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Enciclopedia Virtual Vertebrados Españoles

José Javier  Cuervo Osés


914111328 - ext. 981141




Investigador Cientifico del CSIC

Investigación / Research



Postal address


Department of Evolutionary Ecology

Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales

Calle José Gutiérrez Abascal 2

28006 Madrid





Academic profiles


ResearcherID     ORCID     ResearchGate     Google Scholar




Education, training and employment


January 2017 - June 2017: Visiting Scholar, Department of Biology, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, USA.


March 2012 - August 2012: Visiting Scholar, Department of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.


December 2010 - present: Senior Research Scientist, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.


June 2008 - November 2008: Visiting Scholar, Laboratoire de Parasitologie Evolutive (CNRS - Université Pierre et Marie Curie), Paris, France.


July 2005 - June 2006: Visiting Scholar, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


December 1999 - November 2010: Senior Research Scientist, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (CSIC), Almería, Spain.


November 1996 - August 1999: Postdoctoral Researcher, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville, Spain.


October 1994 - February 1996: Postdoctoral Researcher, Zoological Institute, Copenhagen University, Copenhagen, Denmark.


October 1993 - September 1994: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Zoology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


June 1993: Ph.D., Departamento de Biología Animal I, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.


January 1989 - December 1992: Ph.D. Student, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC), Seville, Spain.


June 1988: B.Sc. degree in Biology, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain




Recent grants and projects


Chytridiomycosis in California salamanders: co-infection and host-parasite dynamics. January 2017 - June 2017. In collaboration with Vance T. Vredenburg (San Francisco State University)


Evolution and variability of sexual chemical signals in reptiles: consequences for reproductive success and speciation. January 2015 - December 2018. In collaboration with José Martín and Pilar López (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC)


Multiple functions of social signals: sex, life stage and bacterial environment make the difference. January 2014 - December 2017. In collaboration with Juan Moreno (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC)


The evolution of ornamentation and sexual dimorphism in chameleons. March 2012 - August 2012. In collaboration with Christopher J. Raxworthy (American Museum of Natural History)


The evolution of lizard coloration: a case study with the spiny-footed lizard. January 2009 - June 2013. In collaboration with Josabel Belliure (Universidad de Alcalá)


Effects of climate change on population trends and geographic distribution of European bird species. June 2008 - November 2008. In collaboration with Anders Pape Møller (CNRS - Université Paris-Sud)


Aposematic coloration in birds: relationship between coloration and chemical defences against predators in Coraciiformes. March 2007 - October 2010. In collaboration with Manuel Martín-Vivaldi (Universidad de Granada)


The function of red ventral coloration in eastern water dragons. July 2005 - June 2006. In collaboration with Richard Shine (University of Sydney)


Egg coloration and sexual selection in birds. December 2004 - December 2007. In collaboration with Juan José Soler (Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC)


Host-parasite interaction and immune response in three Antarctic penguin species: global change effects. December 2004 - December 2007. In collaboration with Andrés Barbosa (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC)


Relationship between sexual selection and parental investment in the barn swallow. December 2001 - December 2004. In collaboration with Rosa Mary de Ayala (Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC)


Consequences of pine and beech forest management on avian abundance and diversity. January 2000 - October 2003. In collaboration with Eulalia Moreno (Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, CSIC)








Belliure J., Fresnillo B., Cuervo J. J. 2018. Male mate choice based on female coloration in a lizard: the role of a juvenile trait. Behavioral Ecology (in press)  pdf


Plaza M., Cantarero A., Cuervo J. J., Moreno J. 2018. Female incubation attendance and nest vigilance reflect social signaling capacity: a field experiment. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 72: 24  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2017. Colonial, more widely distributed and less abundant bird species undergo wider population fluctuations independent of their population trend. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173220  pdf




Fresnillo B., Belliure J., Cuervo J. J. 2016. Ontogenetic shifts in risk behaviours are related to body size and coloration in spiny-footed lizards. Animal Behaviour 119: 165-172  pdf


Ambrosini R., Cuervo J. J., du Feu C., Fiedler W., Musitelli F., Rubolini D., Sicurella B., Spina F., Saino N., Møller A. P. 2016. Migratory connectivity and effects of winter temperatures on migratory behaviour of the European robin Erithacus rubecula: a continent-wide analysis. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 749-760  pdf


