The Behavioural Ecology Lab is a research lab integrated in the Animal Ecology Group, a cooperative assembly of research groups within the University of Vigo.

We aim to understand how natural selection shapes the life history and behaviour of wild animal populations. Our work focuses mainly on seabirds (shags, boobies, gulls, shearwaters, guillemots, etc) living in islands  but has also involved studies on fishes and other vertebrate species. We are also interested in wildlife conservation and the consequences of human actions for the diversity (see our research on the effects of the Prestige oil spill)

Most of our current research focuses on:

Gene expression and the evolution of complex phenotypes


Senescence in wild animals


Social evolution and family coadaptation


Seabird conservation


Current members
  Alberto Velando Sin-Yeon Kim Jose C. Noguera
  Alberto da Silva Javier Díaz-Real Náyade Álvarez Quintero
  Belén Otero Gema Álvarez Natalia Ribao


See our last publications:

2017 1 Kim, S-Y, Costa MM, Esteve-Codina, A, Velando A.  Transcriptional mechanisms underlying life-history responses to climate change in the three-spined stickleback. Evolutionary Applications [in press]
2 Noguera JC. 2017. Interacting effects of early dietary conditions and reproductive effort on the oxidative costs of reproduction. PeerJ 5:e3094



Velando A, Moran P, Romero R, Fernandez J, Piorno V. 2016. Invasion and eradication of the American mink in the Atlantic Islands National Park (NW Spain): A retrospective analysis. Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-016-1326-8
2 Barros, A, Romero R, Munilla I, Pérez C, Velando A. 2016. Behavioural plasticity in nest-site selection of a colonial seabird in response to an invasive carnivore. Biological Invasions 18:3149–3161
3 Díaz-Real J, Kim S-Y, Velando A. 2016 Hatching hierarchy but not egg-related effects governs behavioral phenotypes in gull chicks. Behavioral Ecology doi:10.1093/beheco/arw110



Noguera JC, Metcalfe NB, Reichert S, Monaghan P. 2016. Embryonic and postnatal telomere length decrease with ovulation order within clutches. Scientific Reports 6, 25915



Kim S-Y, Metcalfe NB, Velando A. 2016. A benign juvenile environment reduces the strength of antagonistic pleiotropy and genetic variation in the rate of senescence. Journal of Animal Ecology, 85, 705-714.



Kim S-Y, Velando A. 2016. Unsociable juvenile male three-spined sticklebacks grow more attractive. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, 70, 975-980



Munilla I, Genovart, M, Paiva, VH,  Velando, A. 2016. Colony foundation in an oceanic seabird. PlosOne 11, e0147222


Kim S-Y. 2016. Fixed behavioural plasticity in response to predation risk in the three-spined stickleback. Animal Behaviour, 112, 147-152


Kim S-Y & Velando A. 2016. Genetic conflict between sexual signalling and juvenile survival in the three-spined stickleback.  BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16:52






Velando A, Barros Á , Moran P. 2015. Heterozygosity–fitness correlations in a declining seabird population. Molecular Ecology 24, 1007-1018



Kim S-Y, Velando A. 2015. Phenotypic integration between anti-predator behaviour and camouflage pattern in juvenile sticklebacks. Evolution, 69, 830-83



Kim S-Y, Velando A. 2015. Antioxidants safeguard telomeres in bold chicks. Biology Letters, 11, 20150211



Munilla I ,  Velando A. 2015. The Iberian guillemot population crash: A plea for action at the margins. Biological Conservation 191, 842



González-Solís J , Díaz M ,  Velando A,  Tella JL,  Amat JA,  Arroyo B et al. , 2015. Anillamiento científico: estado actual y perspectivas de futuro. Quercus, 23-28

  6 Speakman, J.R., Blount, J.D., Bronikowski, A.M, Buffenstein, R., et al. 2015. Oxidative stress and life histories: unresolved issues and current needs. Ecology and evolution. 5, 5745-5757
7 Fletcher, K.L., Whitley, B.N., Treidel, Thompson, D., Williams, S., Noguera, J.N., Stevenson, J.N., Haussmann, M. 2015. Voluntary locomotor activity mitigates oxidative damage associated with isolation stress in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster). Biology Letters  11, 20150178
8 Noguera, J.C., Metcalfe, N.B., Monaghan P. 2015. Interactive effects of early and later nutritional conditions on the adult antioxidant defence system in zebra finches. Journal of Experimental Biology 218, 2211-2217
  9 Noguera, J.C., Metcalfe, N.B., Bonner, W., Monaghan, P. 2015. Sex-dependent effects of nutrition on telomere dynamics in Zebra finches (Taenioyigia guttata). Biology Letters. 11, 20140938
  10 Noguera, J.C., Metcalfe, N.B., Surai, P., Monaghan, P. Are you what you eat? 2015. Micronutritional deficiencies during development influence adult personality-related traits. Animal Behaviour 100, 129-140