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Oscar Puebla

Brian Allan: Ecology of Infectious Diseases
Alison Bell: Behavioral Ecology
May R. Berenbaum: Chemical Ecology
Jeffrey Brawn: Avian Ecology
Carla Cáceres: Aquatic Evolutionary Ecology
Zac Cheviron: Physiology and Evolution
Jim Dalling: Tropical Forest Ecology
Evan Delucia: Plant Ecology & Global Change
Rebecca Fuller: Fish Evolutionary Genetics
Katy Heath: Genomics of Mutualisms
Feng Sheng Hu: Ecosystem Ecology
Matthew Hudson: Bioinformatics & Genomics
Kevin Johnson: Avian & Insect Systematics
Angela Kent: Microbial Ecology
Andrew Leakey: Plants & Global Change
Jian Ma: Comparative Genomics
Ripan Malhi: Molecular Anthropology
Andrew Miller: Fungal Biodiversity
Ken Paige: Evolutionary Ecology
Surangi Punyasena: Paleobotany
Hugh Robertson: Insect Genomics
Gene Robinson: Bee Behavior & Genomics
Al Roca: Conservation Genetics
Sandra Rodriguez-Zas: Bioinformatics
Karen Sears: Evolutionary Development
Saurabh Sinha: Computational Genomics
Andrew Suarez: Ant Ecology & Evolution
Rachel J. Whitaker: Microbial Genomics
Last Name

STRI Mentor

Oscar Puebla

Research Interests

I study marine ecological and evolutionary processes such as dispersal, speciation, and adaptive radiation using a suite of complementary approaches including molecular population genetics, theory, behavioral observations, and experiments. During the last few years I have been using the hamlets, brightly colored coral reef fishes from the Caribbean (Hypoplectrus spp, Serranidae, see photographs below), as a model system for my research.

I am presently particularly interested in the role played by sexual selection in the process of speciation with gene flow. In order to address this long-standing question, I have taken a fresh perspective from economics matching theory. This approach constitutes a largely unexplored and promising research area that can be applied to a variety of taxa, providing ample opportunity for the development of innovative empirical and theoretical projects. I am also very excited by the potential provided by next-generation sequencing to address a variety of ecological and evolutionary questions at the individual, population, species, or community level and I am leading a large-scale genome scan study of the hamlets using Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) tags. In addition, I am finalizing a project aimed at estimating the spatial scale of larval dispersal in coral reef fishes in a perspective of networks of marine protected areas. This project, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, involved the continuous sampling of individuals along a 220-km megatransect following the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize. By providing estimates of mean parent-offspring dispersal distance in several species with different life histories at a relatively low cost - a grail in marine biology - this data will constitute a basis to address quantitatively both fundamental and applied questions about the dynamics of coral reef fish communities.

Representative and Recent Publications

  • Puebla O, Bermingham E, Guichard F (in press) Pairing dynamics and the origin of species. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1549.
  • Puebla O, Bermingham E, Guichard F (2011) Perspective: matching, mate choice, and speciation. Integrative & Comparative Biology 51, 485-491.
  • Puebla O, Bermingham E, Guichard F (2009) Estimating dispersal from genetic isolation by distance in a coral reef fish (Hypoplectrus puella). Ecology 90, 3087-3098.
  • Puebla O, Bermingham E, Guichard F (2008) Population genetic analyses of Hypoplectrus coral reef fishes provide evidence that local processes are operating during the early stages of marine adaptive radiations. Molecular Ecology 17, 1405-1415.
  • Puebla O, Bermingham E, Guichard F, Whiteman E (2007) Colour pattern as a single trait driving speciation in Hypoplectrus coral reef fishes? Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274, 1265-1271.
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