Megía-Palma R., Martínez J., Nasri I., Cuervo J. J., Martín J., Acevedo I., Belliure J., Ortega J., García-Roa R., Selmi S., Merino S. 2016. Phylogenetic relationships of Isospora, Lankesterella and Caryospora species (Apicomplexa: Eimeriidae) infecting lizards. Organisms Diversity & Evolution 16: 275-288  pdf


Martín M. A., Ortiz J. M., Seva J., Vidal V., Valera F., Benzal J., Cuervo J. J., de la Cruz C., Belliure J., Martínez A. M., Díaz J. I., Motas M., Jerez S., D'Amico V. L., Barbosa A. 2016. Mode of attachment and pathology caused by Parorchites zederi in three species of penguins: Pygoscelis papuaPygoscelis adeliae, and Pygoscelis antarctica in Antarctica. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52: 568-575  pdf


Cuervo, J. J., Belliure J., Negro J. J. 2016. Coloration reflects skin pterin concentration in a red-tailed lizard. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B 193: 17-24  pdf




De Mas E., Benzal J., Merino S., Valera F., Palacios M. J., Cuervo J. J., Barbosa A. 2015. Erythrocytic abnormalities in three Antarctic penguin species along the Antarctic Peninsula: biomonitoring of genomic damage. Polar Biology 38: 1067-1074  pdf


Fresnillo B., Belliure J., Cuervo J. J. 2015. Red coloration in juvenile spiny-footed lizards (Acanthodactylus erythrurus) reduces adult aggression. Animal Behaviour 102: 59-67  pdf


Fresnillo B., Belliure J., Cuervo J. J. 2015. Red tails are effective decoys for avian predators. Evolutionary Ecology 29: 123-135  pdf


Díaz M., Cuervo J. J., Grim T., Flensted-Jensen E., Ibáñez-Álamo J. D., Jokimäki J., Markó G., Tryjanowski P., Møller A. P. 2015. Interactive effects of fearfulness and geographical location on bird population trends. Behavioral Ecology 26: 716-721  pdf




Cuervo J. J., de Ayala R. M. 2014. Effects of experimental tail shortening on the phenotypic condition of barn swallows Hirundo rustica: implications for tail-length evolution. Journal of Avian Biology 45: 345-353  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Belliure J. 2013. Exploring the function of red colouration in female spiny-footed lizards (Acanthodactylus erythrurus): patterns of seasonal colour change. Amphibia-Reptilia 34: 525-538  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2013. Temporal variation in population size of European bird species: effects of latitude and marginality of distribution. PLoS ONE 8(10): e77654  pdf


Ruiz-Rodríguez M., Avilés J. M., Cuervo J. J., Parejo D., Ruano F., Zamora-Muñoz C., Sergio F., López-Jiménez L., Tanferna A., Martín-Vivaldi M. 2013. Does avian conspicuous colouration increase or reduce predation risk? Oecologia 173: 83-93  pdf


Barbosa A., Palacios, M. J., Negro J. J., Cuervo J. J. 2013. Plasma carotenoid depletion during fasting in moulting penguins. Journal of Ornithology 154: 559-562  pdf




McCoy K. D., Beis P., Barbosa A., Cuervo J. J., Fraser W. R., González-Solís J., Jourdain E., Poisbleau M., Quillfeldt P., Léger E., Dietrich M. 2012. Population genetic structure and colonisation of the Western Antarctic Peninsula by the seabird tick Ixodes uriae. Marine Ecology Progress Series 459: 109-120  pdf


Sánchez S., Cuervo J. J., Moreno E. 2012. Vegetation structure in beech-fir forests: effects on the avian community. Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et la Vie) 67: 213-222  pdf




Jerez S., Motas M., Palacios M. J., Valera F., Cuervo J. J., Barbosa A. 2011. Concentration of trace elements in feathers of three Antarctic penguins: geographical and inter-specific differences. Environmental Pollution 159: 2412-2419  pdf


