My research activity focuses on the analyses of the impact of ecological processes and anthropic alterations of the environment on the transmission of mosquito-borne pathogens.

This is currently an area of growing interest given the increase in the incidence of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the modern scenario. During my Ph.D. I have described the environmental factors affecting the composition and distribution of the mosquito community (Ferraguti et al. 2016, Sci Rep) and the role of biotic and abiotic factors that determine the infection of wild vertebrates (Ferraguti et al. 2018, J Anim Ecol; Martínez-de la Puente, Ferraguti et al. 2018, Sci Rep), finally identifying how biodiversity globally determines the exposure and success of transmission of these pathogens in the wild (Ferraguti et al. 2021, Plos Path). These results allowed me, and the scientific community, to identify the complex transmission networks of vector-borne pathogens, including those that potentially spread emerging zoonotic diseases and could have an impact on human and animal health.


In 2016 I expanded my knowledge on epidemiology by collaborating with Prof. Hans Heesterbeek from Utrecht University, a world expert in Epidemiology. There, I learned the theoretical background to develop mathematical models of biological processes (e.g., the basic reproduction number R0) of the transmission of two mosquito-borne pathogens: West Nile virus and the avian malaria Plasmodium (Ferraguti et al. 2021 Trans Inf Dis).

After completing my PhD, I was granted two consecutive postdoctoral contracts in national and European competitive calls to develop my research in institutes different than the EBD-CSIC (where I did my thesis): the Juan de la Cierva (JdC) – Formación and the Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship (MSCA-IF). In 2018, I started the JdC with Prof. A. Marzal at the University of Extremadura, where I expanded my work on disease ecology by exploring the host-pathogen relationships of avian malaria parasites from a multidisciplinary perspective in the context of the receiving group’s line of research. During this period, I expanded my knowledge of vertebrate hosts, in particular birds, studying the environmental, geographical, and time-related impacts on avian malaria infections in native and introduced populations of house sparrows (Ferraguti et al. 2023, GEB). In January 2021, I started my Marie Curie project at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to join Dr. Y. Artzy-Randrup, a theoretical ecologist with a unique background in mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, where I was learning the theoretical background to develop epidemiological models of biological processes applied to mosquito-borne pathogens (Ferraguti et al. 2023, https://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2639794/v1).


Currently, I am back in Spain at the EBD-CSIC where in January 2023 I started a tenure-track position thanks to one of the most prestigious Spanish national grants, the ‘Ramón y Cajal’.

“Until you know what to look for, the patterns are not obvious.”


I was graduated with the maximum qualification (cum laude) in Biological Sciences at the University of Roma Tre, in Rome (Italy) with specialization in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management in 2011. My master thesis focused on the study of Animal Ecology, specifically on the study of the structure, composition and relationship with some environmental parameters of a breeding bird community of the beech wood of Allumiere (Rome, central Italy).  

After that, in July 2012, I finished an Official Master of II level in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology at the Pablo de Olavide University in Seville (Spain), with the maximum qualification of Sobresaliente. During the last year of my degree, with a grant from the European LLP/Erasmus Student Placement Program, I started my research activity in the field of Ecology of Parasitism at the Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC). There, I did my doctoral thesis directed by Dr. Jordi Figuerola and Dr. Josué Martínez de la Puente, funded by the Spanish Formación de Profesorado Universitario (FPU) grant. I defended my PhD thesis titled “Biodiversity and vector-borne diseases: effects of landscape, mosquito and vertebrate communities on the transmission of West Nile virus and avian malaria parasite” on June 26th, 2017 obtaining the title of International Doctor with the highest qualification of Sobresaliente cum laude.


During my pre-doctoral period, I have been awarded four scholarships/contracts obtained in competitive calls, including my main source of funding for the doctorate. My research interests focused on the study of the transmission dynamics of avian malaria pathogens. I improved my experience on the use of analytical techniques, including molecular analysis techniques, to identify both blood parasites and insect vectors such as mosquitoes and Culicoides.

Latest publications

Ferraguti M, Martins AD & Artzy-Randrup Y (2023). Quantifying the invasion risk of West Nile virus: insights from a multi-vector and multi host SEIR model. One Health, 17, 100638. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.onehlt.2023.100638


Mora-Rubio C, Ferraguti M, Magallanes S, Bravo-Barriga D, Hernandez-Caballero I, Marzal A, de Lope F (2023) Unravelling the mosquito – haemosporidian parasite – bird host network in the Southwestern Iberian Peninsula: insights into malaria infections, mosquito community and feeding preferences. Parasites & Vectors, 16: 395. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-023-05964-1


Ferraguti M, Magallanes S, Suarez-Rubio M, Bates PJ, Marzal A & Renner SC (2023). Does land-use and land cover affect vector-borne diseases? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Landscape Ecology, 1-19. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-023-01746-3


Ferraguti M, Martínez-de la Puente J, Brugueras S, Millet JP, Rius C, Valsecchi A, Figuerola J & Montalvo, T. (2023). Spatial distribution and temporal dynamics of invasive and native mosquitoes in a large Mediterranean city. Science of the Total Environment, 896, 165322. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.165322


Ferraguti M, Magallanes S, Jiménez‐Peñuela J, Martínez‐de la Puente J, Garcia‐Longoria L, Figuerola J, … & Marzal, A. (2023). Environmental, geographical and time‐related impacts on avian malaria infections in native and introduced populations of house sparrows (Passer domesticus), a globally invasive species. Global ecology and biogeography, 32(5), 809-823. DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13651


Bravo-Barriga D, Ferraguti M, Magallanes S, … & de Lope F (2023). Identification of Usutu virus Africa 3 lineage in a survey of mosquitoes and birds from urban areas of western Spain. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 2023, Article ID: 6893677 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2023/6893677


Jiménez-Peñuela J, Ferraguti M, Martínez-De La Puente J, Soriguer RC, & Figuerola J (2023). Oxidative status in relation to blood parasite infections in house sparrows living along an urbanization gradient. Environmental Pollution, 316, 120712. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120712J