Research interests

Evolution and coevolution in species-rich networks: Ecological communities are formed by networks of interacting species. A fundamental question in evolutionary ecology is how the structure of these species networks affect and is affected by the coevolutionary process. I am exploring this question by combining ecological data, evolutionary models and the statistical mechanics of complex networks. Representative publications:

Guimaraes, P.R., P. Jordano, J. N. Thompson. 2011. Evolution and coevolution in mutualistic networks. Ecology Letters 14:877-885 [PDF]. See also the article in Science highlighting this study: [Editors' Choice]

Guimaraes, P.R., V. Rico-Gray, P. S. Oliveira, T. J. Izzo, S. F. dos Reis, J.N. Thompson. 2007. Interaction intimacy affects structure and coevolutionary dynamics in mutualistic networks. Current Biology 17: 1797-1803. [PDF] [Supplemental Data]

Rezende, E., J. E. Lavabre, P. R. Guimaraes, P. Jordano, J. Bascompte. 2007. Non-random coextinctions in phylogenetically structured mutualistic networks. Nature. 448: 925-928. [PDF] [Supplementary information] [Editor's Summary: United they fall] [Nature's News & Views]

Natural history and ecological networks: We now know that ecological interactions often form networks with predictable structure. Now we need to understand how the natural history of interacting species shapes these networks. I have been addressing this question in collaboration with several field biologists, trying to connect the complex aspects of natural history with the simple and general patterns emerging in ecological networks. Representative publications:

Pires, M. M., P. R. Guimaraes. 2012. Interaction intimacy organizes networks of antagonistic interactions in different ways. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10: 20120649.[PDF]

Donatti, C.I., P. R. Guimaraes, M. Galetti, M. A. Pizo, F. M. D. Marquitti, R. Dirzo. 2011. Analysis of a hyper-diverse seed dispersal network: modularity and underlying mechanisms. Ecology Letters 14:773-781. [PDF]

Guimaraes, P.R., V. Rico-Gray, S. F. dos Reis, J.N. Thompson. 2006. Asymmetries in specialization in ant-plant mutualistic networks. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 273: 2041-2047. [PDF]

The network structure of niche within animal populations: Much of ecological theory assumes the individual variation among individuals within populations can be safely ignored. I am exploring how the variation among individuals is structured using network approach. I am also investigating the consequences of this structure to the ecological dynamics. Representative publications:

Tinker, M. T., P. R. Guimaraes, M. Novak, F. M. D. Marquitti, J. Bodkin, M. Staedler, G. Bentall, J. Estes. 2012. Structure and mechanism of diet specialization: testing models of individual variation in resource use with sea otters. Ecology Letters 15: 475-483. [PDF]

Pires, M.M., P. R. Guimaraes, M. S. Araujo, A. A. Giaretta, J. C. L. Costa, S. F. dos Reis. 2011. The nested assembly of individual-resource networks. Journal of Animal Ecology 80: 893-903 [PDF]

Araujo, M. S., P. R. Guimaraes, R. Svanback, A. Pinheiro, P. Guimaraes, S. F. dos Reis, D. I. Bolnick. 2008. Network analysis reveals contrasting effects of intraspecific competitions on individual vs. population diets. Ecology 89: 1981-1993. [PDF]