Relationship between temperature and ecological interaction on Galápagos Reefs.

For my PhD dissertation I want to answer this fundamental question: Does temperature explain changes in the strength of ecological interactions (i.e. herbivory, predation) on Galápagos reefs ?  

Currently, I plan to travel to the Galápagos in January of 2021 to start working on an experiment focused on evaluating the predation rates of reef fish across multiple sites, each of which includes different temperature ranges and external human pressures.


Can the characteristics of the substrate explain reef fish assemblage structure?

Reef fish depend on their environment to find refuge and places to feed. Considering this, we used multiple digital technice (i.e. 3D model reconstructions, digital mosaics) to estimate different variables of the reef substrate (i.e. coral cover, structural complexity) and explored how this relates to fish assemblage abundance, biomass, diversity and structure. 


Spatial patterns of fish and coral assemblage along Venezuelan reefs.

Venezuela possesses long coastlines and numerous islands with very different types of reefs facing a myriad of environmental conditions. We recently published a paper describing these patterns on coral assemblage, and we are now working on a paper describing spatial patterns of fish assemblage structure and diversity. 

  • E. Miyazawa, L. Montilla, E. Agudo-Adriani, A. Ascanio, G. Marino Briceno, and A. Croquer. On the importance of spatial scale on beta diversity on coral assemblage: A case study from Venezuelan coral reefs. PeerJ, e1861. 2020

Socio-ecological baseline for the conservation and management of threatened coral species at Archipelago Los Roques National Park

Los Roques National Park is the oldest marine protected area (MPA) and contains the most important coral reef system in Venezuela. It is likely one of the largest and healthiest coral reef systems in the Caribbean. Between 2014 and 2016 we worked to determine the distribution and health status of the most endangered Caribbean corals – pillar, elkhorn and staghorn – along with identifying their threat level and defining conservation priorities. Furthermore, this study set a baseline to better understand the flow of economic benefits derived from coral reefs ecosystem service. 

  • F. Cavada-Blanco, J. Cappelletto, E. Agudo-Adriani, S. Martinez, J. Rodriguez, and A. Croquer. Spatial scales matter when assessing the status of rare reef corals: a case study of Dendrogyra cylindrus in Los Roques Archipelago National Park. Submitted to Journal of Endangered Species, 2020.         
  • A Survival Blueprint for the Pillar coral, Dendrogyra cylindrus. Compilation from the Workshop “Strategic planning for the conservation and management of the Caribbean threatened species: Dendrogyra cylindrus, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis and their habitat at Archipelago Los Roques National Park, South Caribbean”. November 24th -28th 2015, Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • A. Croquer, F. Cavada-Blanco, A. Zubillaga, E. Agudo-Adriani, and M. Sweet. Is Acropora palmata recovering? a case study in los roques national park, Venezuela. PeerJ. e1539.                                           
  • Martinez S., Cavada F., Cappelletto J., Agudo-Adriani E., Croquer A. Distribution range and health status of the threaten staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis at Los Roques National Park. 37th Scientific Meeting of the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean.At: Curacao. Conference Poster.…

Lionfish invasion

Invasive species are considered to be a leading cause of biodiversity loss. For this reason many scientists are paying particular attention to the invasion of the exotic species P. volitans (lionfish) throughout the Caribbean. After lionfish reached Venezuela in 2009, we have monitored their presence along our coast and islands. Through collaboration with other research groups, we are gaining a better understanding of the connectivity processes that could explain its fast spread. 

  • I. Guzman-Mendez, R. Rivera-Madrid, S. Planes, E. Boissin, A. Croquer, E. Agudo-Adriani, C. Gonzalez-Gandara, H. Perez-Espana, A. Giro-Petersen, J. Luque, M. Garca-Rivas, M. Aguilar- Espinosa, J. Arguelles, and J. Arias-Gonzalez. Genetic connectivity of Lionsh (Pterois volitans) in Marine Protected Areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. Ecology and Evolution, 00, 1-12.  2019.   
  • Mancilla D., Agudo-Adriani E. Ascanio A., Croquer A. Status of Lionfish (Pterois Volitans) along the Venezuelan Coast: 10 years after the first report of invasion. 39th Scientific meeting of the Association of marine laboratories of the Caribbean. Conference Poster.…                        
  • E. Agudo and E. Klein-Salas. Lionfish abundance, size structure and spatial distribution along the Venezuelan coast (Pterois volitans, pteroinae: Scorpaenidae). International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, (September):151. 2015.