Welcome to the Biodiversity and Reef Coservation (BARCO) Laboratory
Welcome to the Biodiversity and Reef Conservation (BARCO) Laboratory
We are a dynamic group with passionate interest in ecology and biodiversity conservation. At BARCO LAB we focus on three main areas of research: (1) describing on-going ecological shifts on reef ecosystems resulting from environmental and climate change, (2) investigating the role of ecological processes such as herbivory and coral recruitment on ecosystem dynamics, and (3) understanding the consequences of reef degradation to biodiversity and humans. We believe that one of the greatest challenges of today is biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and we are increasingly interested in providing fundamental ecological insights while producing policy-relevant science.
Our lab is part of the internationally renowned Reef Systems Unit (RSU). Situated in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, in the northernmost section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the RSU provides excellent opportunities for tropical marine research. It offers a variety of research facilities for faculty, students, and visiting scientists, coupled with convenient access to marine environments – the barrier reef in just few hundred meters from our door!
Dr. Lorenzo Alvarez-Filip
I am a marine ecologist and researcher at the Reef Systems Unit, of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). I have a broad interest in ecology including marine biodiversity, global change biology and conservation ecology.
My research is primarily based on the Caribbean, but I also have interests elsewhere including the Tropical Eastern Pacific and the Indian Ocean. I earned my PhD from the University of East Anglia (UK), and was a postdoctoral fellow at Simon Fraser University (Canada). I have also worked in the Mexican agency for protected areas and served as a Science Coordinator for the Healthy Reefs Initiative.
Awards & responsabilities
- World Reef Award and Fellow of the International Society
for Reef Studies (2017)
- President of the Mexican Society of Coral Reefs (2017-2019)
- Royal Society Newton-Advanced Fellowship (2016-2018)
- Mexican System of Researchers (SNI) Level 1 (2011-2018)
Ongoing research projects
- Effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas in the Mexican coral reefs (CONACYT , 2015-2017, MXN$ 970,000)
-Building capacity for monitoring functionality of coral reefs along the Mesoamerican Reef, with Prof. Chris Perry (University of Exeter). Royal Society Newton-Advanced Fellowship, 2016-2018, £ 87,000
-Long-term ecological changes in habitats dominated by Acropora in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. (CONANP, 2016, MXN$ 500,000)
Ecology, coral reefs, macroecology, conservation, global change
Click on photos for more.....
Postdoctoral researcher interested in the resilience of octocoral animal forests in the Caribbean
MSc student evaluating the recruitment and recovery of coral species affected by the stony coral tissue loss disease.
MSc student investigating the environmental and anthropogenic drivers of stony coral tissue loss disease in the Caribbean.
MSc student interested in ecological connectivity of hard corals.
MSc student using drones to assess the impacts of hurricanes on the populations of Elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) in the Mexican Caribbean
BSc student working on the reef carbonate budgets of the Veracruz Reef System
BSc student exploring the consequences of the SCTLD on the carbonate production
Past lab members
JOIN THE TEAM
Volunteers and internships
If you are able to support yourself financially and would like to obtain experience working on our projects then we are happy to discuss this.
Please contact me to learn about the potential opportunities to develop an undergraduate thesis.
Currently we don’t have any funded opportunities. However, if you are interested in joining my lab as an MSc or PhD student please email me a brief (300-500 words) description of your experience and research interests, and if you are pursuing a PhD position please also include a short description of your proposed research. Mexican and international students are eligible to obtain a postgraduate scholarship from CONACYT. You can choose between different postgraduate programs, including Posgrado de Ciencias Biológicas (recommended) and Posgrado de Ciencias del Mar from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).