Sérgio P. Ávila

Sérgio P. Ávila
University of the Azores | UAc · Departamento de Biologia

PhD.

About

203
Publications
66,659
Reads
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3,065
Citations
Citations since 2017
79 Research Items
1687 Citations
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Introduction
My team has been studying the patterns and processes of dispersal, colonization and speciation of shallow-water marine invertebrates in oceanic islands. Our team has experts on marine molluscs, echinoderms, crustacean barnacles, ostracods and coralline algae forming rhodoliths. My 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. Just published a theory that explains the marine global biogeographic processes and patterns on volcanic oceanic islands - the Sea Level Sensitive (SLS) dynamic model of marine island biogeography. For this, we used state-of-the-art checklists from the entire Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Additional affiliations
January 2016 - January 2025
University of the Azores
Position
  • Principal Investigator
November 2009 - November 2014
University of Porto
Position
  • Research Associate
October 2009 - November 2014
CIBIO Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (203)
Book
Full-text available
O turismo subaquático em Santa Maria é uma das vertentes do turismo de Natureza sustentável com maior sucesso nesta ilha do Arquipélago dos Açores. Lugares como a “Baixa do Ambrósio” e as suas jamantas (entre outros grandes pelágicos), a “Pedrinha” e os peixes e grandes “leques” bivalves da espécie Pinna rudis (Linnaeus, 1758) que aí se avistam, ou...
Article
Full-text available
CIBIO-Açores/ InBIO/ BIOPOLIS Para quem, como os autores deste texto, trabalha em ilhas oceânicas e tenta decifrar os processos e padrões evolutivos que aqui decorrem atualmente, bem como os que decor-reram ao longo do tempo geológico, assume particular relevo o conhecimento que é ne-cessário ter acerca da ontogenia de cada ilha, ou seja, da histór...
Article
Knowledge of how carbonates are produced on shelves is needed for working out how these “carbonate factories” generate stratigraphy by providing particles for potential export or local deposition. Production rates can be derived straightforwardly in low-energy environments from one-dimensional analysis (age–depth variations) but rates are less easi...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Background: As in most bryozoans, taxonomy and systematics of species in the genus Reteporella Busk, 1884 (family Phidoloporidae) has hitherto almost exclusively been based on morphological characters. From the central North Atlantic Azores Archipelago, nine Reteporella species have historically been reported, none of which have as yet bee...
Article
Full-text available
Rhodoliths occur extensively around the shores of Fuerteventura Island in the Canary Archipelago, with Lithothamnion cf. corallioides being the most prominent species. A large number of rhodoliths end up washed onshore, the debris from which contributes to the formation of sediments constituting modern beaches. In a previous study by one of the co-...
Article
Corrigendum to: Wave-influenced deposition of carbonate-rich sediment on the insular shelf of Santa Maria Island, Azores. Sedimentology, 69: 1547-1572.
Book
Full-text available
ÁVILA S.P., R.S. RAMALHO, C.M. DA SILVA, M.E. JOHNSON, A. UCHMAN, B. BERNING, R. QUARTAU, P. MADEIRA, C.S. MELO, A.C. REBELO, L. BAPTISTA, S. ARRUDA, E. GONZÁLEZ, M.W. RASSER, A. HIPÓLITO, R. CORDEIRO, R. MEIRELES, V. RAPOSO, J. POMBO, R. CÂMARA, M.X. KIRBY, J. TITSCHACK, J.M. HABERMANN, R. VULLO, A. KROH, J.H. LIPPS, M. CACHÃO & J. MADEIRA, 2022....
Article
It was with much interest that we read the comment made by Meco et al. (2022), regarding our work on "Range expansion of tropical shallow-water marine molluscs in the NE Atlantic during the last interglacial (MIS 5e): Causes, consequences and utility of ecostratigraphic indicators for the Macaronesian archipelagos". We welcome the discussion genera...
Article
Formulae for sediment thresholds of motion are commonly based on flume experiments on rounded quartz particles and it is unclear how well they predict thresholds in natural settings. Here, sediment threshold shear stresses were calculated from one such formula using surface grain-size data from 112 sites around Santa Maria Island. To compare with t...
