Ernesto Villarino

What is the aim of your PhD Research? Evaluation of the impacts of climate change in marine communities, and its coupling to climate forecast models, to analyze their response to a warming trend. Habitat modelling and climate related zooplankton and benthos ecosystem dynamics of the North Atlantic Ocean and Shelf Sea areas
What is the most appealing part of your PhD? What I most like is when I have the opportunity to go on vessel to do field sampling. Indeed, last spring I took part in EuroBasin project campaign and had the opportunity to go towards the North Pole onboard GO Sars during a month: There, I investigate the climate change impacts on marine communities and its consequences for living resources management in the North Atlantic ecosystem and European Seas. It was a exciting, yet challenging experience. It’s very interesting and fruitful to meet people and see how they do research in the same or neighboring fields. I also like to show my research results on conferences all over the world
How will your thesis contribute to DEVOTES project? I am in WP4. 1) Analyze the plankton dispersal scale in the North Atlantic and European Seas by means of genetic distances 2) Make a parallel plankton community analysis to study biodiversity connectivity across different European seas. 3) Check whether genetic or ecological tools can provide a proxy to infer community connectivity.
What do you consider your most important accomplishment here so far Honestly I can’t draw any reliable conclusion in here as of yet since I am in the preliminary phase of the project i.e. collecting data from plankton population structure related issues, in order to build a database and test isolation by significance at different plankton groups in across European seas.
What has been your most exciting experience in the project so far?  I think the best part is still waiting. I will have the opportunity to collaborate with Anne Chenuil from Marseille CNRS and learn plankton genetic population dynamics techniques. I will also learn to analyze plankton ecology patterns at community scale. We will try to develop ecological and genetic indicators to study plankton connectivity.
What other important information about yourself would you like us to know? I love sea live and nature: going surfing with friends along the Basque Coast is what I most like. I also like independent travelling and indie music 🙂