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Vanessa Yepes-Narvaez

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I am a Biologist interested in the ecology, taxonomy, distribution and population genetics of marine deep and shallow bryozoans in the Atlantic Ocean. My research aims to solve taxonomic problems in selected groups of marine bryozoans and to analyse their ecological features using population genetics and molecular barcoding as tools to improve our knowledge of these important organisms. I also hope to develop bryozoans as a novel model system.

I am particularly interested in evaluating the population structure of marine invasive bryozoans in the Atlantic Ocean in order to determine their connectivity and their possible impacts on native biodiversity. I also want to analyse the ability of bryozoans to provide habitat for another animals and identify possible hotspots of biodiversity that could be used as the basis for developing marine protected areas (MPAs).

Previously, I have worked as a researcher in the Marine and Coastal Research Institute of Colombia (INVEMAR) and in the Marine Natural History Museum of Colombia (MHNMC), mainly identifying marine bryozoans and analysing their population ecology in the Pacific and Atlantic coast of Colombia.

As a researcher I am always willing to provide new knowledge to the scientific community and to be involved in public engagement activities to transmit the importance of science and the conservation of marine biodiversity. I love undergraduate teaching and enjoy being part of their growth as scientist.


Finished projects:

  • Ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) on the continental shelf of La Guajira 10 y 50 m, Colombian Caribbean”. Santa Marta – Magdalena



Yepes-Narvaez, V., Florez, P., Montoya-Cadavid, E. and Quiroz, A. 2013. Composition and distribution of bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa) in the continental shelf of La Guajira (10 – 50 m deep), Colombian Caribbean. Thesis. Universidad de Cordoba, Colombia


Yepes-Narvaez, V., Florez, P., Montoya-Cadavid, E. 2012. Bryozoans and their biocoenosis in the continental shelf of La Guajira, Colombian Caribbean. I Encuentro regional de investigadores en ciencias de la vida y VI Simposio Biocaribe (31st October – 4th November) Santa Marta, Colombia. 44p.


Yepes-Narvaez, V., Florez, P., Montoya-Cadavid, E. 2016. Thirteen new registers of bryozoans in Colombian Caribbean. Boletin de Investigaciones marinas y costeras. In press.


Yepes-Narvaez, V. Carreño, K., Santos-Acevedo, M., Puentes, C., Gómez- León, J. 2014. Four new records of ascidians (Ascidiacea: Tunicata) in Colombian Caribbean. Zootaxa. In press.


Yepes-Narvaez, V., Chasqui-Velasco, L., Montoya-Cadavid, E. and Alonso, D. 2013. Recruitment dynamics of sessile organisms is shallow benthic habitats in the Sanctuary of Wildlife Malpelo. Technical document. Marine and Coastal Research Institute, Invemar. 40 pp.


INVEMAR, 2014. Preliminary environmental baseline block of oil exploration in Colombian Caribbean: phase Col 4 and Col 5. Technical document. Marine and Coastal Research Institute. 199 pp.


INVEMAR, 2013. Preliminary environmental baseline block of oil exploration Guajira offshore 3 in the Colombian Caribbean. Technical document. Marine and Coastal Research Institute. 191 pp.


Flórez, P., Montoya-Cadavid, E., Yepes-Narváez V., Polanco A. and Gracia-C, A. 2016. Habitat-forming bryozoans in the Colombian Caribbean Sea: a possible hotspot of biodiversity?. 17th Conference of the International Bryozoology Association (10-15 April). Melbourne, Australia. 44 p.


GARRIDO-LINARES M., DORADO-RONCANCIO, F., CEDEÑO-POSSO, C.*, YEPES-NARVÁEZ, V., GUTIÉRREZ-SALCEDO, J.M., ALONSO, D. 2015. Offshore exploration in Colombia: Situation, methodologies, challenges and resources for a sustainable utilization. XVI Seminario Nacional  de Ciencias y Tecnologías del Mar (17-22 October). Santa Marta, Colombia. 176 p.


Arias-Isaza, F., Cedeño-Posso, C., Dorado-Roncancio, F. Gutierrez-Salcedo, J. M. Yepes-Narvaez, V., Montoya-Cadavid, E., Ballesteros, D., Ricaurte, C. 2015. Biodiversity in the Gerlache strait – Antarctica. XVI Congreso latinoamericano de ciencias del mar – Colacmar (18-22 October). Santa Marta, Colombia. 205 p.



Current projects:

  • Invasion pathways of five Cheilostome bryozoans in the Atlantic Ocean
    Collaborators: Andrea Waeschenbach (Natural History Museum), John Bishop (MBA), Christine Wood (MBA), Jason Hall-Spencer (University of Plymouth)


  • Design of microsatellite for Reptadeonella violacea
    Collaborators: Bjorn Berning (Natural History Museum of Vienna), Andrea Waeschenbach (Natural History Museum)

  • Potential of bioconstruction of the Northeast Atlantic bryozoans
    Collaborators: Mary Spencer Jones (Natural History Museum)

  • Re-description of Waters Bryozoans in the Atlantic Ocean
    Collaborators: Manchester Museum

  • Identification and ecological analysis of bryozoans in the Northern Atlantic frontier
    Collaborators: National Museums Scotland

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