Barbosa A., Benzal J., Vidal V., D'Amico V., Coria N., Díaz J., Motas M., Palacios M. J., Cuervo J. J., Ortiz J., Chitimia L. 2011. Seabird ticks (Ixodes uriae) distribution along the Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology 34: 1621-1624  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Dhaoui M., Espeso G. 2011. Fluctuating asymmetry and blood parameters in three endangered gazelle species. Mammalian Biology 76: 498-505  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Soler J. J., Avilés J. M., Pérez-Contreras T., Navarro C. 2011. Experimental feeding affects the relationship between hematocrit and body weight in spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor) nestlings. Journal of Ornithology 152: 201-206  pdf




Palacios M. J., Barbosa A., Pedraza-Díaz S., Ortega-Mora L. M., Valera F., Cuervo J. J., Benzal J., de la Cruz C. 2010. Apparent absence of Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Toxoplasma gondii in three species of penguins along Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctic Science 22: 265-270  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Palacios M. J., Barbosa A. 2009. Beak colouration as a possible sexual ornament in gentoo penguins: sexual dichromatism and relationship to body condition. Polar Biology 32: 1305-1314  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2009. The allometric pattern of sexually size dimorphic feather ornaments and factors affecting allometry. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22: 1503-1515  pdf


Møller A. P., Cuervo J. J. 2009. Minisatellite mutation rates increase with extra-pair paternity among birds. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 100  pdf


Møller A. P., Balbontín J., Cuervo J. J., Hermosell I. G., de Lope F. 2009. Individual differences in protandry, sexual selection and fitness. Behavioral Ecology 20: 433-440  pdf




Soler J. J., Navarro C., Pérez-Contreras T., Avilés J. M., Cuervo J. J. 2008. Sexually selected egg coloration in spotless starlings. American Naturalist 171: 183-194  pdf




Sánchez S., Cuervo J. J., Moreno E. 2007. Suitable cavities as a scarce resource for both cavity and non-cavity nesting birds in managed temperate forests. A case study in the Iberian Peninsula. Ardeola 54: 261-274  pdf


Sánchez S., Cuervo J. J., Moreno E. 2007. Does habitat structure affect body condition of nestlings? A case study with woodland great tits Parus major. Acta Ornithologica 42: 200-204  pdf


Soler J. J., Avilés J. M., Cuervo J. J., Pérez-Contreras T. 2007. Is the relation between colour and immune response mediated by nutritional condition in spotless starling nestlings? Animal Behaviour 74: 1139-1145  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Shine R. 2007. Hues of a dragon's belly: morphological correlates of ventral coloration in water dragons. Journal of Zoology 273: 298-304  pdf


Radder R. S., Warner D. A., Cuervo J. J., Shine R. 2007. The functional significance of residual yolk in hatchling lizards (Amphibolurus muricatus, Agamidae). Functional Ecology 21: 302-309  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P., de Lope, F. 2007. Hematocrit is weakly related to condition in nestling barn swallows Hirundo rustica. Ibis 149: 128-134  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2006. Experimental tail elongation in male barn swallows reduces provisioning of young, but only in second broods. Ibis 148: 449-458  pdf


Møller A. P., Chabi Y., Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Kilpimaa J., Kose M., Matyjasiak P., Pap P. L., Saino N., Sakraoui R., Schifferli L., von Hirschheydt J. 2006. An analysis of continent-wide patterns of sexual selection in a passerine bird. Evolution 60: 856-868  pdf




Cuervo J. J., de Ayala R. M. 2005. Experimental tail shortening in barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) affects haematocrit. Functional Ecology 19: 828-835  pdf


Cuervo J. J. 2005. Hatching success in avocet Recurvirostra avosetta and black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus. Bird Study 52: 166-172  pdf




Cuervo J. J. 2004. Nest-site selection and characteristics in a mixed-species colony of avocets Recurvirostra avosetta and black-winged stilts Himantopus himantopus. Bird Study 51: 20-24  pdf




Møller A. P., Brohede J., Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Primmer C. 2003. Extrapair paternity in relation to sexual ornamentation, arrival date and condition in a migratory bird. Behavioral Ecology 14: 707-712  pdf


Barbosa A., Merino S., Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Møller A. P. 2003. Feather damage of long tails in barn swallows Hirundo rustica. Ardea 91: 85-90  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P., de Lope F. 2003. Experimental manipulation of tail length in female barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) affects their future reproductive success. Behavioral Ecology 14: 451-456  pdf


