ES-TAF comprises two institutes of the largest National Research Institution in Spain, namely: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). These institutes are: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN) and Real Jardín Botánico (RJB).

These two institutes house collections, staff and specialist equipment enabling advanced studies in biosystematics, palaeobiology, ecology and geology. New biological research areas are now available to Users (e.g. bioacoustics, analytical historical biogeography, ecological modelling). ES-TAF will provide direct access to the scientific facilities and services and provide onsite accommodation which is offered by CSIC´s Students’ Residence that creates an excellent multidisciplinary, scientific and working environment rarely found in Europe.

ES TAF research highlights

The research community at ES TAF is highly productive. Over 293 peer-reviewed papers were generated in 2006/2007. ES TAF research highlights include :

  • Pioneering breakthrough results on palaeogenetics (e.g. FOXP2 y MC1R) plus the use of cutting-edge virtual and morphometric technologies on Neandertals from El Sidrón (for sure the best site for Neandertals in the Iberian Peninsula).
  • Discovery of Cerro de los Batallones fossiliferous complex (South of Madrid). This pseudokarstic complex has yielded a huge amount of Late Miocene vertebrates, mainly carnivore mammals (sabre-toothed cats, mustelids, ailurids, anficionids and hyaenids) due to their formation as natural traps. A MNCN team leads the study of the systematics, palaeoecology, phylogeny and functional anatomy of this group as well as other studies on taphonomy, geology and geochemistry.
  • Establishment of the main network for production and integration of phylogeographic works for lower vertebrates (e.g. amphibians and freshwater fishes) in Europe, approaching objectives of sea and landscape genetics, with further developments in coastal sea phylogeography and the first large scale phylogenetic-phylogeographic surveys across North and South America.
  • Development of a three level approach integrated facility, conducting studies from population genetics & barcoding, to deep phylogeny of higher taxa, for a wide range of taxa, including vertebrates (mainly mammals, freshwater fishes, amphibians, birds), sea and freshwater molluscs and insects (e.g. Coleoptera). The new facility includes the establishment of a collaborative platform with American countries, in particular: Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
  • Physiological and geochemical modelling for biogenic mineral formation within cave environments with first evidences of direct Proteobacteria activity in moonmilk formation.
  • First evidences of the important role of karstic systems in surface-atmosphere exchange of CO2-gas and carbon cycle by means of a combination of micrometeorological and subterranean data.
  • Evidence of variation in life history traits of some bird species breeding in Europe in relation to environmental fluctuations over the last century at a temporal and spatial scales.
  • New evidence on the role of the Andean uplift on generating the extraordinary diversification of Neotropical flower plants.
  • Publication of 30 monographs of Fauna Ibérica, 12 of Flora Ibérica and five of Flora Micológica Ibérica.

ES TAF Member Institutions

Institution Location Website
Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN) Madrid, Spain
Real Jardín Botánico Madrid, Spain