Presentation
The Cabo Verde Archipelago holds a remarkable sedimentary record of tsunami inundations, as highlighted by recent finds on Santiago and Maio Islands. Santiago, in particular, constitutes an exceptional site to study in detail the proximal impacts of the megatsunami(s) triggered by the well-known catastrophic flank collapse of Fogo volcano (~60 km t...
Conference Paper
METEOR Cruise M150 BIODIAZ provided material from sublittoral down to deep-sea stations to incorporate innovative aspects into the study of seamount and island productivity and their potential role for the establishment of benthic assemblages comprising all size classes (George et al. 2021). The aim was to get a baseline on the diversity, faunal co...
Conference Paper
The Cruise M150 BIODIAZ provided a unique opportunity to study the ecology, diversity, abundance, and geographical distribution of epibenthos in mid-shelf to bathyal waters around the Azores. Among the target taxa were bryozoans, a globally distributed group of aquatic, colonial, benthic, suspension-feeding invertebrates represented by over 6,500 d...
Article
Full-text available
Atualmente não existe um projeto de música que pode ser implementado de maneira geral no ambiente intermareal. No presente estudio se propõem modificações a um método tradicional e se desmistificam as diferenças em suas estimativas. A través de um registro fotográfico, o método permite censor com rapidez e mais detalhes da composição da comunidade...
Article
Controlled by ecological and physical factors, marine species distribution may vary due to global climatic changes that result from range expansion or contraction (the latter caused by local disappearances, i.e., extirpations). Spanning from 13° to 39°N, the Macaronesian region encompasses five archipelagos located within warm-temperate to tropical...
Article
Full-text available
Currently there is no ecology sampling design that can be implemented in a general way to intertidal environments. In this study, we propose and demonstrate that modifications to traditional methods exhibit differences in their estimates. The modified method allows a quick and more detailed census of the composition of the macrobenthic community th...
Article
Full-text available
Research in Macaronesia has led to substantial advances in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. We review the scientific developments achieved in this region, and outline promising research avenues enhancing conservation. Some of these discoveries indicate that the Macaronesian flora and fauna is composed of rather young lineages, not Terti...
Article
Located on the northern coast of Santa Maria Island (Azores Archipelago, central North Atlantic), the Lagoinhas section preserves a carbonate buildup correlated with Marine Isotope Substage (MIS) 5e, the warmest interval of the Last Interglacial. The buildup is formed mainly by crustose coralline algae (CCA) identified as Spongites sp., and some su...
Article
Full-text available
Background In the marine realm, dispersal ability is among the major factors shaping the distribution of species. In the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, the Azores Archipelago is home to a multitude of marine invertebrates which, despite their dispersal limitations, maintain gene flow among distant populations, with complex evolutionary and biogeographic...
Article
Pliocene body fossils from Santa Maria Island, Azores, have been studied for decades, but only more recently have ichnofossils received their due attention. Calcareous Pliocene deposits from the Baía de Nossa Senhora section contain numerous, diverse, well-preserved natural casts of invertebrate borings. The study of this type of fossils adds to kn...
Article
Full-text available
This project examines the role of North Atlantic storms degrading a Late Pleistocene rocky shoreline formed by basaltic rocks overlying hyaloclastite rocks on a small volcanic peninsula connected to Gran Canaria Island in the central region of the Canary Archipelago. Conglomerate dominated by large, ellipsoidal to angular boulders eroded from an ad...
Article
Full-text available
Unattached nodules of calcareous red algae (Rhodophyta), known as rhodoliths, are widely reported and studied in places that extend from the tropics to polar latitudes. Factors controlling the distribution of the rhodolith-forming species remain poorly understood. A review of the global distribution of present-day rhodolith beds was undertaken, col...
Article
The presence of crustacean decapods in the Pliocene and Pleistocene (MIS 5e) fossil record of Santa Maria Island (Azores Archipelago) is herein reviewed. Our study raises the number of fossil crabs from this island from one species to ten taxa (3 for the Pliocene and 7 for the Last Interglacial). Five out of these ten taxa are reported for the firs...
Article
Full-text available
The marine topshell Phorcus sauciatus is currently found along the temperatesubtropical shores of the Northeast Atlantic Ocean. Although present in the Iberian Peninsula, Madeira and Canaries for centuries, P. sauciatus has only recently reached another oceanic volcanic archipelago in the region. In 2013, a small population was recorded for the fir...
