Welcome German Orizaola as new SE

Submitted by editor on 30 January 2017.

We have the great pleasure to welcome Dr German Orizaola, Uppsala Univeristy to our Editorial Board. You can read more about German on his website www.gorizaola.wordpress.com and of course in myinterview with him below.

What's you main research focus at the moment?

My research is focussed on understanding the process and mechanisms that allow organisms to deal with environmental variation. I’m particularly interested in examining how phenotypic plasticity may help animals to cope with, and adapt to, increasing levels of environmental stress. My main current research lines include studying how differences in time-constraints caused by shifts in breeding phenology affect life-history strategies in amphibians; how environmental gradients affect the amphibian skin microbiome, and the impact that chronic low-dose radiation has on frogs living within Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. At a different level, I am also really involved in science communication activities.

Can you describe your research career? 

I got my Degree in Biology at the University of Oviedo, Spain, in 1997. Straight after that, I started my PhD in the group of Florentino Braña at the same University, examining the effects of introduced fish on the life history of amphibians, newts in particular. I received my PhD in 2004, and a year later, I moved up north, to Sweden, to do a postdoc with Anssi Laurila at the Uppsala University, when I work now as an Associate Researcher in Animal Ecology.

How come that you became a scientist in ecology?

I have been interested in natural history since my childhood, devouring nature documentaries, trekking with my family on weekends and vacations, and enrolling in conservation and ornithology societies at a pretty young age. So, for me, it was a natural thing to study Biology, with a clear interest in biodiversity and animals in particular. The more I learned about how nature works, the more interested I become in understanding the role that environmental variation plays in what I see in nature: different behaviours, different life-strategies, different responses to change, with a particular focus on understanding intraspecific diversity. And that put me into the path of evolutionary ecology already during my PhD.


What do you do when you're not working?

Above all, I like to spend time with my family (my also scientist wife, and my 5 and 7-year old daughters), wandering around the woods, the coast or just at the playground. At a more individual level, I like reading (all kind of books from art and history, to fiction novels and travel books), photography, jazz (sadly only as a listener) and birdwatching.