Research lines and tips for prospective students

In this lab, we are all ocean lovers. We feel passionate about how things work in the sea, particularly in the coast, just our own backyard. Initially, my research is motivated by the necessity of pursuing for models that aim to explain patterns of organization of marine populations and assemblages through ecosystems across different scales of space, time and taxonomy. My current research aims to specifically determine the effects of environmental stressors on ‘foundation’ species, in particular seagrasses and macroalgae, such as fucoids and kelps. Specifically, I aim to connect responses at physiological, population and ecosystem levels. I expect to accomplish this goal across temperate biogeographical regions of the northern (The Macaronesian archipelagos and the Iberian Peninsula) and the southern hemisphere (south-western Australia) in conjunction with a group of brilliant colleagues. Importantly, this approach allows transferring basic ecological knowledge into the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. In the past, research topics included a wealth of ecological topics, including:

  • Descriptive ecology and function of marine biodiversity: description of patterns of spatial (from small to biogeographical scales) and temporal variation of marine assemblages.
  • Experimental ecology: an estimation of the magnitude of different ecological processes as the forces that shape ecological patterns, including the effect of environmental stressors.
  • Applied fisheries ecology: effects of human exploitation over the abundance and size structure of marine resources, including the establishment of criteria to guarantee the sustainable exploitation of marine resources.
  • Trophic ecology: the role of top-down predation over the structure of food webs.
  • Interactions between off-shore aquaculture and the environment: impacts over associated wild biota, including the management of aggregations of wild fishes around sea-cage fish farms.
  • Marine Conservation: the role of Marine Protected Areas as a way to protect and enhance marine biodiversity.
  • Macroecology: effects of ocean climate and expected scenarios of climate change over the distribution of marine biodiversity.

Despite my own research is actually limited to the effects of environmental stressors on ‘foundation’ species (see current projects), I am open to supervise research from Master and PhD students willing to undertake research in a range of topics within marine ecology. I particularly encourage motivated students to develop their own ideas under a compromised supervision.

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