Danny Rojas

Danny Rojas
Pontificia Universidad Javeriana - Cali · Departamento de Ciencias Naturales y Matemáticas

Ph.D.

About

29
Publications
23,030
Reads
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642
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in the process of diversification at macroevolutionary scales. I use a combination of phylogenetic comparative methods to understand the biogeographic history and the taxonomic and phenotypic diversification of species in the Neotropics. Although my main study system are the New World leaf-nosed bats—one of the most ecologically diverse family of mammals—this interest has extended recently to other diverse groups of terrestrial vertebrates. I also collaborate in the study of the evolution of reproductive adaptations and strategies in flowering plants, with a special focus on orchids.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
University of Aveiro
Position
  • PostDoc Position
November 2012 - December 2013
University of Vigo
Position
  • PhD
January 2010 - October 2012
University of Vigo
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2008 - October 2012
University of Vigo
Field of study
  • Evolutionary Ecology
September 2008 - September 2009
University of Vigo
Field of study
  • Ecology
March 2005 - April 2008
University of Havana
Field of study
  • Zoology and Vertebrate Ecology

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
The mechanisms underlying the high extant biodiversity in the Neotropics have been controversial since the 19th century. Support for the influence of period-specific changes on diversification often rests on detecting more speciation events during a particular period. The timing of speciation events may reflect the influence of incomplete taxon sam...
Article
Comparative correlational studies of brain size and ecological traits (e.g. feeding habits and habitat complexity) have increased our knowledge about the selective pressures on brain evolution. Studies conducted in bats as a model system assume that shared evolutionary history has a maximum effect on the traits. However, this effect has not been qu...
Article
Full-text available
Aim. Ecological interactions are among the most important biotic factors influencing the processes of speciation and extinction. Our aim was to test whether diversification rates of New World Noctilionoidea bats are associated with specialization for frugivory, and how this pattern differs between the mainland and the West Indies. Location. The New...
Article
Full-text available
A great proportion of bats of the New World family Phyllostomidae feed on fruit, nectar and pollen, and many of them present adaptations to feed also on insects and small vertebrates. So far, attempts to examine the diversification of feeding specialization in this group, and particularly the evolution of nectarivory and frugivory, have provided co...
Article
Parthenogenesis is rare in nature. With 39 described true parthenogens, scaled reptiles (Squamata) are the only vertebrates that evolved this reproductive strategy. Parthenogenesis is ecologically advantageous in the short term, but the young age and rarity of parthenogenetic species indicate it is less advantageous in the long term. This suggests...
Article
Full-text available
Human activities have led to global changes with direct consequences for biodiversity. For this reason, special concerns have arisen, particularly in respect to global threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation, because they decrease population size, promote the loss of species genetic diversity, contract species geographical distribution and f...
Article
Full-text available
The IUCN provides a spatial database for many species, including terrestrial mammals. This database includes shapefiles with taxonomic information and the extent of occurrence for each species, and has been used in hundreds of studies in ecology, biogeography and conservation. Here we provide updated distribution maps that comprise the extent of oc...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of speciation (or diversification) estimated in BAMM, either from the tips or path‐wise rates, must not be used in phylogenetic regressions in the way presented in our paper (Rojas et al. 2018), as we will explain in this correction. Different approaches have been recently developed to study the joint dynamics of trait evolution and species d...
Article
Full-text available
The role of trophic specialisation in taxonomic diversification remains unclear. Plant specialists diversify faster than omnivores and animalivores, but at shorter macroevolutionary scales this pattern sometimes reverses. Here, we estimate the effect of diet diversification on speciation rates in noctilionoid bats, controlling for tree shape, rate...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study: Populations of heterostylous species are characterized by two or three floral morphs with reciprocal positioning of stigmas and anthers. Theoretical models predict equal morph frequencies (isoplethy) when disassortative mating is prevalent in populations, but biased morph ratios may occur when variation in the expression of h...
Article
