Dr. Miguel Correia
Syngnathid Researcher, Project Seahorse
Research Associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, The University of British Columbia
Dr. Correia has studied several aspects of European seahorse biology, ecology and conservation. He holds a PhD in Marine Ecology from the University of Algarve (Portugal), where he studied seahorse ecology, specializing in in situ population assessment. He developed a successful breeding program in captivity for both European seahorse species. Miguel has worked closely with stakeholders to implement mitigation tools for seahorse conservation and was actively involved in the creation of new marine protected areas (MPAs). He also acts as Focal Point for Europe in the IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon Specialist Group.
Email: m.correia at oceans.ubc.ca
Phone: +1 604-827-5141
Since 2007, Miguel has participated actively in a captive breeding program of the two European seahorse species, as well as other syngnathid species. The knowledge acquired in the last decade allowed to create a robust and solid breeding and maintenance protocol of seahorses in captivity.
During his PhD, he studied the impact of environmental variables on seahorse abundance, distribution, and habitat, developed less invasive methods (photo identification) to better study seahorses in the wild, and designed habitat restoration tools (artificial holdfast) to propose mitigation actions for habitat loss and degradation.
Since the completion of his PhD, he participated in many research multidisciplinary projects, both as PI and researcher, with thematic that ranged from aquaculture, ecology, population dynamics, socio-economy, and effects of climate change on marine species. Miguel has been working with relevant stakeholders to expand the current knowledge of seahorse distribution, such as dive centers, maritime tourism companies and fishermen communities, while promoting best practices and Blue Economy. He has also acted as scientific advisor for policy makers which ultimately resulted in the implementation of marine protected areas (MPA) to act as sanctuaries for seahorses, and the legal classification of syngnathids as protected species on a national level.
Miguel is a member of the IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Stickleback Specialist Group, acting as Focal point for Europe, which provides support for IUCN Red Listing assessments namely, to reassess the current status of Data Deficient for the European seahorse species. This group has highly skilled syngnathid specialists that provide support in planning conservation actions and allow access to decision makers and relevant stakeholders that are responsible for implementing these actions.
Miguel has a BSc. in Marine Biology from University of Algarve, Portugal, MSc. in Biology and Management of Marine Resources from University of Lisbon, Portugal, PhD. in Marine Ecology from the University of Algarve, Portugal and PostDoctoral Research Fellowship at ISPA, Instituto Universitário, Portugal.