José María finished his PhD in 1987, with a Doctoral Thesis on the Vegetation Ecology of Tenerife.
In 1991 he spent a year in the Plant Ecology Department of the Uppsala University (Sweden) under the supervision of Prof. Eddy van der Maarel, with a Canarian Government post-doc grant. He has taught in La Laguna University since 1983, where he became Professor of Ecology in 1996.
Nowadays he is the coordinator of the La Laguna University Island Ecology and Biogeography Research Group, which includes five researchers. Their research lines include island ecology, forest dynamics, palaeoecology, restoration ecology, impact of forest fires, exotic species and impact of grazing on native ecosystems.
He is the author or co-author of several books, book chapters, JCR scientific papers and opinion papers dealing with island ecology, forest dynamics and environmental problems.
He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biogeography and Head of La Laguna University’s Master in Terrestrial Biodiversity and Conservation on Islands.