Adela Roa-Varón

Ph.D. Student

Email: [[aroavaron]]
Phone: (804) 684-7310
Office: Nunnally Hall 132
Department: Fisheries Science
Advisor: {{http://www.vims.edu/people/hilton_ej/index.php}}

Education

M.Sc. in Biological Sciences. 2007. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. Thesis: Molecular Approaches to Study Relationships among Families of Gadiformes Fishes. Supervisor: Guillermo Ortí, PhD.

B. Sc. in Biology. 2001. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Bogotá, Colombia. Thesis: Characterization of the demersal fish community of the Colombian Caribbean slope (300-500 m) and some zoogeographic comments. Magna Cum Laude honors Supervisor: Arturo Acero, PhD.

Research interests

My research interests are in phylogenetic reconstruction and its application to systematics, morphological evolution, biogeographic history, and biodiversity of Gadiformes fishes (cods, hakes, grenadiers, and their allies). Additionally, I am interested in the application of molecular genetic approaches to address issues in conservation and management of threatened and endangered species in the group.

 The order Gadiformes contains some of the most commercially important fishes in the world (cods, hakes, haddocks). They inhabit cool waters in every ocean of the world. They occur throughout the water column in high latitudes, from deep- sea benthic habitats to coastal waters, but are found mainly in deep waters of tropical seas. Only two species are known from freshwater habitats. Despite the great commercial and ecological importance and a long history of taxonomic study, our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships of Gadiformes still is unclear. Therefore, the survey of more taxa and combining more extensive molecular and morphological data sampling will undoubtedly help to clarify the phylogeny of the group. This basic knowledge provides underpinning efforts to conserve its biological diversity and optimize the use of fisheries resources in a sustainable way.

Professional and Research Experience

Molecular Lab Technician. The George Washington University. Washington, D.C. January – June 2011. Contributing to the resolution of the Fish Tree of Life (ETol) using phylogenomics (Order Pleuronectiformes). Supervisor: Guillermo Ortí, PhD.

Research Student. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Washington, DC. 2010-2013. 1) Multilocus approach Molecular phylogeny of Gadiformes fishes using a multi-locus approach. 2) A molecular and morphological revision of the genus Gadomus (Bathygadidae, Gadiformes). In collaboration with Drs. Eric Hilton, Tomio Iwamoto, and Guillermo Ortí.

Research Assistant. Center for Marine Science. University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC. 2007- 2010. Taxonomy, Biodiversity, Ecology, and Population Dynamics of deep-sea fishes. Worked on multi-institutional projects examining the ecology of shelf-edge, open-ocean, deep-sea coral, and chemosynthetic ecosystems, with particular emphasis on juvenile and adult mesopelagic and demersal fishes. Yearly samplings off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern US were carried out. Responsibilities included data management, gear deployment, fish identification, isotopes and otoliths sampling, and submersible operations. Onshore, responsibilities included database management, fish identification, stomach content analysis, and manuscript writing. Supervisor: Steve W. Ross, PhD.

Graduate Research Assistant. School of Biological Sciences – University Of Nebraska, Lincoln, Lincoln, NE. 2003-2007. Molecular Approaches to Study Relationships among Families of Gadiformes Fishes. Developing nuclear markers for Characiformes Fishes and developing the Tree of Life’s website for the same order. Supervisor: Guillermo Ortí, PhD.

Research Associate. Marine and Coastal Research Institute (INVEMAR). Santa Marta, Colombia. 2001-2003. Evaluation of the ecological impacts caused by the construction of Urrá I hydroelectric dam on the fish community of the Sinú River, Colombia. Supervisor: Oscar D. Solano, M.Sc.

Guest Scientist. California Academy of Sciences. 2003. Revision of the collection of Gadiformes fishes. Supervisor: Tomio Iwamoto, PhD.

Guest Scientist. The Museum of Comparative Zoology - Harvard University. 2002. Identification of mesopelagic fishes larvae. Supervisor: Karsten Hartel.

