Martínez Padilla, Jesús



I currently focus my research on basic and applied science mainly in mountainous areas. From a basic science perspective, I am mainly interested on the evolutionary ecology of animal behaviour, and particularly on the role of environmental conditions to understand its consequences at ecological and evolutionary times both within temporal and biogeographical scales. I have explored the three pillars of natural selection on behavioural phenotypes: the mechanisms that produce their variation, their selection and inheritance at both micro- and macro-geographical contexts. I am particularly focused on how environmental variation shapes the strength, form and intensity of natural selection on behavioural traits. I use a combination of field-based experiments and long-term and individually-based data sets in wild populations in my research. I work on long-term data sets collected by myself (common kestrels - 22 years; red grouse - 7 years and several populations; Pied flycatchers - 38 years; snow voles - 10 years) to explore evolutionary dynamics of phenotypes combining quantitative genetic and biogeographical tools. From an applied perspective, that can also be called conservation ecology, I work with threatened species like capercaillies or boreal owls to understand the factors that limit their range expansion and constrain their population growth. In addition, I am interested on the direct or indirect damages that micromammals have on agriculture or their management on non-target species.

I have already set my field sites in central Spain and Pyrenees. In central Spain, in La Hiruela (Madrid) and el Cardoso (Castilla-La Mancha), I continue studying the best individual-based and long-term monitored bird population of Pied flycatchers for nearly now 40 years. At the hub of the Pyrenees, particularly focused in the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, I have set my other field site to continue working on population and evolutionary dynamics of phenotypic traits of snow voles in a long-term and multipopulational set-up.


  • García, J.T., Domínguez-Villaseñor, J., Alda, F., Calero-Riestra, M., Pérez Olea, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J., Herranz, J., Oñate, J.J., Santamaría, A., Motro, Y., Attie, C., Bretagnolle, V., Delibes, J., Viñuela, J. (2020) A complex scenario of glacial survival in Mediterranean and continental refugia of a temperate continental vole species (Microtus arvalis) in Europe. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 58(1):459-474. Doi: 10.1111/jzs.12323

  • Camacho, C., Martínez-Padilla, J., Canal, D., Potti, J. (2019) Long-term dynamics of phenotype-dependent dispersal within a wild bird population. Behavioral Ecology, 30(2):548-556. Doi: 10.1093/beheco/ary195

  • López-Idiáquez, D., Fargallo, J.A., López-Rull, I., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2019) Plumage coloration and personality in early life: sexual differences in signalling. Ibis, 161(1):216-221. Doi: 10.1111/ibi.12665

  • Potti, J., Camacho, C., Canal, D., Martinez-Padilla, J. (2018) Long-term occupancy of nest boxes as a measure of territory quality for Pied Flycatchers. Journal of Field Ornithology, 89(4):337-347. Doi: 10.1111/jofo.12266

  • Zarzo-Arias, A., Delgado, M.D.M., Ordiz, A., García Díaz, J., Cañedo, D., González, M.A., Romo, C., Vázquez García, P., Bombieri, G., Bettega, C., Russo, L.F., Cabral, P., García González, R., Martínez-Padilla, J., Penteriani, V. (2018) Brown bear behaviour in human-modified landscapes: The case of the endangered Cantabrian population, NW Spain. Global Ecology and Conservation, 16:e00499. Doi: 10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00499

  • López-Idiáquez, D., Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2018) Providing longer post-fledging periods increases offspring survival at the expense of future fecundity. PLoS ONE, 13(9):e0203152. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203152

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A. (2017) Increased lifetime reproductive success of first-hatched siblings in Common Kestrels Falco tinnunculus. Ibis, 159(4):803-811. Doi: 10.1111/ibi.12494

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Estrada, A., Early, R., Garcia-Gonzalez, F. (2017) Evolvability meets biogeography: Evolutionary potential decreases at high and low environmental favourability. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 284(1856):20170516. Doi: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0516

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., López-Idiáquez, D., López-Perea, J.J., Mateo, R., Paz, A., Viñuela, J. (2017) A negative association between bromadiolone exposure and nestling body condition in common kestrels: management implications for vole outbreaks. Pest Management Science, 73(2):364-370. Doi: 10.1002/ps.4435

