The warmest of EEB welcomes to our new faculty, Hernán López-Fernández and Fernanda Valdovinos, who joined the department January 2, 2018.

López-Fernández studies tropical freshwater fishes, systematics, macroevolution, evolutionary ecology and conservation. His research interests include the evolutionary processes that originate “mega-diverse” biotic assemblages and the role of ecology in shaping the evolution of diversity. He is associate curator for the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

His lab studies the diversity, evolutionary history and conservation of fishes, particularly those from the Neotropical region of South and Central America. “My research program focuses on the evolution of ecological and morphological specialization in driving phylogenetic divergence. Through fieldwork and collections studies we combine systematics, comparative morphology, and ecology, focusing on five goals: (1) describing the diversity and inferring the evolutionary relationships among genera and species of Neotropical cichlids and other fishes, (2) analyzing timing, rates and patterns of lineage and phenotypic diversification, (3) describing correlations between ecology and morphology in a phylogenetic framework, leading to development and testing of adaptive hypotheses, (4) analyzing patterns of ecological assembly to elucidate the effect of evolutionary history and adaptation on species interactions, and (5) determining the human impacts on Neotropical fishes and promoting their conservation.” He is also affiliated with the Program in the Environment.

Fernanda Valdovinos studies ecological networks, pollination ecology, food-web ecology, fisheries, eco-evolutionary dynamics and theoretical ecology.

“My lab studies the mechanisms behind the structure, dynamics and function of complex ecological networks, at ecological and evolutionary scales; including their resilience to biodiversity loss, biological invasions, climate change, and exploitation by humans. This research focuses on pollination networks, food webs and fisheries. I mainly use mathematical models and computational tools, but I also conduct field work to understand and predict the structure and function of pollination networks."

Valdovinos is teaching Ecological Networks and Population and Community Ecology. She is also affiliated with the Center for the Studies of Complex Systems.