Xavier Picó (Barcelona, 1971) is currently Tenured Researcher at the Doñana Biological Station, a research institute of the The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). He earned his PhD in Biological Sciences, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), in 2000. His PhD dealt with plant demography, using models parameterized with field-collected data, to evaluate the long-term dynamics of plant populations. Xavier conducted postdoctoral stays—mostly in The Netherlands, USA and Spain—during which he progressively moved from ecology to genetics, until adopting Arabidopsis thaliana as his unique study system. The major goal of Xavier’s research has been to study in depth the neglected ecological and evolutionary aspects of A. thaliana in the native environments where the species evolves. At present, Xavier is very much interested in disentangling the knotty interactions between ecology and genetics, as none of these elements are independent from each other when it comes to fully comprehend plant evolution.
Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC), Seville, Spain
Talk title and synopsis
Understanding the ecology and genetics of local adaptation in plants: lessons from natural Arabidopsis thaliana populations along wide environmental gradients
The annual plant Arabidopsis thaliana occurs across a wide array of environments, from seaside to alpine locations and from extreme to benign. Clearly, the species has developed the means to do that. Understanding such means is not a straightforward task. In the last two decades, however, rapid developments in various fields are providing exciting new insight into the mechanisms, including the species’ evolutionary history, by which A. thaliana has been able to succeed.