Ignacio Morales Castilla

Ignacio Morales-Castilla

Ignacio Morales-Castilla

Research Associate, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131
Phone: 617.384.5631
Fax: 617.384.6596


PhD Ecology (2011) University of Alcalá, Spain
MS Advanced Research Studies (2009) University of Alcalá, Spain
MS Education and Pedagogy (2006) University Complutense of Madrid, Spain
BS Environmental Sciences (2005) University of Alcalá, Spain

Research Interests

Why biodiversity is distributed on Earth as it does? What is the signature of historical and evolutionary processes on current diversity patterns? Can we predict the future of biodiversity in a changing world? These are among the central questions in which my research program focuses. Specifically, it aims to: (1) disentangle the relative roles of evolution and ecology as drivers of community structure, (2) understanding how different aspects of the species’ niches are evolutionarily conserved, (3) enhancing models of biotic interactions and/or species distributions by integrating phylogenetic, functional and geographic information. Ultimately, I am interested in better understanding and predicting species and ecosystem vulnerability in a context of Global Change.


  • Terribile, L. C., Olalla-Tarraga, M. A., Morales-Castilla, I., Rueda, M., Vidanes, R. M., Rodríquez, M. A. & Diniz-Filho, J. A. F. (2009) Global richness patterns of venomous snakes reveal contrasting influences of ecology and history in two different clades. Oecologia, 159: 617–626.
  • Bini, L. M., Diniz-Filho, J. A. F., Rangel, T. F. L. V. B., Akre, T. S. B., Albaladejo, R. G., Albuquerque, F. S., Aparicio, A., Araújo, M. B., Baselga, A., Beck, Jan, Bellocq, M. I., Böhning-Gaese, K., Borges, P. A. V., Castro-Parga, I., Chey, V. K., Chown, S. L., de Marco Jr, P.,  Dobkin, D. S., Ferrer-Castán, D., Field, R., Filloy, J., Fleishman, E., Gómez, J. F., Hortal, J., Iverson, J. B., Kerr, J. T., Kissling, W. D., Kitching, I. J., León-Cortés, J. L., Lobo, J. M., Montoya, D., Morales-Castilla, I., Moreno, J. C., Oberdorff, T., Olalla-Tárraga, M. Á., Pausas, J. G., Qian, H., Rahbek, C., Rodríguez, M. Á., Rueda, M., Ruggiero, A., Sackmann, P., Sanders, N. J., Terribile, L. C.,Vetaas, O. R., & Hawkins, B. A. (2009) Coefficient shifts in geographical ecology: An empirical evaluation on spatial and non-spatial regression. Ecography, 32: 1-12.
  • Morales-Castilla, I., Olalla-Tárraga, M. Á., Bini, L. M., de Marco Jr, P., Hawkins, B. A. & Rodríguez, M. Á. (2011) Niche conservatism and species richness patterns of squamate reptiles in eastern and southern Africa. Austral Ecology, 36: 550-558.
  • Diniz-Filho, J.A.F., Bini, L.M., Rangel, T.F., Morales-Castilla, I., Olalla-Tárraga, M.Á., Rodríguez, M.Á. & Hawkins B.A. (2012) On the selection of phylogenetic eigenvectors for ecological analyses. Ecography, 35: 239–249.
  • Morales-Castilla, I., Rodríguez, M. Á. & Hawkins, B. A. (2012) Deep phylogeny, net primary productivity and the global bird body size gradient. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 106: 880-892.
  • Morales-Castilla, I., Olalla-Tárraga, M. Á., Purvis, A., Hawkins, B. A. & Rodríguez, M. Á. (2012) The imprint of Cenozoic migrations and evolutionary history on the biogeographic gradient of body size in New World mammals. The American Naturalist, 180: 246-256.
  • Morales-Castilla, I., Rodríguez, M. Á., Kaur, R. & Hawkins, B. A. (2013) Range size patterns of New World oscine passerines (Aves): insights from differences among migratory and sedentary clades. Journal of Biogeography, 40: 2261–2273, doi:10.1111/jbi.12159.
  • Morales-Castilla, I. (2013) Niche conservatism and evolutionary determinants of terrestrial vertebrate diversity patterns. Frontiers of Biogeography, 5: 179-184.
  • Ferrero, M., Morales-Castilla, I., Rueda, M. Moreno, J.C. & Rodríguez, M. Á. (2013) Cuantificando la cobertura y fragmentación de los bosques globalmente y en la vegetación mediterránea. In Cuartas Jornadas de Jóvenes Investigadores de la University of Alcalá: Ciencias / ed. By Ros, G., Aguado, J., Hidalgo, M.Á., Guerrero, A., ISBN 978-84-15834-15-1, 75-84.
  • Rueda, M., Hawkins, B. A., Morales-Castilla, I., Vidanés, R. & Rodríguez, M. Á. (2013) Does fragmentation increase extinction thresholds? A Western European-wide test with seven forest birds. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 22: 1282–1292, doi: 10.1111/geb.12079.
  • Morales-Castilla, I. & García-Valdés, R. (2014) Reverse latitudinal diversity gradients, exceptions that prove the rule? Ecosistemas, 23: 4-12.
  • Estrada A., Meireles C., Morales-Castilla I., Kühn I., Poschlod P., Araújo M. & Early R. (2015) Species’ intrinsic traits inform their range limitations and vulnerability under environmental change. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24: 849–858.
  • Rueda, M., Moreno, J. C. Morales-Castilla, I., Alburquerque, F. S., Ferrero, M., & Rodríguez, M. Á. (2015) Fragmentation enhances the extinction threshold of some forest understory plant species in Peninsular Spain. PlosOne, 10: e0126424.
  • Morales-Castilla, I., Matías, M., Gravel, D. & Araújo M.B. (2015) Inferring biotic interactions from proxies. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 30: 347–356.
  • Estrada A., Morales-Castilla I., Caplat P. & Early R. (2016) Species ecological traits in terrestrial climate change risk assessment. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31: 190-203.
  • Torres-Romero, E.J., Morales-Castilla I., & Olalla-Tárraga M.Á. (2016) Bergmann´s rule in the oceans? Temperature determines global interspecific patterns of body size in marine mammals. Global Ecology and Biogeography (in press).
  • García-Valdés, R. & Morales-Castilla I. The use of inventories to predict the effects of global change on forests. Ecosistemas (in press).