Ricardo Martinez-García, a physicist with a multidisciplinary approach and a deep-rooted interest in ecology and biodiversity, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of La Laguna in the Canary Islands. He further pursued his master’s and doctoral degrees in physics at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems in the Balearic Islands, Spain. He continued his academic journey in the Department of Ecology at Princeton University in the United States. His research focuses on understanding how individuals can form large natural structures and the impact of these structures on ecology.
Interestingly, Martinez-García’s career began on a tennis court. The sport has led him to participate in various competitions and even win medals. Although he now reserves tennis for his leisure time, he still boasts a formidable serve.
Currently, he teaches as a faculty member at the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the Júlio de Mesquita Filho São Paulo State University and the South American Institute for Fundamental Research in São Paulo.
Microbial populations can exhibit collective behavior to enhance the efficiency of certain tasks. However, such behaviors are susceptible to exploitation by non-participating invaders who reap the benefits. The mechanisms by which natural populations circumvent these invasions is a pivotal question in evolutionary biology. Microbial habitats can exhibit a variety of flows that disperse cells and/or their secretions in diverse ways, ranging from orderly flows enabling smooth transport to the chaotic mixing typical of turbulence. Each of these can impact the evolution of sociality in intricate and yet unknown ways. Despite this, the interplay between microbial ecology, the evolution of sociality, and the physical properties of a flow remains largely unexplored. This project aims to decipher these connections, with a particular focus on the role of turbulence in the ecology and evolution of sociality within microbial communities exhibiting different movement patterns.