannot tell a non-specialized audience what your work is about, why should they care about it?

Rezende, Albert & Fortuna (2011)
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Mutualistic networks

Oftentimes, conferences end up telling such a good story that it deserves to be published.

Bascompte, Aizen, Fontaine, Fortuna, Jordano, Lewinsohn, Memmott, Olesen, Petanidou, Rico-Gray & Thompson (2010)
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Nestedness versus modularity in ecological networks: two sides of the same coin?

You can flip a coin to choose between two alternatives, but in nature alternatives are not always mutually exclusive.

Fortuna, Stouffer, Olesen, Jordano, Mouillot, Krasnov, Poulin & Bascompte (2010)
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Networks of spatial genetic variation across species

Conserving genetic diversity would be easier if species responded to habitat loss and fragmentation in similar ways.

Fortuna, Albaladejo, Fernández, Aparicio & Bascompte (2010)
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Compartments in a marine food web associated with phylogeny, body mass, and habitat structure

Sharks avoid competence hunting distinct prey at different places, but is that enough to guarantee their survival?

Rezende, Albert, Fortuna & Bascompte (2009)
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The architecture of mutualistic networks minimizes competition and increases biodiversity

Mathematical models don't have the answer to all questions but at least tell us where to look at.

Bastolla, Fortuna, Pascual-García, Ferrera, Luque & Bascompte (2009)
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Ideas for moving beyond structure to dynamics of ecological networks

If we wish to transform ecology from a descriptive to predictive science we must understand community stability.

Stouffer, Fortuna & Bascompte (2009)
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The roosting spatial network of a bird-predator bat

Social segregation may be the best way to avoid being sick when an animal lives in a crowded population.

Fortuna, Popa-Lisseanu, Ibáñez & Bascompte (2009)
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Spatial mating networks in insect-pollinated plants

Please, tell me who the parent of this seed is and I will tell you how far insects move pollen across the landscape.

Fortuna, García, Guimaraes & Bascompte (2008)
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The network approach in ecology

Sometimes, a novel approach comes up to help us disentangle what is really entangled.

Fortuna & Bascompte (2008)
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The shape of the past in the World Wide Web: scale-free patterns and dynamics

It may sound weird, but is the time elapsed to present the best predictor of people's interest for past events?

Jovani & Fortuna (2007)
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Do scale-free regulatory networks allow more expression than random ones?

Software development might teach us lessons on the way genes regulate the expression of our traits.

Fortuna & Melián (2007)
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The nested structure of a scavenger community

The traditional view of scavenging as random and opportunistic does not hold in the light of recent insights.

Selva & Fortuna (2007)
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Can prey behaviour induce spatially synchronic aggregation of solitary predators?

If you are looking for something rare and difficult to find, call some friends and go out together to look for it.

Penteriani, Fortuna, Melián, Otarola & Ferrer (2006)
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Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments

We all know that the further the distance you can travel, the higher your chances of finding a good place to live.

Fortuna, Gómez-Rodríguez & Bascompte (2006)
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Habitat loss and the structure of plant-animal mutualistic networks

Is there a way to describe the dynamics of webs of species interactions at a time when we are losing their habitat?

Fortuna & Bascompte (2006)
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Dependencia hídrica de la comunidad ornítica acuática de la laguna de Manjavacas: la importancia de la desecación estival

The rain didn't come in the fall, and a bare soil wetland couldn't retain the arrival of waterbirds in spring.

Fortuna (2003)
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Selección de hábitat de la perdiz roja (Alectoris rufa) en período reproductor en relación con las características del paisaje en un agrosistema de la Mancha (España)

Some species are very robust to habitat transformation but, are they really living where they would like to?

Fortuna (2002)
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Aplicación del método de Emlen en la obtención de estimas de densidad de perdiz roja (Alectoris rufa) en período reproductor: la estabilización del coeficiente de detectabilidad

What can be more important for a young undergraduate than improving a method to estimate a species' population size?

