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Research interest

During my scientific career, I have focused on several organisms related to marine ecosystems including corals, polychaetes, mussels, aquatic birds, sea turtles and mangroves. I am interested on coral reefs population ecology, hard corals reproduction and water quality impacts on marine populations using experimental and theoretical approaches.

My main research interests are: 1) the effects of stressors on the different life history stages of corals (from gametes to adults) and their implications for population replenishment and maintenance, 2) the role of source reefs (e.g. mesophotic reefs) as larvae suppliers for sink reefs (e.g. shallow reefs) that are frequently exposed to stressors, and 3) the characteristics that allow resilient reefs to restore or maintain coral cover after disturbances.

By doing laboratory and field work in disturbed and pristine reefs, I would like to investigate the effects of disturbances during early life history stages that will affect populations connectivity through larval dispersal. Larval dispersal is thought to be a major determinant of coral persistence, especially in terms of the recovery potential for populations that suffer catastrophic mass mortalities. However, our understanding of the effect of multiple stressors on successive early life history stages is limited, particularly when reproduction occurs in a discrete, seasonal manner as in most scleractinian corals species, limiting the empirical data available. I am looking forward to running laboratory and field experiments to estimate the effects of disturbances on population connectivity, and to model the effects of simultaneous stressors at geographic areas with resilient coral populations and compare them to non-resilient reefs.     

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