I am interested in the patterns and processes that generate and maintain marine biodiversity and working towards solutions for the various environmental issues that are pressing marine ecosystems.

I am currently conducting phylogeographic surveys of Indo-Pacific coral reef fishes and applying a comparative genomics approach to investigate speciation and reticulate evolution in coral reef fishes and the role of color in the diversification of this group.

I also have applied DNA analyses to adress various topics of conservation relevance, for example, investigate fish stock replenishment and Marine Protected Areas in Hawaii, the effect of industrialization in population fragmentation o, and the effectiveness of fishing regulations on preventing the spread of invasive algae through protection of herbivore fishes. My research also focuses in studying the vulnerability of biodiversity hotspots to global warming.

Although my study sites spread over the entire world,  a great part of my work and conservation efforts have been focused in the coral reefs of Hawaii, the Ryukyus and the Red Sea, as well the temperate marine ecosystems of my homeland, Galicia, and the Northeastern Atlantic.

My research is currently supported by the Fish Speciation Genome project, funded by through the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (Marie Skłodowska-Curie action). This project involves the collaboration of the California Academy of Science and the University of Vigo (Spain).

I am also collaborating with Dongsha National Park, the University of Kaoshiung and the National Marine Biology Museum and Aquarium in Taiwan to investigate the recovery of coral reefs after the creation of a Marine Protected Area in a heavily impacted atoll in the South China Sea.


26. Palopoli M., Fergus D.J., Minot S., Pei D., Simison B., Fernandez-Silva I., Thoemmes M.S., Dunn R.R., Trautwein M. Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (In press)

25. Fernandez-Silva I., Randall J.E., Coleman R.R., DiBattista J.D., Rocha L.A., Reimer J. D., Meyer C.G., Bowen B.W. (2015) Yellow tails in a Red Sea: Phylogeography of the Indo-Pacific goatfish Mulloidichthys flavolineatus reveals isolation in peripheral biogeographical provinces and a cryptic evolutionary lineage in the Red Sea that persisted through glacial cycles. Journal of Biogeography DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12598

24. Gaither M.R., Bernal M.A., Fernandez-Silva I., Mwale M., Jones S.A., Rocha C., Rocha L.A. (2015) Two deep evolutionary lineages in the circumglobal Glasseye, Heteropriacanthus cruentatus (Teleostei, Priacanthidae) with admixture in the Western Indian Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology 87 (3), 715-727

23. Rey-Méndez M., Tourón N., Rodríguez-Castro B., Rama-Villar A., Fernandez-Silva I., González N., Martínez D., Ojea J., & Catoira J.L. (2015) Crecimiento y mejora del índice gonadal en el cultivo del erizo de mar Paracentrotus lividus (Echinoida: Echinidae) en Galicia (España). Revista de Biologia Tropical (International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation) 63: 261–272

22. Andrews K. R., Norton E., Fernandez-Silva I., Portner E., Goetze E. (2014) Multilocus evidence for globally-distributed cryptic species and distinct populations across ocean gyres in a mesopelagic copepod. Molecular Ecology. Molecular Ecology 23 (22): 5462:5479

21. Selkoe K.A., Gaggiotti O. E., ToBo Laboratory, Bowen B. W., Toonen R. J. (2014) Emergent patterns of population genetic structure for a coral reef community. Molecular Ecology 23 (12): 2287-3126

20. Willette D.A., Allendorf F. W., Barber P. H., Barshis D. J., Carpenter K. E., Crandall E. D., Cresko W. A., Fernandez-Silva I., Matz M. V., Meyer E., Seeb L.W., Seeb J. E. (2014) So, you want to use next-generation sequencing in marine systems?: Insight from the Pan-Pacific Advanced Studies Institute. Special issue on “Indo-Pacific phylogeography”. Bulletin of Marine Science 90 (1): 79-144

19. Mora C., Frazer A. G., Longman R. J., …, Fernandez-Silva I., … (12 authors) (2013). Mora et al. reply (To E. Hawkins et al.) Nature 511: E5–E6

18. Toonen, R. J., Puritz, J. B., Forsman, Z. H., Whitney, J. L., Fernandez-Silva, I., Andrews, K. R., & Bird, C. E. (2013). ezRAD: a simplified method for genomic genotyping in non-model organisms. PeerJ, 1: e203 *Selected in the Top 10 Genomics Papers*

17. Mora C., Frazer A. G., Longman R. J., …, Fernandez-Silva I., … (12 authors) (2013). The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability. Nature, 502(7470): 183-187

16. Fernandez-Silva I., Snelgrove B.N., Bowen B.W. (2013) Twelve DNA microsatellite markers to resolve population structure of the Yellow-Striped Goatfish Mulloidichthys flavolineatus (family Mullidae). Conservation Genetics Resources 5 (2): 565-568 DOI 10.1007/s12686-012-9853-9

15. Fernandez-Silva I., Whitney J., Wainwright B., Andrews K. R., Ylitalo-Ward H., Bowen B. W., Toonen R. J., Goetze E., Karl S. A. (2013) Microsatellites for next-generation ecologists: A post-sequencing bioinformatics pipeline. Plos ONE 8 (2): e55990

