Dr Ivan de la Hera


Iván has a degree in Biology (since 2003) from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), where he also completed his PhD in 2009 under the supervision of José Luis Tellería and Javier Pérez-Tris. Shortly afterwards, he was awarded with a postdoctoral grant that allowed him a 2-year stay (2010-11) within Marcel Visser’s Lab at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), plus one additional year (2012) at Universidad del País Vasco (UPV-EHU). Since January 2013 he was employed as a temporary research assistant in different institutions (e.g. UCM, NIOO-KNAW and various NGOs dedicated to birds). He began working at the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UCC in October 2015

Research Interests

Using birds as main model organisms, Iván has tackled a wide range of fundamental ecological and evolutionary research questions, sometimes also with conservation implications. Most of his research is intended to better understand the natural variation in avian life-histories. In this regard, he is deeply interested in avian adaptations to migration, and particularly attracted by the way in which different costly life-history stages (i.e. moulting, breeding and migration) trade off against each other within the annual cycle of birds. In this new professional stage at UCC and within the Evolutionary Ecology project led by Prof. John Quinn, Ivan expects to learn much about cognition and thus broaden his knowledge of life-history evolution.


  1. De la Hera, I.,  Fandos, G.,  Fernández-López, J.,  Onrubia, A.,  Pérez-Rodríguez, A.,  Pérez-Tris, J. &  Tellería, J.L. 2017.  Stable Isotope Analysis Reveals Biases in the Performance of a Morphological Method to Distinguish the Migratory Behaviour of European Robins Erithacus Rubecula Ardeola 64(2):377-386.
  2. Doña, J., Potti, J., de la Hera I., Blanco, G., Frías, O., Jovani, R. 2017. Vertical transmission in feather mites: insights into its adaptive value. Ecol Entomol, 42: 492–499. doi:10.1111/een.12408
  3. De La Hera, I., Fontanilles, P., Delalande, L., Glad, A., & Sarraude, T. 2017. Attraction of other Species by Bluethroat Luscinia svecica Song Playback During Autumn Migration: An Experimental Test Using Bird-Ringing Data. Ardeola 64 (1), 91-99.
  4. Tomotani, B. M., Caglar, E., de la Hera, I., Mateman, A. C. and Visser, M. E. 2017. Early arrival is not associated with more extra-pair fertilizations in a long-distance migratory bird. J Avian Biol, 48: 854–861. doi:10.1111/jav.01317
  5. De la Hera, I., Pérez-Tris, J. & Tellería, J.L. 2015. Adventitious feather replacement favours a more rapid regeneration of primaries over rectrices in two passerine bird species. Ibis, 157: 883-887.
  6. Visser, M.E., Gienapp, P., Husby, A., Morrisey, M., de la Hera, I., Pulido, F. & Both, C. 2015. Effects of spring temperatures on the strength of selection on timing of reproduction in a long-distance migratory bird. PLoS Biology, 13(4): e1002120.
  7. De la Hera, I., Pulido, F. & Visser, M.E. 2014. Longitudinal data reveal ontogenetic changes in the wing morphology of a long-distance migratory bird species. Ibis, 156: 209–214.
  8. De la Hera, I., Reed, T.E., Pulido, F. & Visser, M.E. 2013. Feather mass and winter moult extent are heritable but not associated with fitness-related traits in a long-distance migratory bird. Evolutionary Ecology, 27: 1199-1216.
  9. De la Hera, I., Pérez-Tris, J. & Tellería, J.L. 2012. Habitat distribution of migratory and sedentary blackcaps wintering in southern Iberia: a morphological and biogeochemical approach. Journal of Avian Biology 43: 333-340.
  10. De la Hera, I., DeSante, D.F. & Milá, B. 2012. Feather growth rate and mass in Nearctic passerines with variable migratory behavior and molt pattern. The Auk 129: 222-230.
  11. De la Hera, I., Schaper, S. V., Díaz, J.A., Pérez-Tris, J., Bensch, S. & Tellería, J.L. 2011. How much variation in the molt duration of passerines can be explained by the growth rate of tail feathers? The Auk 128: 321-329.
  12. De la Hera, I., Pérez-Tris, J. & Tellería, J.L. 2010. Relationships among timing of moult, moult duration and feather mass in long-distance migratory passerines. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 609-614.
  13. De la Hera, I., Hedenström, A., Pérez-Tris, J. & Tellería, J.L. 2010. Variation in the mechanical properties of flight feathers of the blackcap Sylvia atricapilla in relation to migration. Journal of Avian Biology 41: 342-347.
  14. De la Hera, I., Pérez-Tris, J. & Tellería, J.L. 2009. Migratory behaviour affects the trade-off between feather growth rate and feather quality in a passerine bird. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 98-105.

A complete list of Iván’s publications can be found on his ResearchGate or Google Scholar profiles.



Iván de la Hera

Contact Details:


Research Assistant


Research Assistants

UCC Ornithology Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC North Mall Campus, North Mall, Cork City,