I was born in Albacete (Spain) and completed the degree in Environmental Sciences and Master in Biodiversity at the University of Murcia and the Iberoamerican Center of Biodiversity respectively. My PhD was developed in the Aquatic Ecology lab (University of Murcia) under the supervision of Andrés Millán, Josefa Velasco and Pedro Abellán and founded by the Spanish Ministry of Education (FPU National Program).

Paula Arribas

Evaluation Panel members and supervisors after my PhD Viva. From left to right: Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Joaquín Hortal, Michael Balke, Simone Fattorini, Pedro Abellán, Josefa Velasco, Paula Arribas, Andrés Millán, José Galián and Carmelo Andújar.

During its development I collaborated between others with the researchers Ignacio Ribera, David Bilton and Jens-C. Svenning, in which labs I spent the main research stays of my PhD. In September 2013 I defended my PhD Thesis entitled ‘Evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation of water beetles in Mediterranean saline ecosystems’, which was qualified with the Excellent Cum Laude distinction (European modality) and awarded as the best PhD Thesis of the biennium 2012-2013 by the Iberian Association of Limnology and the 2nd 2nd prize of the European Federation for Freshwater Sciences (EFFS) Award for the best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (2013-2014).

In 2014 I obtained a postdoctoral research contract from the Royal Society (United Kingdom) to work with Alfried Vogler at the Imperial College London/Natural History Museum, applying recent sequencing technologies ‘Next Generation Sequencing’ to the study of the biodiversity and the broad-scale phylogeographical patterns of European soil arthropod communities.

Since April 2016 I am a postdoctoral researcher at the IPNA-CSIC, Spain. Firstly as a Juan de la Cierva Formación fellow from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity and from September 2018 within the EU-funded (Horizon 2020) project iBioGen. At the IPNA-CSIC I am closely collaborating with Brent Emerson and Carmelo Andújar to study the geographical and temporal struture of arthropod communities within islands, using both Next Generation and classical sequencing approaches.

Paula Arribas

Left: water beetles Enochrus jesusarribasi. Right: Mesofauna of a soil sample from Grazalema, Cádiz, Spain.

Some additional information:


  • B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences. University of Murcia, 2007. (2nd National Graduation Award, Spain, 2006-07).
  • M.Sc. in Biodiversity: conservation and management of species and their habitats. University of Alicante-Iberoamerican Center of Biodiversity (CIBIO), 2009.
  • Ph.D. Thesis: Evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation of water beetles in Mediterranean saline ecosystems. University of Murcia, 2013. Supervisors: Andrés Millán, Josefa Velasco, Pedro Abellán. European PhD, Excellent Cum Laude distinction. Best Ph.D. Thesis (biennium 2012-2013) for the Iberian Association of Limnology. Best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (subsidiary prize, 2013-2014) for the European Federation for Freshwater Sciences.

Main research stays

  • Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Barcelona (Spain), 2009. 4 weeks.
    Host researcher: Ignacio Ribera
  • School of Biological Sciences. University of Plymouth, Plymouth (United Kingdom). 2009. 12 weeks.
    Host researcher: David T. Bilton
  • Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (CSIC-UPF), Barcelona (Spain), 2010. 16 weeks.
    Host researcher: Ignacio Ribera
  • Department of Biological Sciences. Aarhus University, Aarhus (Denmark). 2011. 12 weeks.
    Host researcher: Jens Christian Svenning
  • Life Sciences Department. Natural History Museum, London (United Kingdom). 2013. 8 weeks.
    Host researcher: Alfried Vogler

Experience supervising doctoral thesis and/or final year projects

  • Final Year Degree Project: Physiological and behavioral responses of saline water beetles to osmotic and heat stress.
    Main author: Susana Pallarés
    September 2010, with honours.
  • Final Year Degree Project: Water beetles tolerance to salinity and anionic composition in relation to habitat occupancy.
    Main author: Vanessa Céspedes
    February 2011, with honours.
  • PhD Thesis: Ecological and evolutionary physiology of aquatic beetles: coping  with multiple stressors in inland saline waters.
    Main author: Susana Pallarés
    May 2017, Cum Laude Distinction. Best PhD Dissertation in Freshwater Sciences (subsidiary prize, 2017-2018) for the European Federation for Freshwater Sciences.
  • PhD Thesis: Spatial structure of biodiversity: regional and local patterns in an island ecosystem.
    Main author: Antonia Salces Castellano
    on going
Paula Arribas

Carmelo Andújar, Llanos Blázquez and Paula Arribas collecting water beetles in Arroyo de la Sierra, Albacete, Spain.

Participation in peer-review process for:

Journal of Biogeography
Molecular Ecology
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Zoologica Scripta
Soil Biology and Biochemistry
Biological Conservation

Diversity and Distributions
BMC Evolutionary Biology
Conservation Genetics

Member of:

– The International Biogeography Society (IBS)
– The Spanish Association of Terrestrial Ecology (AEET), European Ecological Federation (EEF)
– The Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology (SESBE)
– The Young Researchers Association of the University of Murcia (AJIUM)
– The Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom (SRUK-CERU)