Fernando A Zapata


I am a biologist with a broad background in ecology and evolutionary biology, although my main interests are focused on marine organisms, especially on coral and rocky reefs, including intertidal systems. I am interested in understanding the abiotic and biotic factors that affect these systems and the processes that determine the structure and dynamics of the populations and communities that inhabit them. Most of my studies focus on fishes and corals and use different approaches (descriptive and experimental) and are performed from local to biogeographic scales. These studies include the documentation of distribution patterns, abundance and diversity of intertidal and coral reef fishes, macroecological patterns in reef fishes, the relationship between early life history characteristics such as egg types and larval life span and the geographic distribution of fishes, recruitment patterns in fish and corals, and bioerosion by fish on coral reefs. For two decades, I have dedicated a special effort to study the dynamics of natural disturbance and recovery of the coral reefs of Gorgona Island, in the Colombian Pacific, and several of its key components. I also maintain interests in the determinants of patterns of variation in species richness at large spatial scales, in the processes that affect the complete documentation of regional fish faunas, and recently I have begun to explore problems of coral reef restoration and connectivity among marine fish populations.

Biodiversity Biogeography Ecology Evolutionary Studies Marine Biology Zoology

Institution affiliations

Work details

Full Professor

Universidad del Valle
February 1991
I regularly teach courses on Marine Ecology, Ecology of Coral Reefs, Macroecology and Statistics.

PeerJ Contributions

August 12, 2017 - Version: 1
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