Diego Figueroa

Assistant Professor
School of Earth Environmental, and Marube Science
Joint appointment: Department of Biology

BLHSB 1.826
(956) 882-5982

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D. Biological Oceanography, Oregon State University
M.S. Biological Oceanography, Oregon State University
B.S. Marine Biology, University of Alaska Southeast

Areas of Interest

Oceanography, biodiversity community structure and phylogeny of zooplankton and deep-sea corals, copepod taxonomy.

Research Overview

Our research focuses on how oceanographic processes, anthropogenic effects and climate change impact the biodiversity, community structure and connectivity of marine habitats. Our specialty is working with zooplankton in coastal and open ocean environments and with corals in the deep-sea. We also study the philogeography, colonization and speciation of organisms in anchialine habitats including marine caves. We use multivariate tools for community analyses and a wide range of molecular methods, including next generation sequencing, to study ecological and evolutionary processes in marine environments.

Recent Publications

  • Figueroa, D. F. and A. Baco. 2015. Octocoral mitochondrial genomes provide insights into the phylogenetic history of gene order rearrangements, order reversals, and Cnidarian phylogenetics. Genome Biology and Evolution 7(1), 391-409.
  • Figueroa, D. F., and A. Baco. 2014. Complete mitochondrial genomes elucidate phylogenetic relationships of the deep-sea octocoral families Coralliidae and Paragorgiidae. Deep Sea Research II 99, 83-91.
  • Figueroa, D. F. 2011. Two new calanoid copepods from the Galapagos Islands: Pseudocyclops juanibali n. sp. and Pseudocyclops saenzi n. sp. Journal of Crustacean Biology 31(4), 725-741.
  • Figueroa, D. F. 2011.  Phylogenetic analysis of Ridgewayia (Copepoda: Calanoida) from the Galapagos and of a new species from the Florida Keys with a reevaluation of the phylogeny of the Calanoida. Journal of Crustacean Biology 31(1), 153-165.


BIOL 2310 - Marine Processes & Ecosystem Dynamics
BIOL 3320 - Marine Biogeochemistry
BIOL 3430 - Marine Biology Field Methods
BIOL 4301 - Evolution

UTRGV Faculty Profile