Dr Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente

Email: ricardo.perez-de-lafuente@oum.ox.ac.uk
College profile page: Junior Research Fellow, St Edmund Hall
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Research summary

Dr Pérez-de la Fuente’s research focuses on the palaeobiology of fossil arthropods, namely insects and arachnids. Although founded on morphology and systematics, his work is aimed at extracting palaeoecological, palaeoethological, palaeobiogeographical and taphonomic data. Special emphasis is put on the study of amber inclusions, particularly those from the Cretaceous, one of the most important periods for the diversification of terrestrial arthropods, linked with the radiation of flowering plants. Particular research interests encompass the early evolution of defensive (e.g. camouflage) adaptations, pollinating relationships and blood-feeding parasite-host interactions.

4 hallucinochrysa v2

Hallucinochrysa diogenesi, a green lacewing larva in 105-million-year old Spanish amber carrying a debris packet composed of fern trichomes. Reconstruction (right) by J. A. Peñas. Publication: Pérez-de la Fuente et al., 2012.

5 proboscis bearing fly v2

Buccinatormyia magnifica, a long-proboscid fly from Early Cretaceous Spanish amber with a gymnosperm pollen clump attached to its abdomen. Reconstruction (right) by J. A. Peñas. Publication: Peñalver et al., 2015.

6 tick and feather2

A Cornupalpatum burmanicum tick grasping a feather in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber. Publication: Peñalver et al., 2017.

CV

Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente received a BSc in Biology (concentration in Organisms and Systems) from the University of Barcelona (2003–07) and a MSc in Palaeontology from the University of Barcelona and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2007–08). Later, he received a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Barcelona (2008–12) supervised by Dr. Xavier Delclòs (UB) and Dr. Enrique Peñalver (IGME), with a project entitled 'Arthropod palaeobiology of the Cretaceous amber from El Soplao (Cantabria, Spain)'.

Prior to coming to the Museum, Dr. Pérez-de la Fuente was a postdoctoral fellow at the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University) funded by the US National Science Foundation for four years, where he led the digitisation/identification efforts on the F M Carpenter collection, one of the premier fossil insect collections worldwide, with about 35,000 specimens. He has published more than twenty papers in both specialised and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journals, participated in more than twenty contributions to international meetings, lectured on palaeontology and entomology at university level, and participated in numerous amber excavations.

Featured publications

  • The hatching mechanism of 130-million-year-old insects: an association of neonates, egg shells and egg bursters in Lebanese amber

  • parasitised feathered dinosaurs as revealed by Cretaceous amber assemblages.

  • False Blister Beetles and the Expansion of Gymnosperm-Insect Pollination Modes before Angiosperm Dominance.

  • Long-Proboscid Flies as Pollinators of Cretaceous Gymnosperms.

  • Early evolution and ecology of camouflage in insects.

  • More
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