José Ramón Obeso

Catedrático de Universidad

Instituto Mixto de Investigación en Biodiversidad
Universidad de Oviedo, Campus de Mieres (UO, CSIC, PA)
Oviedo University, Campus de Mieres
Edificio de Investigación V planta
c/ Gonzalo Gutiérrez Quirós s/n
E-33600 Mieres, Spain
+34 985 10 4789

Historial académico

  • 1986: PhD in Biology (EBD-CSIC)
  • 1993: Associate Professor of Oviedo University
  • 2006: Full Professor of Ecology, Oviedo University – Catedrático de Universidad
  • 2010-2016: Director of the Research Unit of Biodiversity

Líneas de investigación

  • Ecology and biodiversity of High Mountain Ecosystems
  • Global Change Ecology (population and community responses, mostly insects as models).
  • Evolution of life histories
  • Plant-animal interactions (mostly herbivory).


  • Castaño-Santamaría, J., López-Sánchez, C. A., Obeso, J. R. & Barrio-Anta, M. (2021). Structure, environmental patterns and impact of expected climate change in natural beech-dominated forests in the Cantabrian Range (NW Spain). Forest Ecology and Management, 497, 119512. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119512
  • Delgado, M.M., Arlettaz, R., Bettega, C., Brambilla, M., de Gabriel Hernando, M., España, A. Fernández-González, A., Fernández-Martín, A., Gil, J.A., Hernández-Gómez, S., Laiolo, P., Resano-Mayor, J., Obeso, J.R., Pedrini, P., Roa-Álvarez, I., Schano, C., Scridel, D., Strinella, E., Toranzo, I. & Korner-Nievergelt, F. (2021). Spatio-temporal variation in the wintering associations of an alpine bird. Proc. R. Soc. B 288: 20210690. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2021.0690
  • Obeso, J.R., & Laiolo, P. (2021). Cambio climático y variación de los ciclos vitales con la altitud. Ecosistemas 30(1): 2145. DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.2145
  • Laiolo, P., Pato, J., Illera, J. C., & Obeso, J. R. (2021). Selection for functional performance in the evolution of cuticle hardening mechanisms in insects. Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/evo.14201
  • Laiolo P., Pato J., Jiménez-Alfaro B. & Obeso J.R. (2020) Evolutionary conservation of within-family biodiversity patterns. Nature Communications 11: 882. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-14720-3
  • Illera, J. C., Arenas, M., López-Sánchez, C. A., Obeso, J. R., & Laiolo, P. (2019). Gradual Distance Dispersal Shapes the Genetic Structure in an Alpine Grasshopper. Genes, 10(8), 590. DOI: 10.3390/genes10080590
  • Pato, J., Illera, J.C., Obeso, J.R. & Laiolo, P. (2019). The roles of geography, climate and sexual selection in driving divergence among insect populations in mountaintops. Journal of Biogeography, 46: 784-795. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13540
  • Herrera, J. M., Ploquin, E. F., Rasmont, P., & Obeso, J. R. (2018). Climatic niche breadth determines the response of bumblebees (Bombus spp.) to climate warming in mountain areas of the Northern Iberian Peninsula. Journal of Insect Conservation.  DOI: 10.1007/s10841-018-0100-x
  • Obeso, J.R., & Herrera, J.M. (2018) Polinizadores y cambio climático. Ecosistemas 27 (2): 52-59. DOI: 10.7818/ECOS.1371
  • Laiolo P., Pato J., & Obeso J.R. (2018). Ecological and evolutionary drivers of the elevational gradient of diversity. Ecology Letters 21: 1022–1032. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12967
  • Laiolo P., Obeso J.R. (2017) Life-History Responses to the Altitudinal Gradient. In: Catalan J., Ninot J., Aniz M. (eds) High Mountain Conservation in a Changing World. Advances in Global Change Research, vol 62 pp 253-283. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-55982-7_11
  • Bastianelli G., Tavecchia G., Melendez L., Seoane J., Obeso J.R. & Laiolo P. (2017). Surviving at high elevations: an inter- and intraspecific analysis in a mountain bird community. Oecologia. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-017-3852-1
  • Laiolo, P., Seoane, J., Obeso, J.R. & Illera, J.C. (2017). Ecological divergence among young lineages favours sympatry, but convergence among old ones allows coexistence in syntopy. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 601-608. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12565
  • Seoane, J., Laiolo, P. & Obeso, J. R. (2017). Abundance leads to more species, particularly in complex habitats: a test of the increased population size hypotheses in bird communities. Journal of Biogeography 44: 556-566. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12877
  • Díaz, M., Moreno, E., Amat, J., Arroyo, B., Barba, E., González-Solis, J., Laiolo, P., de Lope, F., Merino, S., Obeso, J.R. & Velando, A. (2016). Ardeola, a scientific journal of ornithology: cooperative survivorship within the Red Queen Game. Ardeola, 63: 3-14. DOI: 10.13157/arla.63.1.2016.ed1