Technical Report
Este Relatório é o terceiro e final contributo para o “Plano de Ação do PaleoParque Santa Maria” e contempla os seguintes itens: A) Discussão da possibilidade de zonas tampão B) Propostas para uma adequada estratégia de divulgação do PaleoParque Santa Maria, com o respetivo custo por medida – Conclusão C) Apresentação de objetivos de gestão exequív...
Technical Report
Este Relatório é o segundo contributo para o “Plano de Ação do PaleoParque Santa Maria” e contempla os seguintes itens: A) Descrição detalhada de todas as jazidas fósseis de Santa Maria (2ª parte: jazidas visitáveis por turistas): Gruta dos Icnofósseis; B) Descrição detalhada de todas as jazidas fósseis de Santa Maria (1ª parte: jazidas não visitáv...
Article
Full-text available
Modern and palaeo-shores from Pleistocene Marine Isotope Substage 5e (MIS 5e) featuring prominent cobble/boulder deposits from three locations, on the southern and eastern coast of Santa Maria Island in the Azores Archipelago, are compared, in order to test the idea of higher storminess during the Last Interglacial. A total of 175 basalt clasts fro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The worldwide study of the geological record of the Last Interglacial is key to reconstruct the climatic and oceanographic conditions during that time interval. Here we present preliminary results of a comprehensive field analysis of one of the most extensive and least studied Quaternary fossiliferous sequences in Cabo Verde attributed to the Last...
Article
Full-text available
Sedimentary rocks are rarely preserved on reefless volcanic oceanic islands, because they are mostly exported from coastal areas towards the abyssal plains and such islands typically undergo subsidence. In contrast, the exceptional geological record of the uplifted Santa Maria Island (Azores) provides a unique opportunity to gain insight on such ro...
Article
Full-text available
Ongoing work shows that species richness patterns on volcanic oceanic islands are shaped by surface area changes driven by longer time scale (>1 ka) geological processes and natural sea level fluctuations. A key question is: what are the rates and magnitudes of the forces driving spatial changes on volcanic oceanic islands which in turn affect evol...
Article
Full-text available
Fossil fishes are among the rarest in volcanic oceanic islands, their presence providing invaluable data for the understanding of more general (palaeo)biogeographical patterns and processes. Santa Maria Island (Azores Archipelago) is renowned for its palaeontological heritage, with representatives of several phyla, including the Chordata. Herein, w...
Article
Full-text available
The Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canary Islands and Cabo Verde are commonly united under the term "Macaronesia". This study investigates the coherency and validity of Macaronesia as a biogeographic unit using six marine groups with very different dispersal abilities: coastal fishes, echinoderms, gastropod molluscs, brachyuran decapod crustaceans, po...
Article
Full-text available
The Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canary Islands and Cabo Verde are commonly united under the term “Macaronesia”. This study investigates the coherency and validity of Macaronesia as a biogeographic unit using six marine groups with very different dispersal abilities: coastal fishes, echinoderms, gastropod molluscs, brachyuran decapod crustaceans, po...
Technical Report
Na sequência de diversas expedições científicas por parte de equipas internacionais lideradas por investigadores da Universidade dos Açores, foi criada em 2014, com o apoio do Governo Regional dos Açores, a “Rota dos Fósseis”, e construída a “Casa dos Fósseis”, um centro interpretativo inaugurado a 19 de setembro de 2016, onde a exposição permanent...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study seeks to elucidate the long-distance dispersal of marine invertebrates under 26 complex oceanographic settings, the role of seamounts, ocean-currents and periodic climatic changes in the 27 colonization of the Azores. With the major goal of clarifying the Azorean Biogeographical Paradox, several 28 questions will be addressed: 1 - Are th...
Article
In more than 150 years of research in the waters surrounding the Azores, several publications on the fauna of echinoderms of the archipelago have been produced, in the form of papers, notes, reports, reviews, and monographs. This work attempts to summarize the present knowledge on this marine group in the Azorean exclusive economic zone (i.e., wate...
Article
In more than 150 years of research in the waters surrounding the Azores, several publications on the fauna of echinoderms of the archipelago have been produced, in the form of papers, notes, reports, reviews, and monographs. This work attempts to summarize the present knowledge on this marine group in the Azorean exclusive economic zone (i.e., wate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Their geographic isolation and relatively young age make volcanic oceanic islands important for understanding evolutionary and biogeographic processes. While apparently easily reachable for marine planktotrophic organisms, those with short-lived non-planktotrophic larvae are expected to be underrepresented in remote islands such as the Azores Archi...
