Gonzalo Albaladejo

I am a biologist and passionate naturalist from the Canary Islands (Spain) interested in biology, conservation and management of endangered species and also in biogeography, statistics, ornithology, new technologies (such as the use of drones and telemetry for ecological and species monitoring studies) and how all these different techniques and disciplines can be combined and applied to the development of conservation strategies. After finishing my bachelor degree in Biology at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) I had the opportunity to work on the reintroduction project from the white-tailed laurel pigeon (Columba junoniae), in Gran Canaria from 2014 to 2016. Then I moved to the mainland Spain to complete a master in conservation biology at the University of Granada, where I ended up working in the ecological implications of the scatter-hoarder behaviour of magpies (Pica pica). At the same time, and with some colleges from the Canaries, I was conducting a study about the impact of sea-bird colonies in the conservation of the critically endangered Canarian speckled lizard (Gallotia intermedia). Finally, in May 2018, I got hired by the University of Braunschweig to conduct a monitoring over the common fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) populations of the Eifel region. Apart from these activities, I have had also the chance to work in different projects, from different institutions, related with the reptiles species from the Canary Islands such as the Tizon lizard (Gallotia galloti) the lizards from the rocks of Anaga (Gallotia galloti insulanagae) and the Tenerife gecko (Tarentola delalandi).

PhD Project [completed]: Understanding how terrestrial vertebrate life-history shape responses to climatic seasonality and landscape heterogeneity

Life-history theory posits that species pace of life can be described based on species life-history traits: fast species, which have short lifespans and produce numerous offspring; and slow species, which have long lifespans but fewer offspring. A continuum of life-history strategies can be defined between these two extremes. Theoretically, these life-history strategies will give species competitive advantages under different environmental conditions. Fast species are expected to be favoured in more variable environments, whereas slow species are expected to thrive in more homogeneous or stable habitats. This hypothesis is deeply rooted in ecology and conservation, but it hasn't been tested at a global scale. Filling this gap can allow us to better understand how species respond to anthropogenic environmental changes.

In this thesis, I explored how life-history strategies and environmental factors influence the distributions, community composition, and population trends of terrestrial vertebrate species. In Chapter 3, I found that life-history strategies influence the probability of occurrence of species under different conditions of climatic seasonality and landscape heterogeneity. Extending my focus to whole species communities, I found that communities under human-impacted land uses, and climatically seasonal environments have species spanning a wider range of life-history types (life-history richness) and are dominated by fast species (Chapter 4). In my final experimental chapter, I investigated how populations of species with different life-history strategies change due to land-cover and climate warming. Here I showed how fast species have benefited from recent land-cover conversions, while slow-lived species’ populations have declined (Chapter 5).

Combined, these results show how species life-history influence key species responses to natural gradients and environmental change, and which are the implications of these responses to the conservation of biodiversity. Individually, each experiment shows how the study of interactions between biodiversity and environmental conditions can benefit from the inclusion of species traits.


Albaladejo-Robles, G., Böhm, M., & Newbold, T. (2023). Species life-history strategies affect population responses to temperature and land-cover changes. Global Change Biology, 29, 97-109. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16454 Open Access Repository

Newbold, T; Adams, G; Albaladejo Robles, G; Boakes, E; Chapman, A; Etard, A; et al (2019) Climate and land-use change homogenise terrestrial biodiversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning and human well-being. Emerging Topics in Life Sciences , 3: 207-219. https://doi.org/10.1042/etls20180135Open Access repository

Albaladejo-Robles, G. (2022) Understanding how terrestrial vertebrate life-history strategies shape responses to climatic seasonality and landscape heterogeneity. PhD Thesis. University College of London, London, UK. → Open Access Repository


 Academic Host

University College London
London, UK
Tim Newbold


Zoological Society of London
London, UK
Robin Freeman
Monika Bohm
Mike Hoffmann
International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Piero Visconti Collaborator