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Sérgio Ávila

Sérgio P. Ávila graduated in Biology in 1995, completed a MSc in Insular Ecology and Evolution in 2001, and a PhD degree in Biology/Palaeontology in 2005 by the University of the Azores.

In 2005, I established my research group (MPB-Marine PalaeoBiogeography) and since then, we have been studying the patterns and processes of dispersal, colonization and speciation of shallow-water marine invertebrates in oceanic islands. My team has expertise on marine molluscs, echinoderms, crustacean barnacles, ostracods, bryozoans and coralline algae forming rhodoliths. Our main interests are the geological evolution of the NE-Atlantic islands, and the palaeontology, palaeoecology and palaeobiogeography of Neogene to Recent ecosystems in reefless volcanic oceanic islands.

In 2019 we published a theory in Biological Reviews that explains the marine global (palaeo)biogeographic patterns and processes on volcanic oceanic islands – the Sea Level Sensitive (SLS) dynamic model of marine island biogeography.

I completed the supervision of 1 MSc student and 3 PhD students. Currently, I have 3 PhD students. I participated in 28 major scientific expeditions in the Azores , Madeira and Cabo Verde archipelagos.

Outreach is an important item in MPB. We produced over 20 TV documentaries related with our research. I am the author of 7 books related with the natural history of the Azores and the palaeontological heritage of Santa Maria Island.

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Madeira, P., Kroh, A., Cordeiro, R., Martins, A.M.D. & Avila, S.P. (2019). The Echinoderm Fauna of the Azores (NE Atlantic Ocean). Zootaxa, 4639, 1-231.
Baptista, L., Santos, A.M., Cabezas, M.P., Cordeiro, R., Melo, C. & Avila, S.P. (2019). Intertidal or subtidal/circalittoral species: which appeared first? A phylogenetic approach to the evolution of non-planktotrophic species in Atlantic Archipelagos. Marine Biology, 166.
Cordeiro, R., Bagaco, L., Santos, M.A. & Avila, S.P. (2019). First record of Nereiphylla paretti (Polychaeta: Phyllodocidae ) in the Azores, with a compiled list of the shallow-water marine polychaetes from the archipelago. Cahiers De Biologie Marine, 60, 69-79.
Avila, S.P., Melo, C., Berning, B., Sa, N., Quartau, R., Rijsdijk, K.F., et al. (2019). Towards a 'Sea-Level Sensitive' dynamic model: impact of island ontogeny and glacio-eustasy on global patterns of marine island biogeography. Biological Reviews, 94, 1116-1142.
Melo, C.S., Ramalho, R.S., Quartau, R., Hipolito, A., Gil, A., Borges, P.A., et al. (2018). Genesis and morphological evolution of coastal talus-platforms (fajas) with lagoons: The case study of the newly-formed Faja dos Milagres (Corvo Island, Azores). Geomorphology, 310, 138-152.