Leo is a zooplankton ecologist who is investigating the zooplankton community at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series (BATS) site in the Sargasso Sea. His research integrates classical morphological analysis with molecular approaches to describe the temporal and vertical distribution of species, while also addressing broader spatial and temporal questions related to zooplankton phylogeny, population genetics and dispersal.

Leo received his PhD from the University of Oviedo, where he studied plankton ecology and population dynamics in the Cantabrian Sea. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Connecticut, Leo began investigating the spatial and temporal patterns of genetic variation in marine organisms. Together, with his collaborators, Leo studied the phylogeny of calanoid copepods and the phylogeography of key species in temperate oceans, applying next-generation sequencing techniques to explore the connectivity and persistence of calanoid copepod populations in highly advective systems.

Research Interests:
Zooplankton ecology, molecular phylogenetics and evolution, functional and phylogenetic diversity of copepod communities 

Educational Background:
University of Oviedo, Spain 2002-2009
-PhD in Biology
University of Oviedo, Spain 2000-2002 
-M.S. in Biology
University of Oviedo, Spain 2000
-B.S. in Biology

Further Information:
Zooplankton Ecology Lab

Selected Publications:
Blanco-Bercial, L. and Bucklin, A. (2016). New view of population genetics of zooplankton: RAD-seq analysis reveals population structure of the North Atlantic planktonic copepod Centropages typicus. Mol Ecol, 25: 1566-1580. doi: 10.111/mec.13581

Questel, J.M., Blanco-Bercial, L., Hopcroft, R.R., and Bucklin, A. (2016). Phylogeography and connectivity of the Pseudocalanus (Copepoda: Calanoida) species complex in the eastern North Pacific and the Pacific Arctic Region. J. Plankton Res. doi: 10.1093/plankt/fbw025

Vinas, M.D., Blanco-Bercial, L., et. al. (2015). Phylogeography of the copepod Calanoides carinatus sl (Kroyer) reveals cryptic species and delimits C. carinatus ss distribution in the SW Atlantic Ocean. J Exp Mar Bio Ecol, 468: 97-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2015.03.012

Blanco-Bercial, L., Cornils, A., Copley, N. and Bucklin, A. (2014). DNA barcoding of marine copepods: assessment of analytical approaches to species identification. PLoS Curr, 6: 1-22. 

Cornils, A. and Blanco-Bercial, L. (2013). Phylogeny of the paracalanidae giesbrecht, 1888 (Crustacea: Copepoda: Calanoida). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 69: 861-872.

Blanco-Bercial, L., Alvarez-Marques, F., and Bucklin, A. (2011). Comparative phylogeography and connectivity of sibling species of the marine copepod Clausocalanus (Calanoida). J Exp Mar Bio Ecol, 404: 108-115. doi: 10.1016/j.jembe.2011.05.011

Blanco-Bercial, L., Bradford-Grieve, J., and Bucklin, A. (2011). Molecular phylogeny of the Calanoida (Crustacea: Copepoda). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 59: 103-113.

Bucklin, A., Steinke, D., and Blanco-Bercial, L. (2011). DNA barcoding of marine metazoa. Annual Review of Marine Science, 3: 471-508. doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-120308-080950

Blanco-Bercial, L. and Alvarez-Marques, F. (2007). RFLP procedure to discriminate between Clausocalanus Giesbrecht, 1888 (Copepoda, Calanoida) species in the Central Cantabrian Sea. J Exp Mar Bio Ecol, 344: 73-77.

Blanco-Bercial, L., Alvarez-Marques, F., and Cabral, J. (2006). Changes in the mesozooplankton community associated with the hydrography off the northwestern Iberian Peninsula. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 63: 799-810.