Lines of Investigation:

My research program concentrates on two main lines: (1) life histories in the ocean and (2) ecology applied to conservation and management. I have studied macro and meso scale patterns of biological diversity, physical processes determining diversity, and human activities affecting diversity, and conservation planning. My work has focused on the relative importance of life history attributes, specifically reproductive strategies (e.g. parental care) and larval developmental mode (e.g. length of planktonic life) in shaping patterns of biological diversity. My research team made significant advances in understanding the influence of environmental factors changing globally (e.g.,UVB, temperature, oxygen) on embryo development, larval performance, on the distribution of species and on the reproductive potential of species exhibiting different life history patterns. My research group has also studied other human impacts increasing globally, such as fisheries, on coastal ecosystems. Our studies allowed the identification of the main ecoregions of Chile where marine protection actions need to be focused, and from there our studies are scaling-down to (1) define specific areas within ecoregions that need to be preserved, and (2) assess the potential of those sites to produce eggs, larvae and juveniles to seed other areas. Working with local fishing communities, we have been able to provide scientific support to establish marine protected areas in Chile (e.g. Marine Sanctuary in Navidad, Marine Protected Area in Juan Fernandez).


Selected Publications:

  • Beckensteiner, J., A. Sheld, M. Fernández, & D. Kaplan. 2019. Drivers and trends in catch of benthic resources in Chilean TURFs and surrounding open access areas. Ocean and Coastal Management (in press).
  • Blanco, M., A. Ospina, S. Navarrete, & M. Fernández. 2019. Influence of larval traits on dispersal and connectivity patterns of two exploited marine invertebrates in central Chile. Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol. 612: 43–64.
  • Ruano C., M.D. Subida & M. Fernández. 2017. Fishers' perception: An alternative source of information to assess the data-poor benthic small-scale artisanal fisheries of central Chile. Ocean and Coastal Management 146: 67-76.
  • Andreu-Cazenave M., M.D. Subida & M. Fernández. 2018. Correction: Exploitation rates of two benthic resources across management regimes in central Chile: Evidence of illegal fishing in artisanal fisheries operating in open access areas. PlosOne 13(1): e0191166.
  • Blanco M., A. Ospina, C. González & M. Fernández. 2017. Egg production patterns of two invertebrate species in rocky subtidal areas under different fishing regimes along the coast of central Chile. PlosOne 12(5): e0176758.
  • Droguet, D., Sánchez, Y. Vila, A., Fernández, M. 2016. Chile es mar (libro sobre el mar de Chile para niños). Editorial Pehuén.
  • Fernández M. & S. Hormazábal. 2014. Overview of recent advances in oceanographic, ecological and fisheries research on oceanic islands in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research 42(4): 666-672.
  • Pappalardo, P. & M. Fernández. 2014. Mode of larval development as a key factor to explain contrasting effects of temperature on species richness across oceans. Journal of Biogeography, 23:12-23.
  • Brante, A., Fernández, M. & F. Viard. 2013. Non-random sibling cannibalism in the marine gastropod Crepidula coquimbensis. PLOS ONE, 8(6): e67050 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0067050.
  • Storch, D., Fernández, M., Navarrete, S. & H-O Pörtner. 2011. Thermal tolerance of larval stages of the Chilean kelp crab Taliepus dentatus. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 429:157-167.
  • Fernández, M., Calderón, R., Cifuentes, M. & P. Pappalardo. 2006. Brooding at small body size: brooding behaviour and costs in brachyuran crabs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 309:213-220.
  • Fernández, M., Calderón, R., Cifuentes, M. & P. Pappalardo. 2006. Brooding at small body size: brooding behaviour and costs in brachyuran crabs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 309:213-220.
  • Fernández, M, Bock, C. & H-O. Pörtner. 2000. The cost of being a caring mother: the ignored factor in the reproduction of marine invertebrates. Ecology Letters, 3:486-494

Courses in which participates:

  • BIO 110C – Ecología de organismos y comunidades
  • BIO 298M – Trabajo Experimental en Ecología Marina