IMG_1281Current Fellow Scientist at The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

+507 6577 6514


Google Scholar profile


Research Interests

I am interested in long-term ecosystem dynamics. Particularly, in disentangling natural from anthropogenic sources of variation in ecological and geomorphological attributes of coral reefs in the face of ongoing human-induced environmental change.



Current Fellowship (STRI, Panama)

Quantifying Ecological Changes in Reef-Building Corals over Historical Timescales


(a) To quantify the differences in the ecological structure of modern reef-building coral communities from Bocas del Toro versus those from approximately 7000 ago.

(b) to examine the differences, from a functional viewpoint, between the species that are most dominant in the modern reefs versus those in the mid-Holocene reefs.



PhD (UQ, Australia; completed in 2015)

Long term dynamics of coral reefs in the inshore southern Great Barrier Reef (Research proposal).


(a) To evaluate the suitability of a high latitude reef system to serve as a refugium for reef organisms escaping a warming ocean;

(b) to test for equal vertical accretion rates through space, across local reef habitats, and through time, over millennial time-scales spanning environmental conditions that encompass those projected for the upcoming decades;

(c) to test for persistent reef-building coral community composition across the mid-Holocene (8–4 ka), the late-Holocene (4–0 ka) and the modern (live coral), and to evaluate the relative importance of stochastic versus deterministic processes of community assembly.




Herrmann, M., Alfaya, J. E. F., Lepore, M. L., Penchaszadeh, P. E., and Arntz, W. E., 2011, Population structure, growth and production of the yellow clam Mesodesma mactroides (Bivalvia: Mesodesmatidae) from a high-energy, temperate beach in northern Argentina: Helgoland Marine Research, v. 65, no. 3, p. 285-297.

Herrmann, M., Alfaya, J. E. F., Lepore, M. L., Penchaszadeh, P. E., and Laudien, J., 2009a, Reproductive cycle and gonad development of the Northern Argentinean Mesodesma mactroides (Bivalvia: Mesodesmatidae): Helgoland Marine Research, v. 63, no. 3, p. 207-218.

Herrmann, M., Lepore, M. L., Laudien, J., Arntz, W. E., and Penchaszadeh, P. E., 2009b, Growth estimations of the Argentinean wedge clam Donax hanleyanus: A comparison between length-frequency distribution and size-increment analysis: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, v. 379, no. 1-2, p. 8-15.

Lepore, M. L., Penchaszadeh, P. E., Alfaya, J. E. F., and Herrmann, M., 2009, Application of calcein for estimating growth of the yellow clam Mesodesma mactroides Reeve, 1854: Revista De Biologia Marina Y Oceanografia, v. 44, no. 3, p. 767-774.