Dr. Leocadio Blanco-Bercial


Leo is a zooplankton ecologist, initially trained as a morphological taxonomist and ecologist. His research integrates molecular and classical (morphological/image) tools in order to address questions that cannot otherwise be resolved: plankton community diversity and its impact on present conditions and future changes in the ocean; connectivity of populations and its consequences for adaptation and evolution; and phylogenetic relationships within Copepoda, and their relationship to evolution, diversity and functionality.

Leo received his PhD from the University of Oviedo, where he studied plankton ecology and population dynamics in the Cantabrian Sea. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Connecticut, Leo began investigating the spatial and temporal patterns of genetic variation in marine organisms. Together, with his collaborators, Leo studied the phylogeny of calanoid copepods and the phylogeography of key species in temperate oceans, applying next-generation sequencing techniques to explore the connectivity and persistence of calanoid copepod populations in highly advective systems.

He is focused on understanding how diversity is originated and maintained in the open ocean, and integrating zooplankton diversity measurements into the main ocean biogeochemical models.

Research Interests:
Zooplankton ecology, molecular phylogenetics and evolution, functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod communities

Educational Background:
University of Oviedo, Spain 2002-2009
-PhD in Biology
University of Oviedo, Spain 2000-2002
-M.S. in Biology
University of Oviedo, Spain 2000
-B.S. in Biology

Further Information:
Zooplankton Ecology Lab

Selected Publications:
Choquet, M., Smolina, I., Dhanasiri, A.K.S., Blanco-Bercial, L., Kopp, M., Jueterbock, A., Sundaram, A.Y.M., Hoarau, G. (2019) Towards population genomics in non-model species with large genomes; a case study of the marine zooplankton Calanus finmarchicus. Royal Society Open Science 6(2):180608

Blanco-Bercial, L., Maas, A.E. (2018) A transcriptomic resource for evaluating temperature differences in the gene expression of the northern krill Meganyctiphanes norvegica. Marine Genomics 38: 25-32.

Madoui, M.-A., Poulain, J., Sugier, K., Wessner, M., Noel, B., Berline, L., Labadie, K., Cornils, A., Blanco-Bercial, L., Stemmann, L. et al. (2017) New insights into global biogeography, population structure and natural selection from the genome of the epipelagic copepod Oithona. Molecular Ecology 26: 4467-4482.

Khodami, S., Blanco-Bercial, L., Martinez-Arbizu, P. (2017) Molecular Phylogeny of Copepod Orders (Crustacea: Copepoda). Scientific Reports 7(1): 9164.

Blanco-Bercial, L. and Bucklin, A. (2016) New view of population genetics of zooplankton: RAD-seq analysis reveals population structure of the North Atlantic planktonic copepod Centropages typicus. Mol Ecol, 25: 1566-1580. doi: 10.111/mec.13581

Blanco-Bercial, L., Cornils, A., Copley, N. and Bucklin, A. (2014) DNA barcoding of marine copepods: assessment of analytical approaches to species identification. PLoS Curr, 6: 1-22.

Blanco-Bercial, L., Alvarez-Marques, F., and Bucklin, A. (2011) Comparative phylogeography and connectivity of sibling species of the marine copepod Clausocalanus (Calanoida). J Exp Mar Bio Ecol, 404: 108-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2011.05.011

Blanco-Bercial, L., Bradford-Grieve, J., and Bucklin, A. (2011) Molecular phylogeny of the Calanoida (Crustacea: Copepoda). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 59: 103-113.

Bucklin, A., Steinke, D., and Blanco-Bercial, L. (2011) DNA barcoding of marine metazoa. Annual Review of Marine Science 3: 471-508. doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-120308-080950

Blanco-Bercial, L., Alvarez-Marques, F., and Cabral, J. (2006) Changes in the mesozooplankton community associated with the hydrography off the northwestern Iberian Peninsula. ICES Journal of Marine Science 63: 799-810.

View Leo's CV here.

Contact Info

Dr. Leocadio Blanco-Bercial

Associate Scientist, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Assistant Professor

Tel: 441-297-1880 x116