The Botero Lab studies how organisms cope with and adapt to repeated environmental change. Although long-term evolutionary studies across the diversity of life have demonstrated that the forces of natural selection tend to fluctuate over time (even to the point in which a trait that is highly beneficial in some years can become detrimental in others), a surprising amount of current evolutionary theory assumes that the world is static and that species gradually evolve until their traits become uniquely tuned to the conditions they experience. Through theoretical models, comparative analyses, and experimental evolution, my team and I are helping to shed some light on the various ways in which fluctuating selection makes a difference. This line of inquiry has led us to exciting discoveries related to species’ vulnerabilities to climate change, and the evolution of the avian brain, animal sociality, and sexual selection. My lab is also currently pursuing research on the topics of human cultural evolution, experimental evolution in yeast, and the development of simulation/statistical techniques to infer process from pattern in evolutionary studies. 

Please follow these links to learn more about us and our work.

Latest news...

[Mar 2018] The Botero lab takes first place @ the Escape the Room / Emergency Preparedness challenge at Wash U!!

[Oct 2017] Congrats to postdoc Bruno Vilela!!! His PhD thesis recently received the BEST THESIS IN BIODIVERSITY award from the Brazilian government and is now in the running for an award as the best thesis across all scientific disciplines. Fingers crossed!

[Sep 2017] Our first paper on the cognitive buffer hypotheses and the evolution of relative brain size in birds was recently published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Please have a look [link here].

[June 2017] Can ignoring the sequence of events in the evolution of complex traits lead to biased or even wrong conclusions about an evolutionary process? Our new paper on the evolution of family living and cooperative breeding in birds in PLoS Biology sugest that it may. Check out also Walter Koenig's interesting take on the significance of these findings.

[Feb 2017] Check out our new paper on the evolution of bird sociality in Nature Ecology and Evolution. Big thanks to Charlie Cornwallis for a really fun and insightful collaborative experience!

For other news and posts from our lab visit our blog...