Changes in functional diversity of reef fishes within an ocean warming hotspot: implications for temperate reef resilience
Marine fishes are a highly diversified taxa with a diverse array of biological attributes (i.e. traits) that makes them central in the provision of ecosystem services and functions. Yet, fish communities are under double jeopardy both from direct (e.g. fishing) and indirect (e.g. climate change) anthropogenic impacts. Understanding to what extent these combined stressors might impact the range of functions deliver by my marine fishes is essential to properly manage marine biodiversity in an era of rapid change. The main goal of my PhD is to understand how the biogeographic shift of tropical fish species (i.e. tropicalization) is restructuring the functionality of temperate reef, and how these changes are cascading throughout the ecosystem with drastic consequences for ecologically important ecosystem engineers such as kelp forests. By combining large spatial and temporal data sets with species-specific field observations, we aim to provide useful insights that contribute to the development of management plans that seek to conserve the unique temperate diversity along the Great Southern Reef of Australia.
I graduated in biological sciences with a major in marine biology in the University of La Laguna (Canary Islands, Spain). In 2016, I obtained a “summa cum laude” master degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+ program) at the University of Ghent (Belgium). My research have been focused on understanding the extent to which different anthropogenic activities are modifying the range of functions performed by marine organism at a range of scales, with a particular interest in reef fishes. During these years, I have had the opportunity to collaborate in several research programs ranging from foundation species (e.g. seagrass and rhodolith beds), marine megafauna, and fish ecology that is now my main research of interest.
Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre
School of Biological Sciences (M470)
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009