  • Pato, J., Obeso, J. R., Ploquin, E. F., & Jiménez-Alfaro, B. (2016). Experimental evidence from Cantabrian mountain heathlands suggests new recommendations for management of Vaccinium mytillus L. Plant Ecology & Diversity. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2016.1176080
  • Laiolo, P., Seoane, J., Illera, J.C., Bastianelli, G., Carrascal, L.M. & Obeso, J.R. (2015). The evolutionary convergence of avian lifestyles and their constrained co-evolution with species’ ecological niche. Proceedings of the Royal Society, B 282 (1821), 20151808.
  • Laiolo P., Obeso J.R. 2015. Plastic responses to temperature vs. local adaptation at the cold extreme of the climate gradient. Evolutionary Biology, 42: 473-482.
  • Laiolo, P., Illera, J. C., Melendez L., Segura A. & Obeso, J. R. 2015. Abiotic, biotic and evolutionary control of the distribution of C and N isotopes in food webs. American Naturalist 185: 169-182.
  • Toräng, P., Wunder, J., Obeso J.R., Herzog, M., Coupland, G. & Ågren J. 2015. Large-scale adaptive differentiation in the alpine perennial herb Arabis alpina. New Phythologist 206:459-470.
  • Valiente-Banuet, A., Aizen, M., Alcántara, J., Arroyo, J., Cocucci, A., Galetti, M., García, M., García, D., Gómez, J., Jordano, P., Medel, R., Navarro, L., Obeso, J.R., Oviedo, R., Ramírez, N., Rey, P., Traveset, A., Verdú, M., & Zamora, R. 2015. Beyond species loss: the extinction of ecological interactions in a changing world. Functional Ecology 29: 299-306.
  • Herrera J.M., Ploquin E., Rodríguez-Pérez J., & Obeso J.R. 2014. Determining habitat suitability for bumblebees in a mountain system: a baseline approach for testing the impact of climate change on species presence and abundance. Journal of Biogeography 41: 700-712.
  • Segura A., Castaño-Santamaría J., Laiolo P., & Obeso J.R. 2014. Divergent responses of flagship, keystone and resource-limited bio-indicators to forest structure. Ecological Research 29: 925–936.
  • Segura A., Acevedo P., Rodríguez O., Naves J., & Obeso J.R. 2014. Biotic and abiotic factors modulating wild boar relative abundance in Atlantic Spain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 60: 469-476.
  • Jiménez-Alfaro B, Marcenó C, Bueno A, Gavilán R & Obeso JR. 2014. Biogeographic deconstruction of alpine plant communities along altitudinal and topographic gradients. Journal of Vegetation Science 25: 160-171.
  • Pato J., Obeso J.R. 2013. Simulated ungulate herbivory affects differently two herbivorous arthropod guilds in bilberry. Arthropod-Plant Interactions 7: 555–565.
  • Pato J., Obeso J.R. 2013. Effects of clipping and N fertilization on insect herbivory and infestation by pathogenic fungi on bilberry. Basic and Applied Ecology 14: 347–356.
  • Ploquin E.F., Herrera J.M., Obeso J.R. 2013. Bumblebee community homogenization after uphill shifts in montane areas of northern Spain. Oecologia 173:1649–1660.
  • Laiolo P., Illera J.C., Obeso J.R. 2013. Local climate determines intra‐and interspecific variation in sexual size dimorphism in mountain grasshopper communities. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 2171-2183.
  • Martínez I., González-Taboada F., Wiegand T., Obeso J.R. 2013. Spatial patterns of seedling-adult associations in a temperate forest community. Forest Ecology and Management 296: 74–80.
  • Blanco-Fontao B., Sandercock B. K., Obeso J. R., McNew L. B., Quevedo  M. 2013. Effects of Sexual Dimorphism and Landscape Composition on the Trophic Behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79986.
  • Castaño-Santamaría J., Crecente-Campo F., Fernández-Martínez J.L., Barrio-Anta M., Obeso J.R. 2013. Tree height prediction approaches for uneven-aged beech forests in northwestern Spain. Forest Ecology and Management 307: 63–73.
  • Laiolo P. & Obeso JR. 2012. Multilevel selection and neighbourhood effects from individual to metapopulation in a wild passerine. PLoS ONE 7 (6): 1-9. e38526
  • Pato J & Obeso JR. 2012. Fruit mass variability in Vaccinium myrtillus as a response to altitude, simulated herbivory and nutrient availability. Basic & Applied Ecology 13 (4): 338-346.
  • Obeso JR. 2012. Mineral nutrient stoichiometric variability in Hedera helix (Araliaceae) seeds. Annals of Botany 109 (4): 801-806.
  • Vázquez JF, Quirós F, Pérez T, Obeso JR, Albornoz J & Domínguez A. 2012. Genetic status and structure of the endangered Cantabrian capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus cantabricus) metapopulation. Journal of Wildlife Management 76 (5): 957-965.
  • Pato J & Obeso JR. 2012. Growth and reproductive performance of bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) along an elevation gradient. EcoScience 19: 59-68.
  • Blanco-Fontao B, Obeso JR, Bañuelos MJ & Quevedo M. 2012. Habitat partitioning and moulting site fidelity in Tetrao urogallus cantabricus revealed through stable isotopes analysis. Journal of Ornithology 153: 555–562
