Rubens M. Lopes

Research Interests

I have a wide-ranging research activity on the ecology of plankton systems, with the general goal of understanding environmental and biological controls on plankton distribution and behavior. My research and outreach projects are based on both field and laboratory studies, from oceanography cruises covering large ocean basins to small-scale video observations. In recent years I have been involved in the application and development of innovative solutions to detect and analyze plankton composition and abundance in the sea and in enclosed systems. Most of my work is carried out in collaboration with other research laboratories in Brazil and abroad.


PhD, Federal University of Paraná, Brazil (1997)

MSc, University of São Paulo, Brazil (1989)

BSc, University of São Paulo, Brazil (1985)

Ongoing Projects

Ongoing research projects in my lab are listed on the Projects page.

Recent publications

Culverhouse, P.; MacLeod, N.; Williams, R.; Benfield, M.; Lopes, R. M.; Picheral, M. 2014. An empirical assessment of the consistency of taxonomic identifications. Marine Biology Research 10(1).

Moura, R. L.; Secchin, N. A.; Amado-Filho, G. M.; Francini-Filho, R. B.; Freitas, M. O.; Minte-Vera, C. V.; Teixeira, J. B.; Thompson, F. L.; Dutra, G. F.; Sumida, P. Y. G.; Guth, A. Z.; Lopes, R. M.; Bastos, A. C. 2013. Spatial patterns of benthic megahabitats and conservation planning in the Abrolhos Bank. Continental Shelf Research 70: 109-117.

Lopes, R. M.; Castro, B. M. 2013. Oceanography, ecology and management of Abrolhos Bank.  Continental Shelf Research 70: 1-2.

Marcolin, C. R.; Schultes, S.; Jackson, G. A.; Lopes, R. M. 2013. Plankton and seston size spectra estimated by the LOPC and ZooScan in the Abrolhos Bank ecosystem (SE Atlantic). Continental Shelf Research 70: 74-87.

Koettker, A. G.; Lopes, R. M. 2013. Meroplankton spatial structure and variability on Abrolhos Bank and adjacent areas, with emphasis on brachyuran larvae. Continental Shelf Research 70: 97-108.

Melo Junior, M.; Miyashita, L. K.; Silva, N. J.; Gaeta, S. A.; Lopes, R. M. 2013. Reproductive traits of Euterpina acutifrons in a coastal area of Southeastern Brazil. Marine Ecology 34(3): 363-372.

Silva, N. J.; Tang, K.; Lopes, R. M. 2013. Effects of microalgal exudates and intact cells on subtropical marine zooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research, 35: 855-865.

Rivera, I. N. G.; Souza, K. M. C.; Souza, C. P.; Lopes, R. M. 2013. Free-living and plankton-associated vibrios: assessment in ballast water, harbor areas, and coastal ecosystems in Brazil. Frontiers in Microbiology, 3 (443): 1-8.

Rocha, R. M.; Vieira, L. M.; Migotto, A. E.; Amaral, A. C. Z.; Ventura, C. R. R.; Serejo, C. S.; Pitombo, F. B.; Santos, K. C.; Simone, L. R. L.; Tavares, M.; Lopes, R. M.; Pinheiro, U.; Marques, A. C. 2013. The need of more rigorous assessments of marine species introductions: A counter example from the Brazilian coast. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 67 (1–2): 241-243.

Koettker, A.; Sumida, P. Y.; Lopes R. M.; Freire, A. S., 2012. Illustrated key for the identification of the known zoeal stages of brachyuran crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda) from tropical and subtropical Brazil. Zootaxa, 3204:1-19, 2012.

Amaral, G. R. S.; Silva, B. S. O.; Santos, E. O.; Dias, G. M.; Lopes, R. M.; Edwards, R. A.; Thompson, C. C.; Thompson, F. L. 2012. Genome sequence of the bacterioplanktonic mixotrophic Vibrio campbellii PEL22A. Journal of Bacteriology, 194:2759-2760.

Miyashita, L. K.; Brandini, F. P.; Martinelli Filho, J. E.; Fernandes, L. F.; Lopes R. M., 2012. Comparison of zooplankton community structure between impacted and nonimpacted areas of Paranaguá Bay Estuarine Complex, south Brazil. Journal of Natural History, 46:1557-1571.

