Mateo López

Departamento de Ciencias Naturales y Matématicas
Ext. 8494
  • 2012: Post-Doctoral scholar “Just’us: Junior Science and Teaching Units”, Justus-Liebig de Giessen University, Gieben, Hesse, Germany. 
  • 2009: Doctor in Biology, Justus-Liebig de Giessen University, Gieben, Hesse, Germany. 
  • 2003: Master of Science in Marine Biology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • 1999: Bachelor of Science in Biology (Marine Biology), Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.
  • 2012-Present Associate Professor, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Biology Program, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, Colombia.
  • 2009-2012 Junior Teacher and Science Unit-Just´us (Post-Doctoral Program at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.
  • 2005-2009 Teacher Assistant (Ph.D.-Student) at the Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.

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).

Current Research

  • Long-term study of interactions between excavating sponges and stony corals in the Colombian Caribbean.
  • Ecology of coral reefs under sub-optimal conditions (reef formations at the entrance of the Cartagena Bay, Colombian Caribbean).
  • Current status of marine ecosystems from the Seaflower Marine Reserve (Colombian Caribbean).
  • Biogeography of endemic species from Malpelo island (Colombian Pacific).
  • Long-term monitoring, conservation and restoration of Pacific coral reef formations (at Gorgona Is. and Utría)
  • DNA of micro-satellite markers to solve the genetic population structure of damisela fish in reefs at the Natural Parks of the Colombian pacific: implications for conservation  (grant: Javeriana).
  • López-Victoria M, Rodríguez-Moreno M, Zapata FA (2014) A paradoxical reef from Varadero, Cartagena Bay, Colombia. Coral Reefs DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1246-y
  • González-Román RD, López-Victoria M & Silverstone-Sopkin PA (2014) Flora terrestre de la isla Malpelo (Colombia), Pacífico Oriental Tropical. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62(1): 327-336.
  • López-Victoria M, Jurczyk M & Wolters V (2013) Notes on the ecology of the Colombian Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus transversalis), endemic to Malpelo Island. Bol. Invest. Mar. Cost. 42(2): 133-141.