  • Laiolo, P, Obeso, JR & Roggia, Y. 2011. Mimicry as a novel pathway linking biodiversity functions and individual behavioural performances. Proceeding of the Royal Society B 278:1072-1081.
  • Blanco-Fontao, B, Quevedo, M & Obeso JR. 2011. Abandonment of traditional uses in mountain areas – typological thinking vs. hard data in the Cantabrian Mountains (NW Spain). Biodiversity and Conservation 20: 1133-1140.
  • Obeso, JR, Martínez, I & García, D. 2011. Seed size is heterogeneously distributed among destination habitats in animal dispersed plants. Basic & Applied Ecology 12: 134-140.
  • Blanco-Fontao, B, Fernández-Gil, A, Obeso, JR & Quevedo, M. 2010. Diet and habitat selection in Cantabrian capercaillie: ecological differentiation of a rear-edge population. Journal of Ornithology 151: 269-277.
  • Martínez, I, Wiegand, T, González-Taboada, F, Obeso, JR. 2010. Spatial associations among tree species in a temperate forest community in North-western Spain. Forest Ecology and Management 260: 456-465.
  • Bañuelos, MJ, Quevedo, M. & Obeso JR. 2008. Habitat partitioning in endangered Cantabrian capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus. Journal of Ornithology 149: 245-252.
  • Martínez, I., García, D. & Obeso J.R. 2008. Differential seed dispersal patterns generated by a common assemblage of vertebrate frugivores in three fleshy-fruited trees. EcoScience 15: 189-199.
  • Chacoff NP, García D & Obeso JR. 2008. Effects of pollen quality and quantity on pollen limitation of Crataegus monogyna (Rosaceae) in the NW of Spain. Flora 203: 499-507.
  • García, D., Martínez, I. & Obeso, J.R. 2007. Seed transfer among avian-dispersed trees: patterns and consequences for seed predation. Basic & Applied Ecology 8: 533-543.
  • Martínez, I., García, D. & Obeso, J.R. 2007. Allometric allocation in fruit and seed packaging conditions the conflict among selective pressures on seed size. Evolutionary Ecology 21 (4): 517-533.
  • Rodríguez, C., Naves, J., Fernández-Gil, A., Obeso, J.R. & Delibes, M. 2007. Global and local factors governing long-term changes in brown bear food habits. Environmental Conservation 34: 36-44.
  • Storch, I, Bañuelos, M.J. Fernández-Gil, A., Obeso, J.R., Quevedo, M., Rodríguez-Muñoz, R. 2006. Subspecies Cantabrian capercaillie Tetrao urogallus cantabricus endangered according to IUCN criteria. Journal of Ornithology 147: 653-655.
  • Quevedo, M., Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R. 2006. The decline of Cantabrian capercaillie: how much do habitat and landscape configuration matter? Biological Conservation 127: 190-200.
  • Retuerto, R., Fernández, B. & Obeso, J.R. 2006. Photosynthetic responses to herbivory and experimental leaf damage in the dioecious tree Ilex aquifolium. International Journal of Plant Science 167: 279-289.
  • Quevedo, M., Bañuelos, M.J., Sáez, O. & Obeso, J.R. 2006. Habitat selection by Cantabrian capercaillie at the edge of species distribution. Wildlife Biology 12: 269-278.
  • García, D., Obeso, J.R. & Martínez, I. 2005. Rodent seed predation promotes seedling coexistence among bird-dispersed trees in temperate secondary forests. Oecologia 144: 435-446.
  • García, D., Obeso, J.R. & Martínez, I. 2005. Spatial concordance between seed rain and seedling establishment in a fleshy-fruited tree community: does the scale matter? Journal of Ecology 93: 693-704.
  • Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R. 2005. What determines fruit production in the dioecious Rhamnus alpinus? Basic and Applied Ecology 6: 249-259.
  • García, D., Quevedo, M., Obeso, J.R. & Abajo, A. 2005. Fragmentation patterns and protection of montane forest in the Cantabrian range (NW Spain). Forest Ecology and Management 208: 29-43.
  • Obeso, J.R. 2004. A hierarchical perspective in allocation to reproduction from whole plant to fruit and seed level. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics 6: 217-225.
  • Retuerto, R., Fernández-Lema, B., Rodríguez-Roiloa, S. & Obeso, J.R. 2004. Increased photosynthetic performance in holly trees infested by scale insects. Functional Ecology 18: 664-669.
  • Obeso, J.R. 2004. Seed provisioning within holly fruits: tissue relatedness and test of the hierarchical model. Evolutionary Ecology 18: 133-144.
  • Fernández, I.C. & Obeso, J.R. 2004. Growth, nitrogen content, fruit production and herbivory in bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus along an altitudinal gradient. Forestry 77 (3): 213-223.
  • Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R., Sierra, M. 2004. Chemical defenses, gender and fluctuant asymmetry in the dioecious Rhamnus alpinus. Acta Oecologica 25: 151-157.
  • Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R. 2004. Resource allocation in the dioecious shrub Rhamnus alpinus: the hidden costs of reproduction. Evolutionary Ecology Research 6: 1-17.