Fortuna (2001)
download

Communicating science to a broad and specialized audience.

Conferences and workshops (by invitation, request, or just attendant).

  • 2018

    Reproducible Research Workshop

    February 7, 2018

    Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology), Kastanienbaum (Switzerland).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "JupyterHub and the Web of Life".

  • 2018

    Networks and interactions: from species to communities

    January 21-23, 2018

    Rigi-Workshop, at Rigi Kulm (Switzerland).
    Organized by the Platform of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).
    Oral contributions (by invitation):
    "The Web of Life".
    "Coevolving networks".

  • 2017

    Summer School on Ecological Network Inference & Analysis

    September 11-13, 2017

    University of Leuven, Leuven (Belgium).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "The evolving web of antagonistic interactions among digital organisms".

  • 2017

    International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL)

    September 4-8, 2017

    European Conference on Artificial Life at Lyon (France).
    Tutorial:
    "Digital coevolution: a beginner's guide".

  • 2015

    European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB)

    August 10-14, 2015

    15th Biennial Congress, at Lausanne (Switzerland).
    (attended).

  • 2015

    International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL)

    July 20-24, 2015

    European Conference on Artificial Life, at York (UK).
    Oral contribution:
    "Unraveling the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms".

  • 2015

    Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO)

    July 11-15, 2015

    24th International Conference on Genetic Algorithms and 20th Annual Genetic Programming Conference, at Madrid (Spain).
    (attended).

  • 2015

    Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), Society for Systematic Biologists (SSB), and American Society of Naturalists (ASN)

    June 26-30, 2015

    Annual Meeting, at Guarujá, Sao Paulo (Brazil).
    Oral contribution:
    "Unraveling the genotype-phenotype map of digital organisms".

  • 2013

    Las Matemáticas del Planeta Tierra

    October 11, 2013

    Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid (Spain).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Las matemáticas de la biodiversidad".

  • 2013

    Ecological Interactions: Challenges and Perspectives

    October 3-4, 2013

    8th Student Colloquium, at Xalapa, Veracruz (Mexico).
    Organized by INECOL (Institute of Ecology).
    Oral contributions (by invitation):
    "Biodiversity conservation through a network lens".
    "Evolving digital ecological networks".

  • 2013

    Pechakucha Sevilla Night

    April 4, 2013

    Teatro La Alameda, Sevilla (Spain).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Rebobinando la película de la historia evolutiva".

  • 2012

    International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL)

    July 19-22, 2012

    Artificial Life 13th: International Conference on the the Simulation & Synthesis of Living Systems.
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (USA).
    (attended).

  • 2012

    Summer School: Biodiversidad en el sudeste ibérico: un enfoque multidisciplinar

    July 16, 2012

    Universidad Internacional del Mar, Murcia (Spain).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "La arquitectura de la biodiversidad".

  • 2012

    Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE)

    June 23-26, 2012

    Annual Meeting, at Dublin (Ireland).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "The evolution of species interaction networks".

  • 2011

    Workshop: The Genetics of Foundation Species as Drivers of Ecological Processes

    February 16-18, 2011

    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, (USA).
    Organized by Thomas Whitham.
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Plant-animal interaction networks of foundation species within a genetics context".

  • 2010

    bigDATA: Integrated Microbial Biodiversity Program

    May 28-30, 2010

    Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR).
    University of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Ecological networks: nested and modular structures".

  • 2010

    DARPA Fundamental Laws of Biology (FunBio)

    January 20-22, 2010

    Program Meeting, at Dana Point, California (USA).
    (attended).

  • 2009

    Ecological Society of Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GfÖ)

    September 14-18, 2009

    39th Annual Conference, at Bayreuth (Germany).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Spatial networks in ecology".

  • 2009

    Ecological Society of America (ESA)

    August 2-7, 2009

    94th Annual Meeting, at Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA).
    Oral contribution:
    "The architecture of bird migration networks across Europe".

