de la Concha Maroto Alejandro


I am a PhD student in the Evolutionary Ecology Department at MNCN-CSIC, working under the supervision of Jose Martín Rueda and Pilar López, both from the Evolutionary Ecology Department, and Isabel Barja from UAM. My research focuses on the behavioural responses of fossorial reptiles to increased physiological stress resulting from selective pressures induced by human activities.

I work with two amphisbaenas, the checkerboard worm lizard (Trogonophis wiegmanni) and the Iberian worm lizard (Blanus cinereus). As fossorial reptiles, they employ distinct strategies to cope with the challenges posed by underground habitats, exhibiting adaptations that differ from those commonly observed in epigeal reptiles. During my thesis, I will explore various topics including chemical communication, colouration, habitat selection, and host-microbiome interactions, all within the context of increased physiological stress (glucocorticoids) resulting from heavy metal pollution or climate change effects.