Photo credit: DR Barneche

Reef fish macroecology and evolution

Reef fishes are my passion as a biologist. “They” were responsible for my overall interest in ecology and evolution during my undergrad studies. Since 2006, I have been collaborating with a large international team of researchers, and we explore myriads of questions regarding reef-fish macroecology and evolution. These questions involve mostly large ecological datasets, and I have actively helped collect parts of the data in field expeditions doing underwater visual transects with SCUBA, and animal collections with spear-fishing slingshots.

I was originally trained (Honours and MSc projects) by Prof Sergio Floeter at the Marine Biogeography and Macroecology Lab at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (my alma mater in Florianópolis, Brazil). Together with his group, we have explored: (i) the feeding macroecology of damselfishes (Barneche et al. 2009a), (ii)tropicalisation of reef-fish communities in southern Brazil (Barneche et al. 2009b), (iii) the role of diet on the diversification rates of reef fishes (Lobato et al. 2014), (iv) the role of a Brazilian no-take zone sustaining biomass of groupers (Anderson et al. 2014), (v) the role of diet on ecological condition of butterflyfishes (Liedke et al. 2016), and (vi) the island biogeography of marine organisms in the Atlantic (Hachich et al. 2015, 2016).

Since my Masters, I have been working in collaboration with Prof Floeter and many researchers from Brazil (Enrico Rezende, Carlos Eduardo Ferreira, Osmar Luiz), France (Michel Kulbicki, Valeriano Parravicini, Eva Maire, Laurent Vigliola), USA (Alan Friedlander), Mexico (Ernesto Arias-González, Fabián Rogríguez-Zaragoza), and Australia (Graham Edgar, Rick Stuart-Smith, Alison Green) to explore how the density of species per unit area (i.e. “species packing”) changes as one moves from local scales to whole biogeographic regions. In particular, we explore how richness correlates with community-level body size, isolation, temperature, coral area, and human density. This project is currently being revised to be resubmitted to the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.


(2016). Marine island biogeography. Response to comment on 'Island biogeography: patterns of marine shallow-water organisms'. Journal of Biogeography, 43: 2517–2519. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12863.

Preprint PDF Project

(2016). Abundance, diet, foraging and nutritional condition of the banded butterflyfish (*Chaetodon striatus*) along the western Atlantic. Marine Biology, 163: 6. doi: 10.1007/s00227-015-2788-4.

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(2015). Island biogeography: patterns of marine shallow-water organisms in the Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Biogeography, 42: 1871–1882. doi: 10.1111/jbi.12560.

Preprint PDF Project

(2015). Community structure of reef fishes on a remote oceanic island: the relative influence of abiotic and biotic variables. Marine and Freshwater Research, 66: 739–749. doi: 10.1071/MF14150_AC.

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(2014). Recovery of grouper assemblages indicates effectiveness in a Marine Protected Area in Southern Brazil. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 514: 207–215. doi: 10.3354/meps11032.

Preprint PDF Project

(2014). Diet and diversification in the evolution of coral reef fishes. PLOS One, 9: e102094. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102094.

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(2009). Feeding macroecology of territorial damselfishes: (Perciformes: Pomacentridae). Marine Biology, 156: 289–299. doi: 10.1007/s00227-008-1083-z.

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(2009). Ten new records of reef fish on the coast of Santa Catarina State, Brazil. Marine Biodiversity Records, 2: e143. doi: 10.1017/S1755267209990613.

Preprint PDF Project


How are reef fish packed? The influence of regional richness
Jul 9, 2012 4:30 PM