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Keynotes speakers

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Pr. Anna Metaxas

Anna Metaxas is a conservation ecologist and a biological oceanographer working at the Dalhousie University (Canada). Her research examines the factors that affect survival and dispersal in the early life-stages of marine benthic invertebrates. She is also interested in what determines distribution of benthic communities. As such, she has a broad expertise on marine functional connectivity and its drivers, across a diversity of marine ecosystems ranging from shallow coastal habitats to deep sea hydrothermal vents. Besides her research, she is involved in a number of national and international initiatives that have as an ultimate goal the translation of scientific outcomes into information that is relevant to policy.

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Pr. Oscar Gaggiotti

Oscar Gaggiotti is professor at the University of St Andrews (UK). His research focuses on the study of spatial patterns of genetic diversity to better understand the evolutionary and ecological processes responsible for their origin and maintenance. He is particularly interested in the study of how environmental factors drive patterns of connectivity in a wide range of marine species that differ in important life history traits. To this end he develops ecologically realistic population genetics theory and methods using a framework based on the metapopulation paradigm, Bayesian statistics, and more recently machine learning. His research aims to develop approaches that can simultaneously utilize the information provided by different types of data (genetic, demographic, environmental), and to apply them to :

•  infer the connectivity patterns, demographic history and ecology of populations,

• study local adaptation to understand the molecular bases of phenotypic variation in spatially extended populations.

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Dr. Renato Morais

Renato Morais is a young marine ecologist mainly interested in the energetic dynamics of tropical ecosystems. His research focuses on tropical reef fish communities, as they dominate energy flows in hyper diverse tropical reefs, and largely underpin the strong energetic connectivity between reefs and adjacent communities. His current project as a Branco Weiss Fellow and a PSL Junior Fellow at the ‘Sciences et Lettres’ University in Paris (France) contrasts the roles of internal production and spatial subsidies in driving the production of fish biomass on global coral reefs by integrating field data collection with diverse modelling tools.

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