Article
Full-text available
Volcanic oceanic archipelagos are fascinating natural laboratories of evolutionary patterns and processes in remote, unique conditions. In the insular marine realm, deep-waters and sea-surface circulation hamper dispersal and, for marine invertebrates, this ability is linked to larval development: planktotrophic organisms disperse easily, whereas n...
Poster
Full-text available
The colonization of volcanic oceanic islands by marine invertebrates with different dispersal abilities constitutes interesting topics for island biogeographers. In the Azores Archipelago, the so-called “Azorean Biogeographical Paradox” (biogeographic affinities with European/Mediterranean taxa, despite the eastward sea-surface currents) poses some...
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of the polychaete worm Nereiphylla paretti in Azorean waters is reported for the first time, increasing the total number of littoral marine polychaetes to 168 species in the archipelago. Our finding extends the known geographical distribution of this species in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. A list of the littoral marine polychaetes f...
Article
Full-text available
A synthetic model is presented to enlarge the evolutionary framework of the General Dynamic Model (GDM) and of the Glacial Sensitive Model (GSM) of oceanic island biogeography from the terrestrial to the marine realm. The proposed “Sea-Level Sensitive” dynamic model (SLS) of marine island biogeography integrates historical and ecological biogeograp...
Article
Full-text available
Supplementary Information file from: ÁVILA, S.P., C. MELO, N. SÁ, R. QUARTAU, K. RIJSDIJK, R.S. RAMALHO, B. BERNING, R. CORDEIRO, N.C. de SÁ, A. PIMENTEL, L. BAPTISTA, A. MEDEIROS, A. GIL & M.E. JOHNSON, 2019. Towards a “Sea-Level Sensitive Marine Island Biogeography” model: the impact of glacio-eustatic oscillations in global marine island biogeog...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing interest in geotourism has prompted the need for quantitative assessments of geosites as a fundamental step for the application of geoconservation strategies, in order to assure sustainable planning, management and use of natural resources. The improvement of methodologies used to evaluate geosites dictates the revision of previous a...
Article
Full-text available
A benthic survey in the Azores Archipelago revealed the presence of the microgastropod Eatonina fulgida, herein reported for the first time. This finding expands the known geographical distribution of this species in the northeast Atlantic Ocean. The Azorean specimens are described and additional observations on the shell features of the species ar...
Article
The bowl-shaped trace fossil Piscichnus waitemata Gregory 1991 appears in Pliocene sandstones from Santa Maria Island (Azores Archipelago), extensively excavated during a stage of island evolution when the volcanic edifice was a guyot (flat-topped seamount) isolated in the NE Atlantic. The host sediments were deposited at depths from the intertidal...
Article
A seabed sediment-sampling survey conducted on the Pico insular shelf found abundant rhodoliths between −64 and −73 m off the south coast of the island. These were small and mainly ellipsoidal in shape with a maximum diameter of 3.75 cm. Granules and small pebbles of eroded basalt were also a typical component of these samples. Thin algal crusts we...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of genetics-based approaches contributes vastly to increase the current knowledge on the evolution of marine life in remote archipelagos, having proved its utility when applied to test a theoretical biogeographical hypothesis proposed by Ávila (2006, 2013). Already supported by ecological and palaeontological data, this idea relating age of...
Poster
Full-text available
The mollusc caenogastropod family Rissoidae Gray, 1847 comprises the largest number of microgastropod species, which can be found occupying distinct marine environments worldwide. Currently, 20 Rissoidae genera are recognized based in molecular data and twelve of these genera are presently found in the Azores Archipelago. Rissoids are useful to tes...
Article
Supratidal talus-platforms are low-relief subaerial accumulations of debris produced by mass wasting along high coastal cliffs, being particularly abundant at reefless volcanic islands subjected to high wave energy. Known as “fajãs” across the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic archipelagos, these coastal features on rare occasions may exhibit lagoons, c...
