Giacomo Bernardi: Fish Biologist, Ecological Connectivity

Giacomo Bernardi is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

“My work deals with the evolutionary ecology of fishes. This work ties together ecological aspects of fish and fisheries, with their underlying genetic background.  Therefore I get a chance to work in the field, mostly in California, Mexico, and French Polynesia, and then in the lab using molecular biology techniques. The focus of the work is both theoretical and applied. Theoretical work looks at how populations of fish get genetically separated. This work then feeds into the applied portion of our studies, as it uses genetic approaches to evaluate the levels of genetic connectivity between fish populations and stocks. Results from these studies have direct implications on the design of marine protected areas, as their sizes and placements will have different effects on the amount of connectivity between them and between the inside and the outside of the reserves.

In addition, I am part of the Moorea coral reef long term ecological research program (LTER) where I contribute to the monitoring of fish abundance and distribution on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia. Finally, I teach classes in fish biology (ichthyology) and underwater field research and methods.”

Most of my field work is done with my wife, Nicole Crane,  and our two kids, Amalia and Alessio.

Giacomo’s website can be found at: