Juan Antonio Balbuena
Associate Professor of Zoology
ICBiBE Research Lab: Symbiont ecology and evolution
Ecology and Evolution of Parasites


1. Ligophorus. Species of this genus of monogeneans occur on grey mullets (Mugilidae). Our latest studies have applied geometric morphometrics to the study of shape of attachment organs and has provided novel and interesting insight on the drivers of phenotypic variation in these parasites. 

2. Cophylogeny. Currently developing methods for cophylogenetic analysis, which can be applied to a wide variety of settings, such as species associations (organisms tracking organisms), molecular systematics (organisms or genes tracking genes) and historical biogeography (organisms tracking areas).

3. Community ecology. Applying and developing current biodiversity approaches (functional and phylogenetic diversity) to the parasite communities of grey mullets.

Selected publications

2013 - Balbuena JA, Míguez-Lozano R, Blasco-Costa I (2013) PACo: A Novel Procrustes Application to Cophylogenetic Analysis. PLoS ONE 8(4): e61048. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061048
2016 - Pérez-Escobar OA, Balbuena JA, Gottschling M (2016) Rumbling orchids: How to assess divergent evolution between chloroplast endosymbionts and the nuclear host. Syst Biol 65: 51-65 http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/65/1/51.abstract?etoc
2017 - Sarabeev V, Balbuena JA, Morand S (2017) Testing the enemy release hypothesis: abundance and distribution patterns of helminth communities in grey mullets (Teleostei: Mugilidae) reveal the success of invasive species. Int J Parasitol 47: 687-696. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2017.05.006.
2017 - Hutchinson MC, Cagua EF, Balbuena JA, Stouffer DB, Poisot T (2017) paco: implementing Procrustean Approach to Cophylogeny in R. Meth Ecol Evol 8: 932–940; doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12736.
2017 - Rodríguez-González A, Sarabeev V, Balbuena JA (2017) Evolutionary morphology in shape and size of haptoral anchors in 14 Ligophorus spp. (Monogenea: Dactylogyridae). PLoS ONE 12(5): e0178367. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178367.

Headquarters (Scientific Park, Main Building)

Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (ICBiBE)

University of Valencia


+34 963543658