REsearch interests

My interests are the systematics of leafhoppers and planthoppers (Hemiptera, Auchenorrhyncha). I am currently working on the bibliographic catalogue of the Auchenorrhyncha of the Iberian Peninsula and Macaronesian archipelagos (Canary Islands, Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde). I do not consider taxonomy a different entity from systematics because both have the same goal, to obtain a causal understanding of the properties of the characters of organisms. What we observe and describe are individual organisms and, based on their characters, we associate them with a species hypothesis. Thus, species are not individuals, but explanatory hypotheses intimately dependent on the evolutionary theories that explain them.  As is proper to systematics, to infer hypotheses, I use all relevant observations and select the most useful methods according to the objective of the scientific research. I am also interested in the ecological and evolutionary processes that arise in populations after the colonisation of oceanic islands. My main goal is to understand why parthenogenetic reproduction is more common on islands than on the mainland, as predicted by geographical parthenogenesis. For this purpose, I use as model organisms three parthenogenetic forms of Empoasca leafhoppers that only occur on Madeira Island. I wish to know whether parthenogenetic forms colonise island habitats more easily, or whether parthenogenesis arises after colonisation as an adaptation to island life. In addition to my research activities, I manage the Insect Collection of the University of Madeira (UMACI).