  • López-Idiáquez, D., Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2016) Female plumage coloration signals status to conspecifics. Animal Behaviour, 121:101-106. Doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2016.08.020

  • Tarjuelo, R., Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2016) Intra-sexual competition modulates calling behavior and its association with secondary sexual traits. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 70(10):1633-1641. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-016-2169-0

  • Carrete, M., Martínez-Padilla, J., Rodríguez-Martínez, S., Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Palma, A., Tella, J.L. (2016) Heritability of fear of humans in urban and rural populations of a bird species. Scientific Reports, 6:31060. Doi: 10.1038/srep31060

  • Lopez-Idiaquez, D., Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martinez-Padilla, J. (2016) Old males reduce melanin-pigmented traits and increase reproductive outcome under worse environmental conditions in common kestrels. Ecology and Evolution, 6(4):1224-1235. Doi: 10.1002/ece3.1910

  • López-Rull, I., Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J., Fargallo, J.A. (2016) Early constraints in sexual dimorphism: Survival benefits of feminized phenotypes. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 29(2):231-240. Doi: 10.1111/jeb.12779

  • Mougeot, F., Lendvai, Á.Z., Martínez-Padilla, J., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Giraudeau, M., Casas, F., Moore, I.T., Redpath, S. (2016) Parasites, mate attractiveness and female feather corticosterone levels in a socially monogamous bird. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 70(2):277-283. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-015-2048-0

  • Pérez-Rodríguez, L., García-de Blas, E., Martínez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F., Mateo, R. (2016) Carotenoid profile and vitamins in the combs of the red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus): Implications for the honesty of a sexual signal. Journal of Ornithology, 157(1):145-153. Doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1261-y

  • Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2015) Genetic basis and fitness correlates of dynamic carotenoid-based ornamental coloration in male and female common kestrels Falco tinnunculus. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(1):146-154. Doi: 10.1111/jeb.12553

  • Morales, M.B., Casas, F., García de la Morena, E., Ponjoan, A., Calabuig, G., Martínez-Padilla, J., García, J.T., Mañosa, S., Viñuela, J., Bota, G. (2014) Density dependence and habitat quality modulate the intensity of display territory defence in an exploded lekking species. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 68(9):1493-1504. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-014-1758-z

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Mougeot, F., Ludwig, S.C., Redpath, S.M. (2014) Experimentally elevated levels of testosterone at independence reduce fitness in a territorial bird.. Ecology, 95(4):1033-1044. Doi: 10.1890/12-1905.1

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Mougeot, F., Ludwig, S., Redpath, S.M. (2014) Intra-sexual competition alters the relationship between testosterone and ornament expression in a wild territorial bird. Hormones and Behavior, 65(5):435-444. Doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2014.03.012

  • Irvine, R.J., Moseley, M.H., Leckie, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Donley, D., Miller, A., Pound, M., Mougeot, F. (2014) Investigating the loss of recruitment potential in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus): The relative importance of hen mortality, food supply, tick infestation and louping-ill. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 60(2):313-322. Doi: 10.1007/s10344-013-0788-6

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Redpath, S.M., Zeineddine, M., Mougeot, F. (2014) Insights into population ecology from long-term studies of red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83(1):85-98. Doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12098

  • Kim, S.-Y., Fargallo, J.A., Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2013) Multivariate heredity of melanin-based coloration, body mass and immunity. Heredity, 111(2):139-146. Doi: 10.1038/hdy.2013.29

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F., García, J.T., Arroyo, B., Bortolotti, G.R. (2013) Feather corticosterone levels and carotenoid-based coloration in common buzzard (buteo buteo) nestlings. Journal of Raptor Research, 47(2):161-173. Doi: 10.3356/JRR-12-41.1

  • Wenzel, M.A., Webster, L.M.I., Paterson, S., Mougeot, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Piertney, S.B. (2013) A transcriptomic investigation of handicap models in sexual selection. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 67(2):221-234. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-012-1442-0

  • Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J., Fargallo, J.A. (2013) Differential maturation of sexual traits: Revealing sex while reducing male and female aggressiveness. Behavioral Ecology, 24(1):237-244. Doi: 10.1093/beheco/ars159

  • Vergara, P., Redpath, S.M., Martínez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F. (2012) Environmental conditions influence red grouse ornamentation at a population level. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 107(4):788-798. Doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2012.01974.x

  • Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2012) Social context decouples the relationship between a sexual ornament and testosterone levels in a male wild bird. Hormones and Behavior, 62(4):407-412. Doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.07.007

  • Martinez-Padilla, J., Vergara, P., Mougeot, F., Redpath, S.M. (2012) Parasitized mates increase infection risk for partners. American Naturalist, 179(6):811-820. Doi: 10.1086/665664

  • Vergara, P., Mougeot, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Leckie, F., Redpath, S.M. (2012) The condition dependence of a secondary sexual trait is stronger under high parasite infection level. Behavioral Ecology, 23(3):502-511. Doi: 10.1093/beheco/arr216

  • Vergara, P., Martinez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F., Leckie, F., Redpath, S.M. (2012) Environmental heterogeneity influences the reliability of secondary sexual traits as condition indicators. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25(1):20-28. Doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02399.x

  • Vergara, P., Martínez-Padilla, J., Redpath, S.M., Mougeot, F. (2011) The ornament-condition relationship varies with parasite abundance at population level in a female bird. Naturwissenschaften, 98(10):897-902. Doi: 10.1007/s00114-011-0833-9

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Viñuela, J. (2011) Hatching asynchrony and brood reduction influence immune response in Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus nestlings. Ibis, 153(3):601-610. Doi: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2011.01133.x

  • Martinez-Padilla, J., Vergara, P., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Mougeot, F., Casas, F., Ludwig, S.C., Haines, J.A., Zeineddine, M., Redpath, S.M. (2011) Condition- and parasite-dependent expression of a male-like trait in a female bird. Biology Letters, 7(3):364-367. Doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2010.0991

  • Webster, L.M.I., Paterson, S., Mougeot, F., Martinez-Padilla, J., Piertney, S.B. (2011) Transcriptomic response of red grouse to gastro-intestinal nematode parasites and testosterone: Implications for population dynamics. Molecular Ecology, 20(5):920-931. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-294X.2010.04906.x

  • Webster, L.M.I., Mello, L.V., Mougeot, F., Martinez-Padilla, J., Paterson, S., Piertney, S.B. (2011) Identification of genes responding to nematode infection in red grouse. Molecular Ecology Resources, 11(2):305-313. Doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02912.x

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F., Webster, L.M.I., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Piertney, S.B. (2010) Testing the interactive effects of testosterone and parasites on carotenoid-based ornamentation in a wild bird. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(5):902-913. Doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2010.01956.x

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Dixon, H., Vergara, P., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Fargallo, J.A. (2010) Does egg colouration reflect male condition in birds?. Naturwissenschaften, 97(5):469-477. Doi: 10.1007/s00114-010-0660-4

  • Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J. (2010) Reaching independence: Food supply, parent quality, and offspring phenotypic characters in kestrels. Behavioral Ecology, 21(3):507-512. Doi: 10.1093/beheco/arq011

  • Mougeot, F., Martínez-padilla, J., Bortolotti, G.R., Webster, L.M.I., Piertney, S.B. (2010) Physiological stress links parasites to carotenoid-based colour signals. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 23(3):643-650. Doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2009.01926.x

  • Mougeot, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Blount, J.D., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Webster, L.M.I., Piertney, S.B. (2010) Oxidative stress and the effect of parasites on a carotenoid-based ornament. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213(3):400-407. Doi: 10.1242/jeb.037101

  • Vergara, P., Fargallo, J.A., MartÍnez-Padilla, J., Lemus, J.A. (2009) Inter-annual variation and information content of melanin-based coloration in female Eurasian kestrels. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 97(4):781-790. Doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01263.x