Chapter
Full-text available
Santa Maria is the oldest island of the Azores Archipelago and is remarkably rich in exposed marine fossiliferous sediments and submarine volcanic sequences. This chapter summarises the geological history of the island and reports on the most important palaeontological studies done on the outcrops of Santa Maria since the early studies, during the...
Article
Historically, the harvest and consumption of sea cucumbers have been largely restricted to Asian countries. Recently, however, the western world has witnessed a rapid growth of holothurian related industries and Holothuria mammata Grube, 1840 and H. sanctori Delle Chiaje, 1823 are now being commercially harvested in European and North African count...
Article
Past climate changes provide important clues for advancement of studies on current global change biology. We have tested large-scale biogeographic patterns through four marine groups from twelve Atlantic Ocean archipelagos and searched for patterns between species richness/endemism and littoral area, age, isolation, latitude and mean annual sea-sur...
Data
Supplementary files from Marine Pollution Bulletin, 126: 101-112, Global change impacts on large-scale biogeographic patterns of marine organisms on Atlantic oceanic islands, by ÁVILA, S.P., R. CORDEIRO, P. MADEIRA, L. SILVA, A. MEDEIROS, A.C. REBELO, C. MELO, A.I. NETO, R. HAROUN, A. MONTEIRO, K. RIJSDIJK & M.E. JOHNSON (2018).
Article
Marine conglomerates at high elevation on the flanks of ocean islands are usually interpreted as evidence of mega-tsunamis generated by volcano flank collapses, although their origin is sometimes debated (elevated littorals vs. tsunami). In this review, we introduce case studies of well-documented examples of tsunami conglomerates in Hawaii (Pacifi...
Article
Diopatrichnus santamariensis isp. nov. from lower Pliocene sediments on Santa Maria Island in the Azores Archipelago (mid-North Atlantic) represents the third ichnospecies of Diopatrichnus Kern, as characterized by a vertical or inclined tube armored mainly with bivalve shells that are mostly perpendicular to the burrow axis and concave-up. The pol...
Article
Full-text available
The first occurrence of the Mediterranean fissiparous asteroid Sclerasterias richardi (Perrier in Milne-Edwards, 1882) is reported from the Azores based upon dredged material off the south coast of São Miguel Island, at 135 m depth. This record represents a considerable expansion of the species’ geographic range, otherwise reported with certainty o...
Poster
Full-text available
Entre o final dos anos setenta e meados da década de 1990, um de nós (H. Pieper), em colaboração com o Museu de História Natural do Funchal e com Frank Zino, iniciou a exploração paleontológica da Madeira e, entre 2001 e 2003, dos Açores. Recentemente retomou-se a referida exploração e como resultado do trabalho desenvolvido obteve-se um grande núm...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the last decades, molecular markers have been recurrently used to enlighten the evolutionary history of several organisms, allowing to estimate divergence times in phylogenetic trees according to a molecular clock. The inclusion of a timescale in phylogenetic studies helps to link the evolution of certain characters to particular geological, bio...
Book
Full-text available
Stratigraphy is a key subject area in the geosciences that attracts a high number of researchers and students. This science also has witnessed interest from a growing number of people in society at large, due to its interrelated impacts on the economy, the broader environment, and technology. The Organizing Committee welcomes all interested researc...
Presentation
Full-text available
The expansion and contraction of geographical range distribution of species (taxon cycles) is a common and well-studied biogeographical process. For terrestrial taxa, both fossil and extant records document poleward shifts, with range expansion of tropical species and range contraction of temperate species. For extant marine species, the geographic...
Book
Full-text available
This is a black and white photographic record of 30 years travelling on the islands of the Azores Archipelago (NE Atlantic) during fieldwork/scientific expeditions, as well as on leisure. All photos are in black and white. Victor Rui Dores, a multifaceted Azorean writer has written the text that introduces each of the nine islands. The cover photo...
Book
Full-text available
CIBIO-Açores, a research unit based at the University of the Azores and integrated in the Research Network on Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology (InBIO, Associated Laboratory), organizes the first edition of its Spring Seminar with the purpose of disseminating its research activities within the academic community, but also with the funding agenc...
Conference Paper
The Azores Archipelago is characterized by its molluscan richness, counting 281 gastropods. Rissoidae family comprises the largest number of microgastropods distributed worldwide, and representatives of this family, including endemisms, are found in Azorean waters. The relationship between the geographical distribution of littoral benthic species a...