Center for Tropical Research, UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability

Conservation of Marine Biodiversity


Region: Seas of the Coral Triangle (a region comprised of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands)

Paul Barber is an affiliated faculty member of CTR who is conducting research on evolution of conservation of marine biodiversity, coral reefs, evolutionary and population genetics, and natural selection and adaptation. The Barber Lab integrates genetics, ecology, oceanography and geology to understand the processes that promote speciation in marine environments, creating marine biodiversity hotspots. For the past decade, the lab has focused on the fish and invertebrates of the coral reefs of the Coral Triangle, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. Through a comparative approach, the Barber Lab is examining the relative importance of tectonic history, physical oceanography, and organismal ecologies in limiting genetic connectivity and promoting evolution and lineage diversification. Recent work focuses on integrating empirical models of connectivity with predictions from geographically explicit models of contemporary and historical ocean currents. The Barber Lab is also investigating the role of natural selection and adaptation in shaping population genetic patterns, particularly the role of the genetic basis of energetic performance of mitochondrial in size selective mortality of marine larvae.

Current Projects

Related Publications

In Press Starger, C., Barber, P.H., Barker, A, and Abariyanto. The recovery of coral genetic diversity in the Sunda Strait following the 1883 Eruption of Krakatau. Coral Reefs.
In Press Crandall, E.D., Taffel, J., and Barber, P.H. High gene flow due to pelagic larval dispersal among South Pacific archipelagos in two amphidromous gastropods (Neritomorpha: Neritidae). Heredity.
2009 Barber, P.H. The challenge of understanding the Coral Triangle biodiversity hotspot. Biogeography. 36: 260-265.
2009 Drew, J.A., and Barber, P.H. Sequential cladogenesis of the reef fish Pomacentrus moluccensis (Pomacentridae) supports the peripheral origin of marine biodiversity in the Indo-Australian archipelago. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.53: 335-339.
2009 Strasser, C.A., and Barber, P.H.  Limited variation and genetic structure in softshell clams (Mya arenaria) across their native and introduced range. Conservation Genetics: 10:803-814.
2008 Vogler, C., Benzie, J., Lessios, H., Barber, P.H., and Worheide, G. A threat to coral reefs multiplied? Four species of crown of thorns starfish. Biology Letters.4: 696-699.
2008 Crandall, E.D., Jones, M.E., Munoz, M.M. Akinrobe, B. Erdmann M.V. and Barber, P.H. Comparative phylogeography of two seastars and their ectosymbionts within theIndo-Malay-Philippines Archipelago. Molecular Ecology: 17: 5276-5290.
2008 Drew, J.A., Kaufmann, L., Allen, G., and Barber, P.H. Identification and Conservation of Endemic Fishes of Tropical Pacific Archipelagoes. Conservation Biology 22:965-975.
2008 DeBoer, T, Subia, M., Kovitvonga, K.,  Ambariyanto, Erdmann, M., and Barber, P.H. Phylogeography and limited genetic connectivity in the endangered giant boring clam, Tridacna crocea,across the Coral Triangle. Conservation Biology22: 1255-1266.
2008 Richlen, M, Morton S., and Barber, P.H. Phylogeography, morphological variation and taxonomy of the toxic dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus(Dinophyceae). Harmful Algae 7:614-629.
2008 Allen, G.R., Drew, J., and Barber, P.H. Cirhilabrus beauperryi,a new wrasse (Pisces: Labridae) from Melanesia. International Journal of Ichthyology14: 129-140.
2008 Crandall, E.D., Frey, M.,  Grossberg, R.K. and Barber, P.H.Concordant phylogenies and discordant phylogeographic patterns in two sympatric gastropods with long-lived larvae. Molecular Ecology17: 611-626.
2007 Hedgecock, D,. Barber, P.H., and Edmands, S. Genetic approaches to measuring connectivity. Oceanography20: 22-31.
2007 Vigliola, L., Doherty, P.J., Meekan, M.G., Drown, D.M., Jones, M.E., and Barber, P.H. Genetic identity determines risk of post-settlement mortality of a marine fish. Ecology88: 1263-1277.
2006 Cheroske, A.G., Barber, P.H., and Cronin, T.W. Evolutionary variation in the expression of phenotypically plastic color vision in Caribbean mantis shrimps, genus Neogonodactylus. Marine Biology150: 213-220.
2006 Wares, J.P, Barber, P.H., Ross-Ibarra, J, Sotka, E.K., and Toonen, R.J.. Mitochondrial DNA and population size. Science314: 1388-1389.
2006 Barber, P.H., Palumbi S.R., and M.V Erdmann. Comparative phylogeography of three co-distributed stomatopods: origins and timing of regional lineage diversification in the coral triangle. Evolution, 60, 1825-1839.
2006 Barber, P.H., and Boyce, S.L..Estimating diversity of Indo-Pacific coral reef stomatopods  through DNA barcoding of stomatopod larvae . Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 273, 2053-2061.
2005 Jones, M.E. and Barber, P.H. Characterization of microsatellite loci for the detection of temporal genetic shifts within a single cohort of the brown demoiselle, Neopomacentrus filamentosus. Molecular Ecology Notes, 5, 834-836.
2005 Lindquist, N, Barber, P.H., and Weisz, J. Epibiotic microbes as food and defense formarine isopods: unique symbioses in a hostile environment. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B,272, 1209-1216.
2005 Barber, P.H. and Bellwood, D.R. Biodiversity hotspots: Evolutionary origins of biodiversity in wrasses (Halichoeres) in the Indo-Pacific and New World Tropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution,35, 235-253.
2005 Richlen, M.L. and Barber, P.H. A technique for the rapid extraction of microalgal DNAfrom single live and preserved cells. Molecular Ecology Notes 5, 688-691.
2003 Wallace, C.C., Paulay, G., Hoeksema, B.W., Bellwood, D.R., Hutchings, P.A., Barber, P. H., Erdmann, M. and Wolstenholme, J.Nature and origins of unique high diversity reef faunas in the Bay of Tomini, Central Sulawesi: The ultimate “centre of diversity”? Proceedings of the International Coral Reef Symposium, Bali.
2002 Barber, P.H., Moosa, M.K., and Palumbi, S.R.. Rapid recovery of genetic diversity on coral reefs and the temporal and spatial scale of larval dispersal: examples from Krakatau. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, 269, 1591–1597.
2002 Barber, P.H., Palumbi S.R., Erdmann M.V., and M.K. Moosa. Sharp genetic breaks among populations of a benthic marine crustacean indicate limited oceanic larval transport: patterns, cause, and consequence. Molecular Ecology, 11, 659–674
2000 Barber, P.H., Palumbi S.R., Erdmann M.V., and M.K. Moosa.  A marine wallace's line? Nature, 406: 692-693
2000 Barber, P.H. and M.V. Erdmann.  Molecular systematics of the Gonodactylidae (Stomatopoda) using mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase C (subunit 1) DNA sequences.  Journal of Crustacean Biology, 20: 20-36.
1999 Barber, P.H.  Phylogeography of Hyla arenicolor (Cope) based on mitochondrial sequence data. Molecular Ecology, 8: 547-562.
1999 Barber, P.H.  Population genetic structuring and gene flow in Hyla arenicolor (Cope) based on mitochondrial sequence data.  Molecular Ecology, 8: 563-576.

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at 310-206-6234, or by email at Visitors are always welcome.

Back to Top