  • 2008

    BCNetworkshop: Trends and Perspectives in Complex Networks

    December 10-12, 2008

    Physics Department, University of Barcelona, (Spain).
    Organized by Boguña, Díaz-Guilera, Pastor-Satorras, & Serrano.
    (attended).

  • 2008

    Workshop: Multispecies Management using Ecological Networks

    October 6-10, 2008

    Queensland University, Brisbane (Australia).
    Organized by Eve McDonald-Madden & Hugh Possingham.
    (attended).

  • 2008

    Ecological Society of America (ESA)

    August 3-8, 2008

    93rd Annual Meeting, at Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA).
    Oral contribution:
    "The roosting spatial network of a bird-predator bat".

  • 2008

    Workshop: UniNet (Unifying Networks in Science and Society)

    June 9-12, 2008

    New Directions in Network Modelling, at Paris (France).
    Tackling Complexity in Science, 4th Workshop.
    Coordinated by Markus Kirkilionis.
    (attended as supporting node of Ecology)

  • 2008

    Dynamics and Evolution of Biological and Social Networks

    February 18-20, 2008

    Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC), Mallorca (Spain).
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Spatial networks in ecology".

  • 2007

    Workshop: Biodiversity in a Spatial Context

    September 19-21, 2007

    Fribourg University, Fribourg (Switzerland).
    Organized by Louis-Félix Bersier.
    (attended).

  • 2007

    Ecological Society of America (ESA)

    August 10-15, 2007

    92nd Annual Meeting, at San Jose, California (USA).
    Oral contribution:
    "Spatial mating networks in insect-pollinated plants".

  • 2007

    Workshop: UniNet (Unifying Networks in Science and Society)

    June 4-5, 2007

    Robustness of Network Models, at Girona (Spain)
    Tackling Complexity in Science, 3rd Workshop.
    Coordinated by Markus Kirkilionis.
    (attended as supporting node of Ecology)

  • 2007

    Program in Interdisciplinary Mathematics, Ecology, and Statistics (PRIMES)

    April 26-27, 2007

    Networks in Ecology and Beyond.
    Colorado State University, Fort Collins (USA).
    (attended).

  • 2007

    Maratón científico: Sistemas Complejos: virus, hormigas y cerebros

    March 29, 2007

    Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, Madrid (Spain).
    organized by Ricard V. Solé.
    Oral contribution (by invitation):
    "Redes ecológicas: complejidad y fragilidad".

  • 2006

    Ecological Society of Germany, Switzerland and Austria (GfÖ)

    September 11-15, 2006

    36th Annual Conference, at Bremen (Germany).
    Oral contribution:
    "Habitat loss and the structure of plant-animal mutualistic networks".

  • 2006

    Ecological Society of America (ESA)

    August 6-11, 2006

    91st Annual Meeting, at Memphis, Tennessee (USA).
    Oral contribution:
    "Spatial network structure and amphibian persistence in stochastic environments".

  • 2006

    Workshop: UniNet (Unifying Networks in Science and Society)

    July 3-4, 2006

    Data, Networks & Dynamics, at Heidelberg (Germany).
    Tackling Complexity in Science, 2nd Workshop.
    Coordinated by Markus Kirkilionis.
    (attended as supporting node of Ecology)

  • 2005

    Workshop: UniNet (Unifying Networks in Science and Society)

    September 23-24, 2005

    Networks as Complex Systems, at Warwick (United Kingdom).
    Tackling Complexity in Science, 1st Workshop.
    Coordinated by Markus Kirkilionis.
    (attended as supporting node of Ecology)

Ecologist turned Network Scientist who thinks differently about problem solving.

Please, feel free to contact me if you are interested in the work I am doing..

Miguel A. Fortuna

Miguel A. Fortuna

Postdoctoral Researcher
Biodiversity and Species Interaction Networks
Bascompte Lab
Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
University of Zurich
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Office: Y13-H-30
Phone: +41 (0)44 635 61 64
email