M. Ricardo BELDADE présente ses travaux en soutenance en vue de l'obtention de l'Habilitation à diriger des recherches
- Université de Perpignan, CRIOBE, Salle de réunion du Bâtiment CBETM, 58 avenue Paul Alduy, 66860 Perpignan
- Jury : M. PHILIPPE BORSA, M. HENRIQUE CABRAL, M. JEAN CLOBERT, M. DAVID LECCHINI, M. SERGE PLANES, M. THIERRY WIRTH
MARINE ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION: LIFE-HISTORY ECOLOGY, DISPERSAL, SPECIATION AND POPULATION CONNECTIVITY
I am a coral reef fish ecologist with an interest in dispersal, hybridization, population connectivity, genotypic and phenotypic variation in parents and offspring. I pursue questions directly related to biodiversity conservation, fisheries management and global climatic change. For my HDR defence I will highlight some of the results from my PhD, post-doctorats ans future research.
Past-research summary: For my final year project (at the end of my honors) I studied the intertidal-communities (macro-algae and macro-invertebrates) in mainland Portugal. Prior to starting my PhD I also worked as a technitian/young researcher in two projects: the first was on the restoration of a saltmarsh area in the river mouth of the Guadiana River and the other was on the impacts of dredging in a coastal lagoon also in the south of Portugal. Both these experiences contributed to the scientific maturity I needed to conduct a PhD. For my PhD I studied the population dynamics of criptobentic fishes in the Arrábida Marine Park. Understanding the variation in abundance and diversity of coastal fish communities advanced from the 70’s to the 90’s as different explanatory hypothesis were enunciated and tested. The importance of particular mechanisms to the variability in abundance and diversity of fish communities include the arrival of young-of-the-year individuals (i.e. recruitment). To understand the population dynamics I assessed the fluctuations in composition and abundance of juveniles and adult cryptobenthic fishes (post-settlement), the spatio-temporal variability in diversity and abundance of their larval stages near the coast, the duration of the pelagic phase and the choice of settlement habitats.
Post-PhD research summary: The research I conducted during my PhD led to new questions especially regarding recruitment dynamics and dispersal. These subjects stimulated my curiosity and steered my carrer towards the field of Molecular Ecology. I specifically worked on: (1) phylogenetics as a means to understand the processes of speciation (which may also depend on historical dispersal); (2) population genetics to understand how different and connected/disconnected populations could be; and finally (3) parentage analysis which allowed me to link dispersal events to ecological factors.
Present and future research: In my future research I will pursue principally climate change associated questions that merge dispersal (as a means to enable “habitat tracking”); acclimation (as a measure of “phenotypic tracking”) and adaptation (as a measure of “genotypic tracking”). I detail two research lines, which encompass all three mechanisms of dealing with climat change.