Prof. Dr. Oscar Puebla (42) has been appointed to a joint professorship for fish ecology at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) of the University of Oldenburg and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen. Previously, the biologist was junior professor for marine ecology at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel.
Puebla studied biology and oceanography in Switzerland and Canada. In 2009 he received his PhD from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He then spent a total of seven years at the Smithsonian Institute for Tropical Research in Panama, initially as a postdoctoral fellow and later as a research assistant and research associate. He is currently an associate member of the Institute.
As part of his cooperation professorship, he now heads the working group "Fish Ecology and Evolution" at the ZMT. Puebla's main research interests include population genetics. He is also interested in ecological and evolutionary processes in the oceans. Among his research objects are Hamlet perches, a group of colourful fish that live as hermaphrodites in the coral reefs of the Caribbean. Using these animals, Puebla hopes to understand how new species emerge in the sea – where – other than on land – there are hardly any geographical barriers. Similar to zebra longwings, Darwin’s finches or East African cichlids, Hamlet perches could become a model organism for evolutionary researchers. Oscar Puebla is also currently deputy head of a sub-project of the EU BiodivERsA project and is working on the impact of protected areas on Mediterranean fisheries.