Members

Doctoral students

Roberto Reyes Maldonado

- Chironomus sp. “Florida” and its nervous system as model for assessing water toxicity in Puerto Rico.

Co-advisor: Dr. Bruno Marie, UPR

The Chironomidae family can be found in almost any aquatic or semiaquatic habitat. Due to this quality, this insect family has been used to assess disturbances in freshwater ecosystems around the world. This project focuses on developing an assessment tool for Puerto Rico using chironomids as indicators of contamination. Main objectives are to:

1: Establish a method for culturing Chironomus sp. “Florida” and describe its life cycle under laboratory conditions.

2: Describe the nervous system anatomy of Chironomus sp.

3: Validate the nervous system of Chironomus sp. “Florida” as a cellular biomarker for assessing toxicity.


Natalia M. Rodríguez Ortiz

- Resiliencia Socioecológica en paisajes urbanizados: Un estudio sobre los efectos del desarrollo de proyectos de canalización

La canalización es la opción generalmente sugerida para resolver problemas de inundaciones y seguridad. Sin embargo, la canalización tiene costos importantes sobre la diversidad y la sociedad. El objetivo del trabajo es estudiar el impacto del desarrollo de proyectos de canalización sobre la resiliencia de los Sistemas Socio Ecológicos de ríos en zonas urbanas tropicales.

Objetivos específicos

1- Determinar las tendencias globales en la canalización de los ríos, con énfasis en identificar los motivos de este tipo de desarrollo y analizar la evolución de este fenómeno en diferentes regiones del mundo.

2- Analizar las perspectivas de manejo de los ríos y quebradas en Puerto Rico y su influencia en el desarrollo de proyectos de canalización en áreas urbanas: el caso del río Piedras-Puerto Nuevo

3- Estudiar los impactos de la canalización sobre los macroinvertebrados acuáticos y la condición ecológica de los ríos en áreas urbanas

Josué D. Santiago Vera

- Meiofauna in tropical montane streams: community composition and responses to hurricane disturbance

Meiofauna is an important component of stream ecosystems. The main objective of the study is to characterize the meiofauna of tropical streams and understand the effects of hurricanes in tropical stream meiofauna. More in specific:

1: To characterize stream meiofauna and their relation with environmental variables (organic matter, sediment, and stream flow) prior to a hurricane.

2: To analyze changes in environmental variables after a hurricane and correlate it to changes in meiofaunal composition.

3: To simulate hurricane effects on sediment heterogeneity, organic matter and shrimp densities under a controlled manipulation experiment.


Mariely Vega

- Macroinvertebrate assemblages and their responses to natural disturbances (drought and hurricanes) in El Yunque National Forest

In coming student at NCSU, Fall 2019


Ana Maria Meza Salazar

- Climate change and stream ecosystems in the Caribbean

In coming student at NCSU, Fall 2019


Master students

Norman Maldonado

- Effects of urbanization on Odonata assemblages in tropical island streams, Puerto Rico

The objective of this project is to assess the composition of Odonata assemblages along a rural to urban gradient to understand how urbanization is affecting these insects in Puerto Rico.

Based on ecophysiological differences, we expect damselflies to be more abundant in forested rural sites while dragonflies should be more abundant in open canopy urban sites .


Ashley Mariani

- Environmental factors associated with dragonfly assemblages at El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico

The main focus of this research is to study the relationship between environmental factors and odonate assemblages in rain forest streams following major habitat alterations from post-hurricane impacts.