Congratulations José! One of his dissertation chapters was recently accepted for publication in Evolution Letters. The study shows that while most plants benefit from germinating early in the growing season, this advantage is reduced by herbivores, which tend to consume more of the plants that germinate very early in the growing season, when there’s likely less for them to eat. This study is important because it shows how biotic interactions can modify the strength of natural selection on key phenological traits. José Waterton completed his PhD at UC San Diego, and in 2020 he began as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Indiana working with Prof. Jennifer Lau.
Waterton, J. and E.E. Cleland. (2021) Mammalian herbivores weaken selection for early emergence in competition. doi:10.1002/evl3.222 (in press, Evolution Letters)