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Iria Fernandez-Silva trained as a postdoc with Brian Bowen at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology and James Reimer at the University of the Ryukyus. Her PhD adviser was Antonio J. Monforte (Univ. of Lleida).
Her research seeks to understand the mechanisms by which tropical reef diversity evolves and is maintained, using methods that combine genomics, ecology and taxonomy. Although she has worked in a diversity of systems, Indo-Pacific reef fishes have been the focus of her recent research.