Life history oddities and gaps of knowledge

Humans tend to explore organisms that look more like us, species that are close to us, and organisms that are easy to measure. Our comparative work has demonstrated large gaps of knowledge in the demography of species across the tree of life. This is concerning because most theories that are currently taught in Ecology 101 and Evolution 101 textbooks are based on a handful of species that may very well not represent the array of demographic responses that are possible across the universe of taxonomies.

demographic knowledge across tetrapods conde et al 2019 pnas

The SalGo team is working hard at rectifying these biases by (i) publishing on their existence, (ii) pointing out where it is most cost-effective and bio-diverse to carry out demographic world, (iii) training researchers from developing countries where most demographic information is still lacking, and (iv) going to places where demographic research is absent. The latter has taken the lab to expand our bandwidth to work in desert areas (e.g. Australia, South Africa), as well as in the marine realm. We also work with species that break taxonomic rules, such as carnivorous plants, parasitic plants, corals, ants, etc. The acquisition of a lot of these data is coupled with UAVs (=drones) and algorithms that allow fro the semi-automated training of the digitalisation of data into models.


geographic distribution of species in compadre comadre
SalGo team members:
  • Irene Barriga Garcia-Lisbona
  • James Cant
  • Simon Levin
  • Simran Aujla
  • Pol Capdevila
  • Roberto Rodriguez
  • Rob Salguero-Gómez


Selected collaborators:


Selected publications:

Paniw M, James T, Archer R, Römer G, Levin , Compagnoni A, Che-Castaldo J, Bennett J, Mooney A, Childs D, Ozgul A, Jones O, Burns J, Hodgson D, Beckerman A, Patwary A, Sanchez-Gassen N, Knight T*, Salguero-Gómez R*. In press. Global analysis reveals complex demographic responses of mammals to climate change. Journal of Animal Ecology (BioRxiv DOI 10.1101/2019.12.16.878348)

James T, Salguero-Gómez R, Jones O, Childs D & Beckerman A. In press. Bridging gaps in demographic data with phylogenetic imputation. Conservation Biology DOI 10.1111/cobi.13658

Conde D, Staerk J, Colchero F, da Silva R, Schöley J, Baden M, Jouvet L, Fa J, Syed H, Jongejans E, Meiri S, Gaillard JM, Chamberlain S, Wilcken J, Jones O, Dahlgren J, Steiner Uk, Bland L, Gomez-Mestre I, Lebreton J-D, González Vargas J, Flesness N, Canudas-Romo V, Salguero-Gómez R, Byers O, Berg T, Scheuerlein A, Devillard S, Schigel D, Ryder O, Possingham P, Baudisch A & Vaupel J. 2019. The Demographic Species Index of Knowledge: revealing data gaps and opportunities to advance conservation and comparative biology. PNAS  116: 9658-9664. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1816367116

Capdevila P, Bernat H, SalgueroGómez R, Rovira G, Medrano A, Cebrián E, Garrabou J, Kersting D & Linares C. 2018. Warming impacts on early life stages can increase the vulnerability and delay the recovery of long-lived macroalgae populations. Journal of Ecology 107: 1129-1140. DOI: 10.1111/13652745.13090

Coutts S, SalgueroGómez R, Csergõ A & Buckley Y. 2016. Extrapolating demography with climate, proximity and phylogeny: approach with caution. Ecology Letters 19, 1429-1438, DOI:10.1111/ele.12691

Salguero-Gómez R, Jones OR, Archer CA, Bein C, de Buhr H, Farack C, Gottschalk F, Hartmann A, Henning A, Hoppe G, Römer G, Ruoff T, Sommer V, Wille J, Zeh S, Vieregg D, Buckley YM, Che-Castaldo J, Conde DA, Hodgson D, Scheuerlein A, Caswell H*, Vaupel JW*. 2016. COMADRE: a global database of animal demography. Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 371-384 Elton Prize of the British Ecology Society. Most downloaded article of Journal of Animal Ecology in 2016-18. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12482 

Salguero-Gómez R, Jones OR, Archer CA, Buckley YM, Che-Castaldo J, Caswell C, Scheuerlein A, Conde DA, Baudisch A, Brinks E, de Buhr H, Farack C, Gottschalk F, Hartmann A, Henning A, Hoppe G, Römer G, Runge J, Ruoff T, Wille J, Zeh S, Vieregg D, Altwegg R, Colchero F, Dong M, Hodgson D, de Kroon H, Lebreton J-D, Metcalf CJE, Neel M, Parker I, Takada T, Valverde T, Vélez-Espino LA, Wardle GM, Franco M* & Vaupel JW*. 2015. The COMPADRE Plant Matrix Database: an online repository for plant population dynamics. Journal of Ecology 103, 202-218. Highlight of the Plant Population Ecology section of the ESA. Top 5 most downloaded J Ecol 2015-2019. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12334


*Shared senior