Juan L. Cantalapiedra


My first contact with paleontology was as an undergraduate in a fieldwork campaign in the Cerro de los Batallones fossil site at Madrid. I went on to complete a PhD in the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (Madrid) in 2011. My work has focused on the evolutionary ecology and biogeography of ruminant artiodactyls based on diverse phylogenetic approaches. I have also collaborated in research on horses, rhinos, and rodents, and I have a long record of paleontological fieldwork in Spain (Batallones, Somosaguas, Corral de Lobato). I am currently working in the Müller Lab as a research fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. My project aims to build a comprehensive phylogenetic tree of living and fossil ruminants by combining molecular and morphological data. Also, I am examining trait evolution and diversification patterns in the radiation of Neogene horses using phylogenetic methods, applying novel bayesian tip-dating approaches to explore the divergence times of major mammalian clades, and evaluating the role of environmental conditions, competition and functional space saturation on the diversity trends of Neogene mammals of the Iberian Peninsula.

Publications [get some pdfs here]

Cantalapiedra JL, Prado JL, Hernández Fernández M, Alberdi MT (2017) Decoupled ecomorphological evolution and diversification in Neogene-Quaternary horses. Science 355(6325):627–630. (doi:10.1126/science.aag1772)

esharaki O, Hernández Fernández M (2017) Taphonomy of mammalian fossil bones from the debris-flow deposits of Somosaguas-North (Middle Miocene, Madrid Basin, Spain). Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 465: 103-121. (doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.10.023)

Sánchez IM, Cantalapiedra JL, Ríos M, Quiralte V, Morales J (2015) Systematics and Evolution of the Miocene Three-Horned Palaeomerycid Ruminants (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla). PLoS ONE 10(12). (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0143034).

Cantalapiedra JL, Hernández Fernández M, Azanza B, Morales J (2015) Congruent phylogenetic and fossil signatures of ruminant diversification dynamics driven by Tertiary climate change. Evolution 69(11):2941-2953. (doi:10.1111/evo.12787).

Morales J, Cantalapiedra JL, Valenciano A, Hontecillas D, Fraile S, García Yelo BA, Montoya P, Abella J (2015) The fossil record of the Neogene Carnivora from Spain. Palaeobiodivers Palaeoenviron 95(3):373-386. (doi:10.1007/s12549-015-0206-z).

Hernández Fernández M, Cantalapiedra JL, Gómez Cano AR (2015) Plio-Pleistocene climatic change had a major impact in the assembly and disassembly processes of Iberian rodent communities. Palaeobiodivers Palaeoenviron 95(3):387-404. (doi:10.1007/s12549-015-0196-x).

Cantalapiedra JL, Alcalde GM, Hernández Fernández M (2014) The contribution of Phylogenetics to the study of Ruminant Evolutionary Ecology. Zitteliana 32:1-6.

Gómez Cano AR, Cantalapiedra JL, Álvarez Sierra MA, Hernández Fernández M (2014) A macroecological glance to the structure of late Miocene rodent assemblages from southwestern Europe. Sci Rep 4:1-8.

Prado JL, Azanza B, Cantalapiedra JL, Alberdi MT (2014) Plio-Pleistocene Fossil Record of Large Predators in Iberia: Diversity, Home Range and Climatic Change. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 399:404-413.

García Yelo BA, Gómez Cano AR, Cantalapiedra JL, Alcalde GM, Sanisidro O, Oliver A, Hernández-Ballarín V, López-Guerrero P, Fraile S, Hernández Fernández M (in press.) Palaeoenvironmental analysis of the Aragonian mammalian communities from the Madrid basin based on their body size diversity structure. J Iber Geol. 40(1):129-140.

Cantalapiedra JL, Hernández Fernández M, Morales J (2014) The biogeographic history of ruminant faunas determines the phylogenetic structure of their assemblages at different scales. Ecography 37(1): 1-9.

Cantalapiedra JL, FitzJohn RG, Hernández Fernández M, DeMiguel D, Azanza B, Morales J, Mooers AØ (2014) Dietary innovations spurred the diversification of ruminants during the Cenozoic. Proc R Soc B. 281(1776)

Morales J, Peláez-Campomanes P, Abella J, Montoya P, Ruiz FJ, Gibert L, Scott G, Cantalapiedra JL, Sanisidro O (2013) The Ventian mammal age (Latest Miocene): present state. Spanish Journal of Palaeontology 28(2):152-162.

Gómez Cano AR, Cantalapiedra JL, Mesa A, Moreno Bofarull A, Hernández Fernández M (2013) Global climate changes drive ecological specialization of mammal faunas: Trends in the Iberian Plio-Pleistocene rodent assemblages. BMC Evol Biol 13(94). doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-94.

Cantalapiedra JL, Hernández Fernández M, Alcalde G, Azanza B, DeMiguel D, Morales J (2012) Ecological correlates of ghost lineages in ruminants. Paleobiology. 38(1):101-111.

Cantalapiedra JL, Hernández Fernández M, Morales J (2011) Biomic specialization and speciation rates in ruminants (Cetartiodactyla, Mammalia): a test of the resource-use hypothesis at the global scale. PLoS One 8(2). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028749.

Cantalapiedra JL, Mooers AØ, DeMiguel D, Azanza B, Hernández Fernández M (2009) Phylogeny of extant ruminants indicates the influence of global climatic changes and dietary adaptations on diversification rates. J Vertebr Paleontol 29(sp3):75A.

Cantalapiedra JL, DeMiguel D, Azanza B, Hernández Fernández M (2008) Ecological correlates of ghost lineages in ruminants. J Vertebr Paleontol 28(sp3):60A-61A.