  • Bortolotti, G.R., Mougeot, F., Martinez-Padilla, J., Webster, L.M.I., Piertney, S.B. (2009) Physiological stress mediates the honesty of social signals. PLoS ONE, 4(3):e4983. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004983

  • Mougeot, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Webster, L.M.I., Blount, J.D., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Piertney, S.B. (2009) Honest sexual signalling mediated by parasite and testosterone effects on oxidative balance. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 276(1659):1093-1100. Doi: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1570

  • Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J., Viñuela, J., Blanco, G., Torre, I., Vergara, P., De Neve, L. (2009) Kestrel-prey dynamic in a Mediterranean region: The effect of generalist predation and climatic factors. PLoS ONE, 4(2):e4311. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004311

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Fargallo, J.A. (2008) Fear in grasslands: The effect of Eurasian kestrels on skylark abundances. Naturwissenschaften, 95(5):391-398. Doi: 10.1007/s00114-007-0337-9

  • Mougeot, F., Moseley, M., Leckie, F., Martinez-Padilla, J., Miller, A., Pounds, M., Irvine, R.J. (2008) Reducing tick burdens on chicks by treating breeding female grouse with permethrin. Journal of Wildlife Management, 72(2):468-472. Doi: 10.2193/2007-111

  • Torre, I., Díaz, M., Martínez-Padilla, J., Bonal, R., Viñuela, J., Fargallo, J.A. (2007) Cattle grazing, raptor abundance and small mammal communities in Mediterranean grasslands. Basic and Applied Ecology, 8(6):565-575. Doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2006.09.016

  • Mougeot, F., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Martínez-Padilla, J., Leckie, F., Redpath, S.M. (2007) Parasites, testosterone and honest carotenoid-based signalling of health. Functional Ecology, 21(5):886-898. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01302.x

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Fargallo, J.A. (2007) Food supply during prelaying period modifies the sex-dependent investment in eggs of Eurasian kestrels. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 61(11):1735-1742. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-007-0405-3

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Mougeot, F., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Bortolotti, G.R. (2007) Nematode parasites reduce carotenoid-based signalling in male red grouse. Biology Letters, 3(2):161-164. Doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2006.0593

  • Mougeot, F., Martínez-Padilla, J., Pérez-Rodríguez, L., Bortolotti, G.R. (2007) Carotenoid-based colouration and ultraviolet reflectance of the sexual ornaments of grouse. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 61(5):741-751. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-006-0304-z

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Millán, J. (2007) Prevalence and intensity of intestinal parasitation in a wild population of nestling Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Ardeola, 54(1):109-115.

  • Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J., Toledano-Díaz, A., Santiago-Moreno, J., Dávila, J.A. (2007) Sex and testosterone effects on growth, immunity and melanin coloration of nestling Eurasian kestrels. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76(1):201-209. Doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2006.01193.x

  • Martínez-Padilla, J. (2006) Daytime variation in T-cell-mediated immunity of Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus nestlings. Journal of Avian Biology, 37(5):419-424. Doi: 10.1111/j.2006.0908-8857.03904.x

  • Martínez-Padilla, J. (2006) Prelaying maternal condition modifies the association between egg mass and T cell-mediated immunity in kestrels. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 60(4):510-515. Doi: 10.1007/s00265-006-0193-1

  • García, J.T., Morales, M.B., Martínez, J., Iglesias, L., García de la Morena, E., Suárez, F., Viñuela, J. (2006) Foraging activity and use of space by Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni in relation to agrarian management in central Spain. Bird Conservation International, 16(1):83-95. Doi: 10.1017/S0959270906000013

  • Amo, L., Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J., Millán, J., López, P., Martín, J. (2005) Prevalence and intensity of blood and intestinal parasites in a field population of a Mediterranean lizard, Lacerta lepida. Parasitology Research, 96(6):413-417. Doi: 10.1007/s00436-005-1355-1

  • Martínez-Padilla, J., Martínez, J., Dávila, J.A., Merino, S., Moreno, J., Millán, J. (2004) Within-brood size differences, sex and parasites determine blood stress protein levels in Eurasian Kestrel nestlings. Functional Ecology, 18(3):426-434. Doi: 10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00874.x