Miyashita, L. K.; Gaeta, S. A.; Lopes, R. M., 2011. Life cycle and reproductive traits of marine podonids (Cladocera, Onychopoda) in a coastal subtropical area. Journal of Plankton Research, 33:779-792.

Miyashita, L. K.; Lopes, R. M., 2011. Larvacean (Chordata, Tunicata) abundance and inferred secondary production off southeastern Brazil. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science92 (3): 367–375.

Martinelli Filho, J. E.; Lopes, R. M.; Rivera, I. N. G.; Colwell, R. R., 2011. Vibrio cholerae O1 detection in estuarine and coastal zooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research, 33:51-62.

Miyashita, L. K.; Pompeu, M.; Gaeta, S. A.; Lopes, R. M., 2010. Seasonal contrasts in abundance and reproductive parameters of Penilia avirostris (Cladocera, Ctenopoda) in a coastal subtropical area. Marine Biology,157: 2511-2519.

Sieracki, M. E.; Benfield, M.; Hanson, A.; Davis, C.; Pilskaln, C.H.; Checkley, D.; Sosik, H.M.; Ashjian, C.; Culverhouse, P.; Cowen, R.; Lopes, R. M.; Balch, W.; Irigoien, X., 2010. Optical plankton imaging and analysis systems for ocean observation. In: OceanObs 09, 2010, Venice. Proceedings of OceanObs 09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society, ESA Publication WPP-306. Paris : European Space Agency, v. 2.

Karlson, B.; Lopes, R. M. et al., 2009. Observational approaches to community structure, from microbes to zooplankton. In: SCOR Workshop on Ocean Biology Observatories, 2009, Venice. Group Reports.

Miyashita, L. K.; Melo Junior, M.; Lopes, R. M., 2009. Estuarine and oceanic influences on copepod abundance and production of a subtropical coastal area. Journal of Plankton Research, 31: 815-826.

Schultes, S. & Lopes, R. M., 2009. Laser Optical Plankton Counter and Zooscan intercomparison in tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems. Limnology and Oceanography Methods, 7:771-784.

McManus, G. M.; Costas, B.; Dam, H. G.; Lopes, R. M.; Gaeta, S. A.; Susini, S. M.; Rosetta, C., 2007. Microzooplankton grazing of phytoplankton in a tropical upwelling system. Hydrobiologia, 575: 69-81.

Atienza, D.; Calbet, A.; Saiz, E.; Lopes, R. M., 2007. Ecological success of the cladoceran Penilia avirostris. Marine Biology, 151: 1385-1396.

Lopes, R. M.; Dam, H. G.; Aquino, N.; Monteiro-Ribas, W.; Rull, L., 2007. Massive egg production by a salp symbiont, the poecilostomatoid copepod Sapphirina angusta Dana, 1849. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 348:145-153.

Lopes, R. M., 2007. Marine zooplankton studies in Brazil - A brief evaluation and perspectives. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 79:369-379.

Additional publications: [in Portuguese]

Teaching Activities

I teach three undergraduate level courses as part of the IOUSP oceanography major (IOB 135 - Pelagic systems, IOB 146 - Zooplankton secondary production, and IOB 122 - Oceanography - Marine environment), and two graduate courses within our oceanography program (IOB 5751 - Advances in marine pelagic ecology, and IOB 5742 - Secondary production).

Links to Scientific Organizations

I have participated on the SCOR WG 130 on Automatic Visual Plankton Identification. For information on the group’s activities and results, visit the SCOR website. After completion of SCOR tasks, group members established a Facebook page, which will continue to provide information on the topic, as part of the RAPID initiative (Research on Automated Plankton Identification).

I am member of the World Association of Copepodologists (WAC) since 1996, and have had an active role in the organization until recently. I chaired the 7th International Conference on Copepoda (ICOC) in 1999 and later established and managed the WAC website for about 7 years. I also built the first online version of the WAC membership database, available in 2002 through the website. The database was derived from contributions of Kurt Schminke (the original Monoculus database), Eduardo Suarez-Morales and John Fornshell (WAC secretary and treasurer by then) and myself (7th ICOC database).

I am also member of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography - ASLO.


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Office (São Paulo) +55 11 3091-8963
Lab (São Paulo) +55 11 3091-6556