Cuervo J. J. 2003. Parental roles and mating system in the black-winged stilt. Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 947-953  pdf


Møller A. P., Cuervo J. J. 2003. Sexual selection, germline mutation rate and sperm competition. BMC Evolutionary Biology 3: 6  pdf


Møller A. P., Cuervo, J. J. 2003. Asymmetry, size, and sexual selection: factors affecting heterogeneity in relationships between asymmetry and sexual selection. In: M. Polak (ed.). Developmental instability: causes and consequences (pp. 262-275). Oxford University Press, New York  pdf




Cuervo J. J. 2002. Selección sexual versus selección natural: el ejemplo de la cola de la golondrina. In: M. Soler (ed.). Evolución: la base de la biología (pp. 463-469). Proyecto Sur de Ediciones, Granada  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2001. Components of phenotypic variation in avian ornamental and non-ornamental feathers. Evolutionary Ecology 15: 53-72  pdf




Møller A. P., Cuervo J. J. 2000. The evolution of paternity and paternal care in birds. Behavioral Ecology 11: 472-485  pdf


Cuervo J. J. 2000. Foraging cost of ornaments which are not ornaments: comment on Matyjasiak et al. (1999). Ethology 106: 659-663  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 2000. Sex limited expression of ornamental feathers in birds. Behavioral Ecology 11: 246-259  pdf




Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 1999. Evolutionary rates of secondary sexual and non-sexual characters among birds. Evolutionary Ecology 13: 283-303  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 1999. Phenotypic variation and fluctuating asymmetry in sexually dimorphic feather ornaments in relation to sex and mating system. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 68: 505-529  pdf


Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P. 1999. Ecology and evolution of extravagant feather ornaments. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 12: 986-998  pdf




Møller A. P., Cuervo J. J. 1998. Speciation and feather ornamentation in birds. Evolution 52: 859-869  pdf


Soler J. J., Cuervo J. J., Møller A. P., de Lope F. 1998. Nest building is a sexually selected behaviour in the barn swallow. Animal Behaviour 56: 1435-1442  pdf


Møller A. P., Barbosa A., Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Merino S., Saino N. 1998. Sexual selection and tail streamers in the barn swallow. Proccedings of the Royal Society of London B 265: 409-414  pdf





Saino N., Cuervo J. J., Ninni P., de Lope F., Møller A. P. 1997. Haematocrit correlates with tail ornament size in three populations of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). Functional Ecology 11: 604-610  pdf


Saino N., Cuervo J. J., Krivacek M., de Lope F., Møller A. P. 1997. Experimental manipulation of tail ornament size affects the haematocrit of male barn swallows (Hirundo rustica). Oecologia 110: 186-190  pdf




Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Møller A. P., Moreno J. 1996. Energetic cost of tail streamers in the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica). Oecologia 108: 252-258  pdf


Cuervo J. J., de Lope F., Møller A. P. 1996. The function of long tails in female barn swallows (Hirundo rustica): An experimental study. Behavioral Ecology 7: 132-136  pdf


Møller A. P., Cuervo J. J., Soler J. J., Zamora-Muñoz C. 1996. Horn asymmetry and fitness in gemsbok, Oryx g. gazella. Behavioral Ecology 7: 247-253  pdf


Viñuela J., Moreno J., Carrascal L. M., Sanz J. J., Amat J. A., Ferrer M., Belliure J., Cuervo J. J. 1996. The effect of hatching date on parental care, chick growth, and chick mortality in the chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica. Journal of Zoology 240: 51-58  pdf




Moreno J., Carrascal L. M., Sanz J. J., Amat J. A., Cuervo J. J. 1994. Hatching asynchrony, sibling hierarchies and brood reduction in the Chinstrap penguin Pygoscelis antarctica. Polar Biology 14: 21-30  pdf




Cuervo J. J. 1993. Biología reproductiva de la avoceta (Recurvirostra avosetta) y la cigüeñuela (Himantopus himantopus) (Recurvirostridae, Aves) en el sur de España. Ph.D. thesis, Universidad Complutense, Madrid  pdf




Bustamante J., Cuervo J. J., Moreno J. 1992. The function of feeding chases in the chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica). Animal Behaviour 44: 753-759  pdf






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