14. Fernandez-Silva I., Toonen R. J. (2013) Post-sequencing in silico processing for microsatellite discovery from genome pyrosequencing. In: Kantartzi S.K., editor. MICROSATELLITES: METHODS AND PROTOCOLS. Carbondale, Illinois: Humana Press, Springer Science+Publishing Media, LLC. Methods in Molecular Biology 1006, pp 101-120 *Invited*

13. Costello M. J., Reimer J., Zoltan S., Fernandez-Silva I., Adzis K. A. A., Wörheide G., Beardall J., Lai J. C. Y., Lee W. C., Orlov A, Williams G. A. (2012) Fostering international collaboration in marine biodiversity sciences in Asia-Pacific region. Pacific Science 66 (4): 545-54912. Bird C. E., Fernandez-Silva I., Skillings D. J., Toonen R. J. (2012) Sympatric speciation in the post "modern synthesis" era of evolution. Evolutionary Biology 39: 158-180. DOI: 10.1007/s11692-012-9183-6 *Invited review in "Speciation - a special issue" *

12. Fernandez-Silva I., Sanmartin P., Silva B., Moldes A., Prieto B. (2011) Phytopigment extraction for quantification of stone biofilms: Comparison of various mechanical methods and optimization by an incomplete factorial design. Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology 38: 179-188. DOI 10.1007/s10295-010-0843-1

11. Fernandez-Silva I., Moreno E., Essafi A., Fergany M., Garcia-Mas J., Martin-Hernandez A., Alvarez J., Monforte A. J. (2010) Shaping melons: Agronomic and genetic characterization of QTLs that modify melon fruit morphology. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 121: 931–940. DOI 10.1007/s00122-010-1361-2

10. Deleu W., Esteras C., Roig C., Gonzalez-To M., Fernandez-Silva I., Gonzalez-Ibeas D., Blanca J., Aranda M. A., Arus P., Nuez F., Monforte A. J., Pico M.B., Garcia-Mas J. (2009) A set of EST-SNPs for map saturation and cultivar identification in melon. BMC Plant Biology 9: 90. DOI 10.1186/1471-2229-9-90

9. Fernandez-Silva I., Eduardo I., Blanca J., Esteras C., Pico B., Nuez F., Arus P., Garcia-Mas J., Monforte A.J. (2008) Bin mapping of genomic and EST-derived SSRs in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics 118: 139- 150. DOI 10.1007/s00122-008-0883-3

8. Fernandez-Silva I., Moreno E., Eduardo I., Arus P., Alvarez J. M., Monforte A. J. (2008) On the genetic control of heterosis for fruit shape in melon (Cucumis melo L.). Journal of Heredity 100:229-235. DOI 10.1093/jhered/esn075

7. Fernandez-Silva I, Rodriguez-Castro B, Quinteiro J, Rodriguez-Castro J, Manent P, Rey-Méndez M. (2010) Desarrollo de microsatelites a partir de ESTs para el estudio genético de las poblaciones de Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck) [Development of microsatellite markers from the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck) for population genetic studies]. In: Rey M., Fernandez J., Lodeiros C., Guerra A., editors. Proceedings of the XIII Foro dos recursos mariños e da acuicultura das Rías Galegas. O Grove, Spain

6. Rey-Mendez M., Quinteiro J., Rodriguez-Castro J., Tourón N., Rama-Villar A., Fernandez-Silva I., Gonzalez N., Martinez D., Ojea J., Catoira J. L. (2009) Growth of Paracentrotus lividus farmed sea urchins. In: Rey M., Fernandez J., Lodeiros C., Guerra A., editors. Proceedings of the XII Foro dos recursos mariños e da acuicultura das Rías Galegas. O Grove, Spain

5. Rey-Mendez M., Quinteiro J., Rodriguez-Castro J., Touron N., Rama-Villar A., Fernandez-Silva I., Gonzalez N., Catoira J.L. (2009) Gonadal index development in Paracentrotus lividus sea urchins reared with artificial diets. In: Rey M., Fernandez J., Lodeiros C., Guerra A., editors. Proceedings of the XII Foro dos recursos mariños e da acuicultura das Rías Galegas. O Grove, Spain

4. Fernandez-Silva I. (2008) Saturacion de mapa genético de melón con marcadores derivados de ESTs y estudio de QTLs implicados en desarrollo de fruto [Saturation of a melon linkage map with markers derived from Expressed Sequence Tags and study of Quantitative Trait Loci controlling melon fruit development]. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Lleida, Spain

3. Moreno E., Fernandez-Silva I., Eduardo I., Mascarell A., Alvarez J. M., Caño A., Monforte A. J. (2008) Agronomical, genetic and developmental characterization of fs6.4: a Quantitative Trait Locus controlling melon fruit shape. In: Pitrat M., editor. Cucurbitaceae 2008, Proceedings of the IXth EUCARPIA meeting on genetics and breeding of Cucurbitaceae. INRA, Avignon (France), Pages 101-112 ISBN 978-2-7380-1251-7

2. Fernandez-Silva I., Blanca J., Pico B., Nuez F., Arus P., Monforte A. J. (2006) Linkage mapping of melon microsatellite markers from melon ESTs by selective genotyping. In: Badenes Catala M. L., Llacer G., Diez Niclos M. J., Carrillo Bcerril J. M., eds. Actas de Horticultura (45): 109, 108-110, ISBN: 978-8-4772-1946-0


The Fish Speciation Genome Project (P. I.: Iria Fernandez-Silva) seeks to address key evolutionary questions.

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