Graduate Research Assistant. Marine and Coastal Research Institute (INVEMAR). Santa Marta, Colombia. 1999-2001. Characterization of the demersal fish community of the Colombian Caribbean slope. Supervisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.

Research Cruises

2009 - R/V Cape Hatteras. Deep Coral Ecosystems off North Carolina. 10 days


     R/V Seward Johnson. Diversity, Systematics, and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems           (DISCOVRE) of the Gulf of Mexico. “USGS DISCOVRE Expedition, Lophelia II” - 11 days

2008 - R/V Nancy Foster. US Geological Survey Deep-water Program: Investigations of chemosynthetic communities of the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico. “USGS DISCOVRE Expedition” - 11 days

2007 - R/V Cape Hatteras. Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico. “Chemo III” - 21 days

1999 - R/V Ancón. Macrofauna I Expedition. Colombian Caribbean slope. 10 days

Publications

Ross, W.S., Quattrini, A.M., Roa-Varón, A., and McClain, J.P. 2010. Species Composition and Distributions of Mesopelagic Fishes Over the Slope of the North-Central Gulf of Mexico. Deep Sea Research II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. 57 (21-23): 1926- 1956

Roa-Varón, A. and Ortí, G. 2009. Phylogenetic Relationships among Families of Gadiformes (Teleostei, Paracanthopterygii) Based on Nuclear and Mitochondrial Data. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 52: 688-704.

Roa-Varón, A., Saavedra-Díaz, L. M. A. Acero P. y L. S. Mejía. 2007. First records of fishes for the Colombian Caribbean, orders Myctophiformes, Polymixiformes, Gadiformes, Ophidiiformes, and Lophiiformes. Original title: Nuevos registros de peces para el Caribe Colombiano de los órdenes Myctophiformes, Polymixiformes, Gadiformes, Ophidiiformes y Lophiiformes. Bol. Invest Mar. Cost. 36: 181-207.

L. M. Saavedra-Díaz, A. Roa-Varón, A. Acero P. y L. S. Mejía. 2004. New Records of Fishes for the Colombian Caribbean slope (orders Albuliformes, Anguilliformes, Osmeriformes, Stomiiformes, Ateleopodiformes, Aulopiformes, and Pleuronectiformes). Original title: Nuevos registros ícticos en el talud superior del Caribe colombiano (órdenes Albuliformes, Anguilliformes, Osmeriformes, Stomiiformes, Ateleopodiformes, Aulopiformes y Pleuronectiformes). Bol. Invest Mar. Cost. 33: 181-207.

Roa-Varón, A., A. Acero, L.S. Mejía y L. Saavedra. 2003. New Records of Fishes for the Colombian Caribbean slope of the orders Beryciformes, Zeiformes, Perciformes y Tetraodontiformes. Original title: Nuevos registros de peces para el Caribe Colombiano de los ordenes Beryciformes, Zeiformes, Perciformes y Tetraodontiformes. Bol. Invest Mar. Cost. 32: 3-24.

Mejía, L.S., A. Acero, Roa-Varón, A., and L. Saavedra. 2001. Review of the fishes of the Genus Synagrops from the Tropical Western Atlantic (Perciformes: Acropomatidae). Caribbean Journal. 37 (3-4): 202-209.

Saavedra, L., Roa-Varón, A., and C. Garcia. 2000. Length weight relations of upper continental slope demersal fishes in the Colombian Caribbean. NAGA. ICLARM Quarterly 23 (3): 23-25.

Technical Reports

Community Structure of Mesopelagic Fishes Over the Slope of the North-Central Gulf of Mexico. 2009. Steve W. Ross, Andrea M. Quattrini, Adela Roa-Varón, Jennifer McClain. US Geological Survey Deepwater Program: Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico

Diets and Feeding Behavior of Midwater Fishes over Cold Seep Sites in the North-Central Gulf of Mexico. 2009. Steve W. Ross, Andrea M. Quattrini, Adela Roa-Varón, Jennifer McClain. US Geological Survey Deep-water Program: Investigations of Chemosynthetic Communities on the Lower Continental Slope of the Gulf of Mexico

Evaluation of the ecological impacts caused by the construction of Urrá I Hydroelectric dam on the fish community of the Sinú River. Adela Roa-Varón and Oscar D. Solano. Trimestral reports during 2001 - 2003.

