Jorge Santamaria

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Jorge Santamaría Pérez graduated in Biology by the University of Salamanca and did an Erasmus Mundus Master of Science in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (EMBC+) at different european universities. Currently, he is applying to different scholarships to start his PhD the next academic year. His research interest focus on the study of benthic ecosystems ecology, from coral reefs to macroalgal communities, to understand how these complex ecosystems work, the role that each component has in the functioning of the whole system and how different disturbances affect them.

Last year, he spent several months working at the Chumbe Island Coral Park (Tanzania), to gain some hands-on experience. There, he carried out the monitoring of the reef and cleaned the corals to foster their recovery after the bleaching event. Also, he helped with the identification of fish species for ID-guides, guided snorkeling trips and did several presentations to raise awareness among the local community and the tourists.

Nowadays, his research focuses on the study of the effects that different invasive algae species have on native macroalgal communities from the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, he is interested in determining the thermotolerance thresholds for different populations of invasive species, what characteristics and traits of the native assemblages make the habitats more suitable for being invaded and what are the synergistic effects that climate change and seaweed invasions might play. Then, putting all this information together, he expects to generate predictive distribution models that could aid in the design of effective management plans.