Biostatistiques et Biologie des Populations

Rafael Rubio de Casas

Rafael Rubio de Casas



Campus du CNRS
1919, route de Mende
34295 Montpellier CEDEX 5


Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA)/CSIC

Carretera de Sacramento s/n

04120 La Cañada de San Urbano

Almería, Spain





My research focuses on the mechanics and evolution of habitat selection in plants. In essence, I try to establish how different components of the phenotype determine a plant’s habitat, taking into account that any extant trait results from the interaction between phylogenetic contingency and natural selection. To address these questions, I use an integrative approach, bridging evolutionary and functional ecology and incorporating tools from mathematical modeling, phylogenetics, population and functional genetics and plant ecophysiology.

Currently, my two main areas of research are the evolutionary correlations between the mating system, dispersal and dormancy and the evolution of seeds by local adaptation. A lot of this work is theoretical and computational, but I also conduct manipulative experiments using Mediterranean amphicarpic legumes that produce pods both above and below the ground. Additionally, I have a keen interest in plant domestication and the evolutionary dynamics associated with the transition from “crop” to “wild”.

Recent Publications (2013-Present)

  1. Rubio de Casas, R.; Donohue, K.; Cheptou, P.-O.; Venable D. L. "Gene flow through space and time: dispersal, dormancy and adaptation to changing environments” Evolutionary Ecology. Accepted for publication
  2. Rubio de Casas, R. (2014)“Por qué y cómo el sistema de cruzamiento está correlacionado con los mecanismos de dispersión” Ecosistemas, 23(3): 31-35
  3. Yus-Ramos, R; Rubio de Casas, R.; Gavira-Romero, O. (2014)"Acerca de las interacciones entre brúquidos y legumbres subterráneas (Coleoptera: Bruchidae)" Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Entomología, 38(3-4),
  4. Willis, C.G.; Hall, J. C.; Rubio de Casas, R.; Wang, T. Y.; Donohue, K. (2014) "Diversification and the evolution of dispersal ability in the tribe Brassiceae (Brassicaceae)" Annals of Botany, 114, 1675-1686.
  5. Gerbault, P.; Grimaldi, I. M.; Allaby, R. G.; Rudzinski, A.; Boivin, N.; Pires, J. C.; Vigueira, C.; Dobney, K.; Gremillion, K. J.; Barton L.; Arroyo Kalin, M.; Purugganan, M. D.; Rubio de Casas, R.; Bollongino, R.; Burger, J.; Fuller, D. Q.; Bradley, D. G.; Balding, D. J.; Richerson, P. J.; Gilbert, P. T. M.; Larson, G.; Thomas, M.G. (2014) "Story Telling and Story Testing in Domestication: Can Modeling Help?" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 6159–6164.
  6. Larson, G.; Piperno, D. R.; Allaby, R. G.; Purugganan, M. D.; Andersson, L.; Arroyo Kalin, M.; Barton, L.; Climer, C. R.; Denham, T. P.; Dobney, K.; Doust, A. N.; Gepts, P.; Gilbert, P. T. M.; Gremillion, K. J.; Lucas, L.; Lukens, L.; Marshall, F.; Olsen, K. M.; Pires, C. J.; Richerson, P. J.; Rubio de Casas, R.; Sanjur O. I.; Thomas M. G.; Fuller, D. Q. (2014) "Current Perspectives and the Future of Domestication Studies" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111, 6139–6146.
  7. Willis; C.G.; Baskin; C.C.; Baskin; J.; Auld; J. R.; Venable; D. L.; Cavender-Bares; J.; Donohue; K.; Rubio de Casas; R. & The NESCent Germination Working Group (2014) “Seed dormancy and diversification: Environmental cues, evolutionary hubs, and diversification of the seed plants". New Phytologist, 203, 300-309.
  8. Soltis, D.E.; Mort, M.E.; Latvis, M.; Mavrodiev, E.V.; O'Meara, B.C.; Soltis, P.S.; Burleigh, J.G.; Rubio de Casas, R. (2013) “Phylogenetic relationships and character evolution analysis of Saxifragales using a supermatrix approach” American Journal of Botany, 100, 916-929.
  9. Auld, J.; Rubio de Casas, R. (2013) “The correlated evolution of dispersal and mating-system traits” Evolutionary Biology, 40, 185-193.
  10. Chiang, G.C.K.; Barua, D.; Dittmar, E.; Kramer, E.M.; Rubio de Casas, R.; Donohue, K. (2013) “Pleiotropy in the wild: The dormancy gene DOG1 exerts cascading control on life-cycles” Evolution, 67: 883–893.