Iria Fernández Silva

Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow

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Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Immunology, School of Biology, University of Vigo, Vigo 36310, Spain & California Academy of Sciences – Ichthyology, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA

Current projects

Speciation and reticulate evolution in Pygmy angelfishes. The FishSpeciationGenome project seeks to answer key evolutionary questions pertaining the evolution of marine fishes. This researches is funded by a Marie Skldowska-Curie fellowship and is a collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences.









* Coral reef conservation in the South China sea.  We are assessing genetic connectivity and community structure of the protected coral reefs of Dongsha Atoll situated in the heart of a region facing very serious environmental issues. This is a collaboration with Dongsha Atoll National Park and the National Marine Biology Museum and Aquarium (Taiwan).


* Phylogeography of goatfishes in the tropical Indo-Pacific and fine-scale population connectivity in Hawaii, in collaboration with researchers at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

4_old. M. flavolineatus Gulf of Aqaba SVB

Past research projects include the application of DNA analyses to investigate population connectivity of fishes and effect of marine protected areas, the effect of industrialization in population fragmentation in sea cucumbers, and the effectiveness of marine protected areas on preventing the spread of invasive algae through protection of herbivorous fishes. I have also studied the vulnerability of biodiversity hotspots to global warming.


Selected publications (last five years):

Complete list in Google Scholar

  • Fernandez-Silva I, Randall JE, Golani D, Bogorodsky SV. 2016. Mulloidichthys flavolineatus flavicaudus Fernandez-Silva & Randall (Perciformes, Mullidae), a new subspecies of goatfish from the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. ZooKeys 605: 131.
  • Palopoli M, Fergus DJ, Minot S, Pei D, Simison B, Fernandez-Silva I., et al. 2015. Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages. PNAS 112 (52): 15958–15963
  • Fernandez-Silva I, Randall JE, Coleman RR, et al. 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 42 (12): 2402-2413
  • Mora C, Frazer AG, Longman RJ, …, Fernandez-Silva I et al. 2013. The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability. Nature, 502(7470): 183-187
  • Fernandez-Silva I, Whitney J, Wainwright B et al. (2013) Microsatellites for next-generation ecologists: A post-sequencing bioinformatics pipeline. Plos ONE 8 (2): e55990


  • 2013 to present –  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, California Academy of Sciences (USA)
  • 2014 to present – Research Associate, National Museum of Marine Biology & Aquarium (Taiwan)
  • 2013 Short-term Visiting Scientist – University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa (Japan)
  • 2010 to 2013 Postdoc (Fulbright Scholar) – Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (USA)
  • 2009-2010 Postdoc – University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
  • 2005 to 2008 PhD –  IRTA-University Autonoma of Barcelona (Spain)


Check my Travel Blog featuring experiences during research expeditions in the Tropical Pacific!