Osmar Luiz


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Osmar plays a critical role in processing and analysing remote video data of fishes and invertebrates for the WWF/ARC-funded spatial ecology of fear project.

For many years Osmar was involved in a large-scale assessment of reef fish species over the Brazilian coast and oceanic islands. Marine underwater environments in Brazil were poorly understood, and it was an exciting time for exploring these remote places and discovering new fish species and behavioural patterns. The coast of Brazil is very heterogeneous with regard to environmental conditions, presenting a distinctive north-south gradient from warm coral reefs to cool, upwelling-influenced rocky reefs. From his experiences working in this system, he became interested in understanding how the structure of fish communities changes in response to these different abiotic conditions. He thus carried out his MSc. study on a subtropical mid-shelf reef to evaluate the effect of an additional major force on its reef fish community structure: exposure to large hydrodynamic forces and wave surge due to its offshore position. More recently, based on new research findings of reef fish richness and abundance patterns, both in Brazil and the larger Atlantic Ocean, he found himself particularly interested in large-scale comparisons among distinct marine biogeographical regions. In 2009 he joined the Computational Ecology Group at Macquarie University as a Ph.D. candidate to conduct macroecological analysis of reef fish distributions over a wide range of locations within the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Reef fishes represent the world’s largest and most diversified group of vertebrate animals and he expects that the outcome of these analyses may be applied to effective conservation and management of natural resources.

Secondary to his research activities, he is also active in scientific outreach. As scuba dive instructor and underwater photographer, Osmar enjoys giving marine biology seminars and writing magazine articles devoted to a non-scholarly audience. Additionally, he has been involved in management of dive tourism within Brazilian marine protected areas (MPAs).

Osmar’s home page can be found here.