  • Blanco, G., Martínez-Padilla, J., Dávila, J.A., Serrano, D., Viñuela, J. (2003) First evidence of sex differences in the duration of avian embryonic period: Consequences for sibling competition in sexually dimorphic birds. Behavioral Ecology, 14(5):702-706. Doi: 10.1093/beheco/arg049

  • Blanco, G., Martínez-Padilla, J., Serrano, D., Dávila, J.A., Viñuela, J. (2003) Mass provisioning to different-sex eggs within the laying sequence: Consequences for adjustment of reproductive effort in a sexually dimorphic bird. Journal of Animal Ecology, 72(5):831-838. Doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00753.x


  • Eco-evolutionary dynamics of secondary sexual traits in wild bird populations under changing environmental conditions - SEXECOEVO
    Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. PID 2019-104835GB-I00
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Definición de los objetivos regionales de conservación para los hábitats y las especies de interés comunitario presentes en la red Natura 2000 en Aragón
    Dirección General de Aragón. RB94070
    IP: Yolanda Pueyo

  • Estudio ornitológico de Madarcos y La Hiruela
    Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid. Contrato de Servicios CM-A/SER-0000008141/2019
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Examen de la pérdida de variabilidad genética como determinante del declive demográfico del urogallo cantábrico
    Fundación Biodiversidad
    IP: M. Quevedo

  • Exploring movement: dispersal of common voles (Microtus arvalis) in fragmented landscapes
    IP: Jesús T. García

  • The evolutionary ecology of phenotypic plasticity of morphological, life history and behavioural traits in wild birds
    Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad. CGL2015-70639-P
    IP: L. Garamszegi

  • The role of physiological stress on the decline of Cantabrian capercaillies
    Principado de Asturias
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • The effect of earlylife conditions in stress: implications for senescence
    Université La Rochelle
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Scientific solutions for biological control of vole plagues with ecological support: improving habitat, biodiversity and human health
    Fundación BBVA
    IP: Viñuela

  • Evolution of complex phenotypes: linking melanic coloration, behavior and physiology in birds
    IP: D. Parejo

  • Food borne pathogens: implications in the dynamic and conservation of bird populations
    IP: J. A. Fargallo

  • The effect of the altitudinal gradient on stress response in passerines in the Chilean Patagonia
    Fundación ENDESA
    IP: Diego Gil

  • The role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on carotenoid allocation trade-offs in nestlings of Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Male plumage characters triggering aggressive behaviour
    Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Assessing healthiness of wild raptors
    National Birds of Prey Trust
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • What is the effect of reversed sexual size dimorphism on offspring fitness?: An experimental approach
    Ministry of Spanish Education and Science
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla

  • Viability and effect of raptor abundances on management: the case of Eurasian kestrel and Skylark
    SEO - BirdLife
    IP: Jesús Martínez Padilla


In all my outreaching or non-academic talks and publications I aim showing the complexity of the natural world we observe, how the biodiversity we enjoy has been generated the effects that environmental changes that humans induce in nature will impact and has already impacted on living organisms.

  • 2018. Talk. Title: "Darwin’s voyage and the origin of biodiversity". Fundación Jovellanos, Gijón, Spain.

  • 2018. Open talk of the Week of Science at University of Oviedo. Title: "The Origin of the Origin of the species".

  • 2017. 2h-master class within the event "Alive science" for teachers of secondary schools. Title: Mate choice in birds and humans: are we so different?. Avilés, Asturias, Spain.

  • 2017. Biodiversity conservation: what, why and how? Call: "FOMENTO DE LA CULTURA CIENTÍFICA, TECNOLÓGICA Y DE LA INNOVACIÓN". Funded by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Symposiums and photographic display. Universidad de Oviedo, Asturias, Spain.

  • 2016. Fargallo, J.A., Martínez-Padilla, J. and Vergara, P. 2016. Juvenile colouration within its social context in birds. Quercus, 365: 26 - 33.

  • 2016 - 2018. Five 45min-talks each. Title: Mate choice in birds and humans: are we so different? Talks at 23 secondary schools in Asturias.