Professor Lopez’s research is focused on the ecological study of coral reefs, particularly on their conservation and restoration using scientific and engineering methods. The coral reefs worldwide have been suffering from increased deterioration due to human exploitation and changes to the environment. The human communities that depend on coral reef resources are confronted with the risk of long-term shortage. Furthermore, deterioration of the coral reefs makes coastal areas more vulnerable to extreme environmental phenomena, including tsunamis y and tropical storms. Prof. Lopez’s research applies engineering methods and technologies to the conservation and restoration of coral reefs, including, but not limited to: promoting accelerated growth of live coralline tissue in coral nurseries using material surface characterization of their physical and chemical properties, growth of coral fragments in restoring reefs using electrical stimuli techniques for the bio-accumulation of calcium carbonates, and promotion of fish and invertebrate larvae settlements on reefs using sound signals. Professor Lopez brings scientific and engineering rigor to a field that has been traditionally empirical. During the last ten years he has been focused on island ecology and biogeography, mostly in the Pacific. Current research includes competition for space among coral reef organisms (i.e., encrusting-excavating sponges vs. stony corals), coral reef development under sub-optimal conditions (as potential source of information to be used for coral reef restoration, using resilient species or populations of keystone species), and biogeography of insular fauna (mostly from remote island ecosystems). He actively collaborates with scientists from Germany, the UK (biogeography of a family of crabs), Australia, United States (Invited Researcher during a NOAA´s research cruise), and Taiwan (biogeography of a family of crabs).