Short bio

I’m a marine biologist curious about animal behaviour and biodiversity. My research focuses on understanding how animal behaviour mediates ecological and evolutionary processes in wild marine populations, through three research lines: 1. Individual variation in behaviour and conservation: most of my research in the last years has focused on understanding the differences in life-history and behavioural traits among individuals of a population. For instance, I have investigated the life-history differences between colour morphs in the ballan wrasse, Labrus bergylta. This is a very interesting case study, as in part of the distribution area of the species, plain and spotted individuals live in sympatry but display strikingly different reproductive and growth strategies. I have been also interested in differences in behaviour of fish in the wild. Why do some individuals consistently move more than others? I have been investigating this aspects in a Norwegian fjord where many individuals of cod, pollach and seatrout have been tracked for years now. 2. Marine reserves science: marine reserves are places where fishing is regulated or forbidden (non-take areas), so they represent islands where individuals are subject to reduced or no fishing mortality. Intuitively, individuals living inside marine reserves will experience increased fitness as compared to individuals living outside them. I’m interested in understanding how animal behaviour influences protection: do individuals or species that move more get less protection? Can we use information on the spatial ecology to improve the design of marine reserves?. I’m also interested in how protection influences animal behaviour through selection and evolutionary processes. Can marine reserves increase the fitness of lazy individuals?. 3. Marine biodiversity and speciation: I’m curious about biodiversity, and how species emerge in the ocean, where few absolute barriers exist. Using the ballan wrasse case study, I’m investigating the role of body colour in sympatric speciation processes. I combine genomics with field observations to understand if the two morphotypes mate assortatively and what is the genetic footprint. Do they represent two incipient species?

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