The family Sciuridae is one of the most widespread and ecologically diverse lineage of rodents and represents an ideal model for investigating the evolution of locomotion modes and the historical biogeography of terrestrial mammals. We used a comprehensive database on locomotion modes, an updated phylogeny and novel biogeographic comparative method...
Article
Full-text available
The earliest record of plant visiting in bats dates to the Middle Miocene of La Venta, the worldtextquoterights most diverse tropical palaeocommunity. Palynephyllum antimaster is known from molars that indicate nectarivory. Skull length, an important indicator of key traits such as body size, bite force and trophic specialization, remains unknown....
Article
Full-text available
A persistent challenge in ecology is to tease apart the influence of multiple processes acting simultaneously and interacting in complex ways to shape the structure of species assemblages. We implement a heuristic approach that relies on explicitly defining species pools and permits assessment of the relative influence of the main processes thought...
Article
Full-text available
Activity patterns have profound implications on primates’ morphology, physiology, and behavior and have likely driven their diversification. The last common ancestor of extant primates has been traditionally considered nocturnal although this notion has been recently debated due to emerging contradictory evidence. Previous studies underestimated th...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract—A new orchid species, Encyclia sabanensis, is described and illustrated. The new taxon is compared with a large group of species of Encyclia from the Caribbean. The distribution, ecology, and conservation status of E. sabanensis are briefly discussed. A general field key for identifying 24 Encyclia species that has been reported for Cuba i...
Article
Full-text available
The geographical distribution, population structure and pollination ecology are key aspects in the conservation and management of rare orchids. Here, we address these aspects and the main threats affecting the endangered Cuban orchid Broughtonia cubensis. This rewardless orchid is self-compatible, but pollinator dependent. However, seed production...
Article
Full-text available
A new orchid species, Tetramicra riparia is described from eastern Cuba. The new taxon has intermediate traits between the two subgenera of Tetramicra currently accepted. In fact, the most useful feature to distinguish T. riparia from its congeneric species (the combination of a repent growing habit with a completely entire labellum) is also the ma...
Article
Full-text available
Encyclia navarroi Vale & Rojas (Orchidaceae) is described from Western Cuba. This orchid thrives in coastal vegetation on the karstic terrains in the Pinar del Río and Artemisa provinces. It co-occurs locally with congeneric species. Encyclia navarroi can be easily recognized by its erose leaf margin, the not connivent and triangular lateral lobes...
Article
Full-text available
The mimicry of malpighiaceous oil-flowers appears to be a recurrent pollination strategy among many orchids of the subtribe Oncidiinae. These two plant groups are mainly pollinated by oil-gathering bees, which also specialize in pollen collection by buzzing. In the present study, the floral ecology of the rewardless orchid Tolumnia guibertiana (Onc...
Article
Low fruit set values in most orchids (especially epiphytic and tropical species) are normally thought to be the consequence of pollination constraints and limited resources. In particular, pollination constraints are modulated by pollinator visitation rates, pollinator visitation behaviour (promoting crossing or selfing), the type and number of pol...
Article
Full-text available
Biogeography of Cuban bats have been received a general attention and little particular analyses of internal events referred to the origins, diversification, and extinction of Cuban bats have been made. On the basis of recent discoveries of two fossils and one extant species, and other recent publications, we approach to the historical biogeography...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Citations that appear in the BODY of published papers contribute to metrics (e.g. h-index) that account for the impact of the work of a particular researcher. I acknowledge that the suitability of these indexes is debatable. In the meantime, I wonder why the citations that appear in Supporting Information (particularly those that refers to relevant methods and databases that were used in the papers) are not included in the calculation of such indexes.

Network

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Projects

Projects (5)
Project
To actualize the current knowledge of the flora associated with the Colombian fauna of Lepidoptera. This could provide base information to achieve more integrative studies about the in situ and ex situ conservation/management of these insects in the country and the Neotropics.
Project
Why there are so many species in the tropics? What is the effect of habitat loss and fragmentation on the maintenance of tropical biodiversity over time? In this project we focus on Neotropical terrestrial vertebrates to understand patterns of diversity and diversification and the processes behind those patterns.