Conservation and Evolutionary Genetics Group
Follow us We use molecular tools to study the evolution of diversity, and assist in its conservation

alejandro Alejandro Gonzalez-Voyer

Assistant Professor
Laboratorio de Conducta Animal
Instituto de Ecología
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Ciudad Universitaria, México D.F., México

Google scholar

Research Interests

My main interest lies in understanding the evolution of phenotypes. I use phylogenetic comparative methods to study trait evolution. I have mainly focused on coevolution of traits, evolution of behaviour and adaptation of organisms to the environmental niche they exploit. I am also interested in the factors influencing species richness. Currently I am focusing on rate of molecular evolution, searching for factors that are associated with differences in rates of substitution and analyzing the associations between rates of molecular and phenotypic evolution, in collaboration with Dr. Carles Vilà.

I am also interested in conflict and cooperation within the family. For the moment my research has focused on parent-offspring conflict, competition between siblings, and the relationship between sexual selection and parental care, but I hope to broaden my scope in the future to include conflict and cooperation between parents regarding parental investment and mutual mate choice.

Brain evolution in cichlid fishes

brain evolution in cichlid fishes

Diversification and phenotypic evolution in Neotropical amphibians



Books / Chapters

Garamszegi LZ & Gonzalez-Voyer A (2014) Working with the Tree of Life in Comparative Studies: How to Build and Tailor Phylogenies to Interspecific Datasets. Chapter 2. In: Garamszegi LZ (ed.), Modern Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Their Application in Evolutionary Biology. pp. 19-48. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Gonzalez-Voyer A & von Hardenberg A (2014) An Introduction to Phylogenetic Path Analysis. Chapter 8. In: Garamszegi LZ (ed.), Modern Phylogenetic Comparative Methods and Their Application in Evolutionary Biology. pp. 201-229. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Peer-reviewed Articles


28. Tsuboi M, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N (2014) Phenotypic integration of brain size and head morphology in Lake Tanganyika Cichlids. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14, 39. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-39 Link

27. Castroviejo-Fisher S, Guayasamin JM, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Vilà C (2014) Neotropical diversification seen through glassfrogs. Journal of Biogeography 41, 66-80. doi:10.1111/jbi.12208


26. Amcoff M, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N (2013) Evolution of egg-dummies in Tanganyikan cichlid fishes: the roles of parental care and sexual selection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, 2369-82
(See coverage in: Roadside Science)

25. Romeralo M, Skiba A, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Schilde C, Lawal H, Kedziora S, Cavender JC, Glöckner G, Urushihara H, Schaap P (2013) Analysis of phenotypic evolution in Dictyostelia highlights developmental plasticity as a likely consequence of colonial multicellularity. Proceedings of the Royal Society series B 280, 20130976. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0976

24. Santos-Gally R, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Arroyo J (2013) Deconstructing heterostyly: the evolutionary role of incompatibility system, pollinators and floral architecture. Evolution 67, 2072-2082. doi: 10.1111/evo.12087

23. Gonzalez-Voyer A, den Tex R, Castello A, Leonard JA (2013) Evolution of acoustic and visual signals in Asian barbets. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, 647-659. doi: 10.1111/jeb.12084

22. von Hardenberg A*, Gonzalez-Voyer A* (2013) Disentangling evolutionary cause-effect relationships with phylogenetic confirmatory path analysis. Evolution 67, 378-387. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01790.x
  (*Equal Contribution).


21. Immler S, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Birkhed TR (2012) Distinct evolutionary patterns of morphometric sperm traits in passerine birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society series B 279, 4174-4182. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.1398

20. Fitzpatrick JL, Almbro M, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N, Simmons LW (2012) Male contest competition and the coevolution of weaponry and testes in pinnipeds. Evolution 66, 3595-3604, doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01713.x (Highlighted in Nature)

19. Fitzpatrick JL, Almbro M, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Hamada S, Pennington C, Scanlan J, Kolm N. (2012) Sexual selection uncouples the evolution of brain and body size in pinnipeds. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25, 1321-1330.

18. Cruz F, Brennan AC*, Gonzalez-Voyer A*, Muñoz-Fuentes V*, Eaaswarkhanth M*, Roques S*, Picó X (2012) Genetics and Genomics in Wildlife Studies: Implications for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology. BioEssays 34, 245-246.
(*Equal Contribution)

17. Duarte H, Tejedo M, Katzenberger M, Marangoni F, Baldo D, Beltrán JF, Martí DA, Richter-Boix A, Gonzalez-Voyer A (2012) Can amphibians take the heat? Vulnerability to climate warming in subtropical and temperate larval amphibian communities. Global Change Biology 18, 412-421.

16. Tsuboi M, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Höglund J, Kolm N (2012) Ecology and mating competition influence sexual dimorphism in Tanganyikan cichlids. Evolutionary Ecology 26, 171-185.


15. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N (2011) Rates of phenotypic evolution of ecological characters and sexual traits during the Tanganyikan cichlid adaptive radiation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24, 2378-2388.

14. Maklakov AA, Immler S, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Rönn J, Kolm N (2011) Brains and the city: big-brained passerine birds succeed in urban environments. Biology Letters 7, 730-732. 
  (Recommended Faculty of 1000).
  (Press coverage:  BBC News, Discovery, Daily Mail, BBC Mundo, La Razón, ABC, ARA)

13. Gonzalez-Voyer A*, Padial JM*, Castroviejo-Fisher S, De la Riva I, Vilà C (2011) Correlates of species richness in the largest Neotropical amphibian radiation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24 (5), 931-942. (*Equal Contribution)
(Journal Cover; Press coverage: El Mundo, Quercus)


12. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N (2010) Sex, ecology and the brain: Evolutionary correlates of brain structure volumes in Tanganyikan cichlids. PLoS ONE 5 (12), e14355. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014355 Link

11. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Kolm N (2010) Parental Care and Investment. In Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


10. Kolm N, Gonzalez-Voyer A, Brelin D, Winberg S (2009) Evidence for small scale variation in the vertebrate brain: mating strategy and sex affect brain size and structure in wild brown trout (Salmo trutta). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22, 2524-2531.

9. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Winberg S, Kolm N (2009) Brain structure evolution in a basal vertebrate clade: evidence from phylogenetic comparative analysis of cichlid fishes. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9, 238. Link
  (Highly Accessed)

8. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Winberg S, Kolm N (2009) Distinct evolutionary patterns of brain and body size during adaptive radiation. Evolution 63, 2266-2274.

7. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Winberg S, Kolm N (2009) Social fishes and single mothers: brain evolution in African cichlids. Proceedings of the Royal Society series B 276, 161-167.
  (Most cited article of those published in Proc Roy Soc B in 2009 & Highlighted by the Editor in 2010)


6. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Fitzpatrick JL, Kolm N (2008) Sexual selection determines parental care patterns in cichlid fishes. Evolution 62, 2015-2016.


5. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Székely T, Drummond H (2007) Why do some siblings attack each other? Comparative analysis of aggression in avian broods. Evolution 61, 1946-1955.
  (Highlighted on the Journal Cover)

4. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Drummond H (2007) Is broodmate aggression really associated with direct feeding? Behaviour 144, 373-392.

3. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Smith KG, Festa-Bianchet M (2003) Dynamics of hunted and unhunted mountain goat Oreamnos americanus populations. Wildlife Biology 9, 213-218.

2. Gonzalez-Voyer A, Festa-Bianchet M, Smith KG (2001) Efficiency of aerial surveys of mountain goats. Wildlife Society Bulletin 29, 140-144.

1. Bergeron J-M, Goulet R, Gonzalez-Voyer A (1998) The use of coniferous seedlings as alternative food to protect red oak (Quercus rubra) from vole girdling. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 13, 50-53.

Student Supervision

PhD Students

Álvaro Dugo Cota, co-supervised with Dr. Carles Vilà. Thesis: Patterns of diversification and phenotypic divergence in Neotropical amphibians.

Masters degree Students

Jose Maria Romero López, Research Project: Sibling competition or cooperation in altricial birds.

Álvaro Dugo Cota, Research project: Correlates of rate of molecular evolution in Centrolenidae.

Henar Rodríguez Gil, Research project: Lifehistory traits and net primary productivity in Carnivora.

Undergraduate degree Projects

Inés Abselam Carrasco, co-supervised with Dr. Carles Vilà. Research project: Brain evolution in canidae.

Current collaborators

Phenotypic evolution in cichlid fishes: Dr. Niclas Kolm, Animal Ecology Department, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University (Sweden)

Brain size in avian ecology and evolution: Dr. Niclas Kolm, Dr. Alexei Maklakov, Dr. Simone Immler, Dr. Johanna L. Rönn, Animal Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Depts, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University (Sweden)

Correlates of species richness and phenotypic diversity in Neotropical amphibians: Dr. José Manuel Padial, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburgh, USA) and Dr. Santiago Castroviejo-Fisher, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (Porto Alegre, Brasil).

Rate of evolution of reproductive organs in cetaceans: Dr.Niclas Kolm, and Dr. John L Fitzpatrick, University of Western Australia (Australia).

New phylogenetic comparative method: Dr. Achaz von Hardenberg, Gran Paraiso National Park (Italy).

Evolution of plant mating systems: Dr. Juan Arroyo, Dr. Rocío Santos-Gally, University of Sevilla (Spain).

Trait evolution in dictyosteliida: Dr. Maria Romeralo, Organismal Biology, Uppsala University (Sweden).