  • García, D. & Obeso, J.R. 2003. Facilitation by herbivore-mediated nurse plants in a threatened tree, Taxus baccata: local effects and landscape level consistency. Ecography 26: 739-750.
  • Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R. 2003. Maternal provisioning, sibling rivalry and seed mass variability in the dioecious shrub Rhamnus alpinus. Evolutionary Ecology 17: 19-31.
  • Obeso, J.R. 2002. The costs of reproduction in plants. The New Phytologist 155: 321-348.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Fernández-Calvo, I.C. 2002. Fruit removal, pyrene dispersal, post-dispersal predation and seedling establishment of a bird-dispersed tree. Plant Ecology 165 (2): 223-233.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Retuerto, R. 2002. Dimorfismo sexual en el acebo, Ilex aquifolium: ¿coste de la reproducción, selección sexual o diferenciación fisiológica? Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 75: 67-77.
  • Bañuelos, M.J. & Obeso, J.R. 2000. Effect of grazing history, experimental defoliation and genotype on patterns of silification in Agrostis tenuis Sibth. EcoScience 7 (1): 45-50.
  • Retuerto, R., Fernández, B., Rodríguez, S. & Obeso, J.R. 2000. Gender, light, and water effects in carbon isotope discrimination, and growth rates in the dioecious tree Ilex aquifolium. Functional Ecology 14: 529-537.
  • Obeso, J.R. (1998) Patterns of variation in Ilex aquifolium fruit traits related to fruit consumption by birds and seed predation by rodents. EcoScience 5 (4): 463-469.
  • Obeso, J.R., Álvarez-Santullano, M. & Retuerto, R. 1998. Sex ratios, size distributions and sexual dimorphism in growth in the dioecious tree Ilex aquifolium L. (Aquifoliaceae). American Journal of Botany 85: 1602-1608.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1998. Effects of defoliation and girdling on fruit production in Ilex aquifolium. Functional Ecology 12: 486-491.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1997. Costs of reproduction in Ilex aquifolium: effects at tree, shoot and leaf levels. Journal of Ecology 85: 159-166.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1997. The induction of spinescence in European holly leaves by browsing ungulates. Plant Ecology 129: 149-156.
  • Gutiérrez, D., Menéndez, R. & Obeso, J.R. 1996. Effects of ovule position on seed maturation and seed weight in Ulex europaeus and U. gallii (Fabaceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 74: 848-853.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Grubb, P.J. 1994. Interactive effects of extent and timing of defoliation, and nutrient supply on reproduction in a chemically protected annual Senecio vulgaris. Oikos 70: 506-514.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Herrera, C.M. (1994). Inter- and intraspecific variation in fruit traits in co-occurring vertebrate-dispersed plants. International Journal of Plant Sciences 155: 382-387.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Grubb, P.J. 1993. Fruit maturation in the shrub Ligustrum vulgare (Oleaceae): lack of defoliation effects. Oikos 68: 309-316.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1993. Cost of reproduction in the polycarpic perennial Asphodelus albus Miller (Liliaceae). Ecography 16: 365-371.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1993. Selective fruit and seed maturation in Asphodelus albus Miller (Liliaceae). Oecologia 93 (4): 564-570.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1993. Seed size variation in the perennial herb Asphodelus albus: sources of variation and position effect. Oecologia 93 (4): 571-575.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1993. Does defoliation affect reproduction in herbaceous perennials and woody plants in different ways? Functional Ecology 7: 150-155.
  • Méndez, M. & Obeso, J.R. 1993. Size-dependent sexual and vegetative effort in Arum italicum Miller (Araceae). Canadian Journal of Botany 71: 309-314.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1992. Pollination ecology and seed set in Asphodelus albus Miller (Liliaceae) in Northern Spain. Flora 187: 219-226.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1992. Geographic distributions and community structure of Bumblebees in Northern Iberian Peninsula. Oecologia 89: 244-252.
  • Obeso, J.R. & Aedo, C. 1992. Plant species richness and extinction on isolated dunes along the rocky coast of northwestern Spain. Journal of Vegetation Science 3: 129- 132.
  • Amat, J.A. & Obeso, J.R. 1991. Black coots Fulica atra supplanting conspecifics from foraging sites. Ethology 87: 1‑8.
  • Obeso, J.R. 1989. Fruit removal and potential seed dispersal in a Southern Spanish population of Berberis vulgaris subsp. australis (Berberidaceae). Oecologia Plantarum 10: 1‑8.