Selected Presentations and Posters

Roa-Varón A. and Ross, S.W. Diel vertical Distribution of the bristlemouths (Stomiiformes: Gonostomatidae: Cyclothone) in the Gulf of Mexico. Poster. Join Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Portland, OR.USA. July 22-27, 2009. Poster.

Ross, W.S., Quattrini, A.M., Roa-Varón, A., and McClain, J.P. Species Composition and Distribution of Mesopelagic Fishes Over the Slope of the North-Central Gulf of Mexico. Join Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Portland, OR.USA. July 22-27, 2009. Oral presentation.

Quattrini, A.M., Artabane, S.J., Ross, S.W., Roa-Varón, A., McClain, J.P. Distribution of Anguilliform Leptocephali in the Gulf of Mexico, with preliminary data on stable isotopic composition. Join Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Montreal, Canada, 23-28 July 2008. Poster.

Roa-Varón A. Gadiformes Phylogeny, a new perspective from nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Join Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Saint Louis, Missouri. USA. July 11-16, 2007. Oral Presentation.

Roa-Varón A. A first approach resolving systematic relationships among families of Gadiformes fishes using mitochondrial and nuclear genes. ASIH. New Orleans, Louisiana. E.U. July 12-17, 2006. Poster.

Roa-Varón A., and G Ortí. Phylogenetic relationships among families of Gadiformes fishes. Initiative for Ecological and Evolutionary Analysis (IEEA). December, 2005. Lincoln, NE. USA. Poster.

Roa-Varón A., and G Ortí. Deep Sea fishes in Nebraska? Nebraska Symposium on Interdisciplinary Graduate Science Research (NeInSci). September, 2005. Lincoln, NE. USA. Poster.

Roa-Varón A., and O.D.Solano. Ecological monitoring of downstream fish communities in the Sinú River: before and after the onset of Urra I hydroelectric dam. Join Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Norman, Oklahoma, USA. May 26-31, 2004. Poster.

Roa-Varón, A. y O.D. Solano. Spatio-temporal variation in the fish community structure after the onset of the Urra I. hydroelectric dam Original title: Variación espacio-temporal en la estructura de la comunidad íctica a partir de la entrada en funcionamiento de la Hidroelectrica Urra I. VII Simposio Colombiano de Ictiología. Córdoba, Monteria, Colombia. May 28-31, 2003. Oral presentation.

Roa-Varón A., L.S. Mejía and A. Acero. Preliminary ecological analysis of the demersal ichthyofauna from Colombian Caribbean. Poster. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. ASIH. Kansas, E.U. July 3-8, 2002. Poster.

Solano, O.D., Torres, C.A., Estela, F., Mendoza, M., Rivera, R., Roa-Varón, A., Rodríguez, H. y Sarabia, R. V. Plan de seguimiento y monitoreo de la zona deltaico estuarina del Río Sinú. Seminario Colombiano de Limnología y I Reunión Internacional de Limnología del Alto Amazonas. Leticia Colombia. 2002. Best Poster Award.

Roa-Varón A., L.M. Saavedra, Luz Stella Mejía, A. Acero y G. Navas. Ictiofauna colectada por el crucero INVEMAR-MACROFAUNA I en el Caribe colombiano. Congreso Latinoamericano de Ciencias de Mar. COLACMAR. 2001. Oral presentation.

Roa-Varón A., Luz Stella Mejía, A. Acero and L.M. Saavedra. Fishes of the Synagrops Genus (Pisces: Acropomatidae) present in the Colombian Caribbean. I Congreso Colombiano de Zoología. National University of Colombia. May 8-12, 2000. Poster.

Navas, G., L.S. Mejía., A. Roa-Varón., G. Borrero, A. Gracia and N. Cruz. Faunal Caracterization of the continental slope on the Caribbean Colombian. I Congreso Colombiano de Zoología. National University of Colombia. May 8-12, 2000. Poster.