Berta Ramiro Sánchez

About

I am a biologist with a special interest in the ecology and taxonomy of deep-sea invertebrates, particularly the drivers of biodiversity over spatial and temporal IMG-20181121-WA0015 (1)gradients.

Originally from Madrid, Spain, I completed a master’s degree in marine and fisheries ecology at The University of Aberdeen (UK) and later worked for a few years in the UK in fish stock assessment and marine conservation policy before starting my PhD.

 

Current Research

In brief, my research is focused on vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) and indicator species in the deep North Atlantic, trying to understand the drivers shaping both functional and species distribution in the high seas.

For my PhD on ‘Biogeographical patterns in the deep ocean: environmental, biological and historical drivers in the North Atlantic’, I aim to revise the Global Open Oceans and Deep-Seabed (GOODS) (UNESCO, 2009) biogeographic classification system. GOODS is a tool specifically developed to divide the deep-sea pelagic and benthic areas into distinct provinces that share some commonalities. The classification is, however, purely based on physical proxies rather than actual biogeographic species data and it does not account for climate change either. My work will consist of validating the GOODS tool for complex habitats formed by VME indicator taxa, and of testing the biogeography of VMEs under projected climate change scenarios in the North Atlantic. I also will aim to explore whether the biogeography of VME taxa is driven by species traits. The effective management of deep sea ecosystems will require this underpinning knowledge driving biogeography, as the services and functions provided by the deep sea are widely recognized for human welfare.

So far during my PhD I have already had some amazing opportunities such as participating in a deep-sea coral identification workshop; gained training in barcoding techniques and species distribution modelling; and participate on a research cruise. And I look forward to more!

My PhD is part of the European ATLAS project (https://www.eu-atlas.org/) that seeks to improve our knowledge of complex deep-water ecosystems of the North Atlantic basin to achieve sustainability of marine resources.