Tesis doctorales dirigidas

Estudiantes de doctorado actuales

  • Javier Castaño

Tesis de doctorado supervisadas

  1. Desplazamientos altitudinales y características ecológicas de los abejorros (Bombus spp.) de la Cordillera Cantábrica.
    Emilie Fernández Ploquin
    Supervisor: JR Obeso, JM Herrera
  2. Efectos potenciales del cambio global en Vaccinium myrtillus L.: una aproximación experimental.
    Joaquina Pato Fernández 2012
    Supervisor: JR Obeso
  3. Aplicaciones de la ecología trófica en la conservación de poblaciones periféricas de Tetraónidas
    Beatriz Blanco Fontao 2011
    Supervisores: JR Obeso, M. Quevedo
  4. Interacciones planta-animal en bosques templados de la Cordillera Cantábrica.
    Isabel Martínez Cano. 2007
    Supervisores: JR Obeso, D. García
  5. Modelos espaciales de hábitat y análisis de viabilidad de la población de urogallo en la Cordillera Cantábrica.
    Adán Abajo Chic 2007
    Supervisories: JR Obeso, T. Wiegand
  6. Ecología del crecimiento y de la reproducción en el arbusto dioico Rhamnus alpinus L.
    Mª José Bañuelos Martínez 2001
    Supervisor: JR Obeso
  7. Distribución espacial y temporal de los agregados de especies de escarabajos coprófagos del macizo occidental de los Picos de Europa.
    Mª Rosa Menéndez Martínez, 1997
    Supervisor: JR Obeso
  8. Variaciones espacio-temporales de los agregados de especies de Lepidópteros Ropalóceros en los Picos de Europa (Norte de España).
    David Gutiérrez García 1996
    Supervisor: JR Obeso
  9. Biología de la reproducción de Arum italicum Miller (Araceae).
    Marcos Méndez Iglesias. 1996.
    Supervisor: JR Obeso
  10. Composición y estructura de prados de siega en el N de España.
    Gregorio Llana Suárez. 1991
    Supervisoies: JR Obeso, M.A. Álvarez

Editorial Boards, Managing Boards and External Panels

  • Associate Editor of EcosScience
  • Director of the Research Unit of Biodiversity (UO-CSIC-PA)
  • Member of the Scientific Board of the Spanish Organismo Autónomo Parques Nacionales (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente), from 2006- present.
  • Member of the Scientific Board of the SEO-BirdLife.
  • Member of the external Panel of the Programa de Becas para Formación de Investigadores del Gobierno Vasco, Area 2 (Biología Animal-Vegetal-Ecología) (from 2004-2007).
  • Member of the Panel of the Picos de Europa National Park


25 años de experiencia docente

Docencia actual

Under graduate courses of the major “Biological Sciences”

  • Ecology
  • Applied Ecology

Curos de Máster 

  • Experimental design for biological research
  • Conservation Biology

Evolutionary Ecology course in the Bachelor’s degree of Biology at the University of Oviedo.