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J. Antonio Baeza

Assistant Professor
PhD Environmental and Evolutionary Biology
Biological Sciences Department

Office: 226 Long
Vita: Download CV
Personal Website:


 Educational Background

Evolutionary and Environmental Biology PhD

Marine Sciences MSc

Marine Biology Lc

 Courses Taught

Molecular Phylogenetics and The Comparative Method
Invertebrate Biology
Academic Development


We are interested in various topics in the fields of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Phylogenetics & Phylogeography and Fisheries Biology. We use marine invertebrates, some of them economically valuable, as model systems. Our research is both hypothesis and curiosity driven and we use a combination of molecular phylogenies, natural history observations, basic modeling approaches, and manipulative experiments to accomplish our research goals. Our current research programs have two main focuses (1) non-applied research on the behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology of marine invertebrates in order to understand the diversification process and (2) applied research aimed at generating information relevant for proposing measures for the sustainable use of exploited marine invertebrates. The model systems we are using include various groups of marine decapods crustaceans, including crabs, shrimps, and most recently, spiny lobsters.

 Research Interests

Evolutionary Biology
Behavioral Ecology
Molecular Phylogenetics and Phylogeography


Ocampo, E. H., E. D. Spivak, J. A. Baeza, T. A. Luppi. 2017. Ontogenetic changes in the external anatomy of the parasitic castrator crab Calyptraeotheres garthi: implications for the timing of host colonization and sexual behavior. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. In Press.

Moyo, R., D. Pillay, J. A. Baeza. 2017. Symbiont-mediated shifts in sandprawn behaviour: Implications for ecosystem functioning in marine soft-sediment ecosystems. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 486: 296–304.

Simpson, L., L. J. Ambrosio, J. A. Baeza. 2016. Sexual dimorphism and allometric growth in the enigmatic pygmy crab Petramithrax pygmaeus (Bell, 1836) (Decapoda: Braychura: Petramithrax) with a formal test of Rensch’s rule in spider crabs (superfamily Majoidea). Journal of Crustacean Biology 36(6): 792-803.

Baeza, J. A., R. Guéron, L. Simpson, L. J. Ambrosio. 2016. Population distribution, host-switching, and chemical sensing in the symbiotic shrimp Lysmata pederseni: implications for its mating system in a changing reef seascape. Coral Reefs. 35(4):1213-1224. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-016-1467-3

Baeza, J. A., L. Simpson, L. J. Ambrosio, N. Mora. M. Childress. 2016. Active parental care, reproductive performance, and a novel egg predator affecting reproductive investment in the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus. BMC Zoology 1:6. DOI: 10.1186/s40850-016-0006-6

[News coverage at BMC (BioMed Central) Series blog: bmcseriesblog/2016/09/07/active-parenting-behaviors-caribbean-spiny-lobster/]

Baeza, J. A. 2016. Molecular phylogeny of porcelain crabs (Porcellanidae: Petrolisthes and allies) from the south eastern Pacific: the genera Allopetrolisthes and Liopetrolisthes are not natural entities. PeerJ 4:e1805; DOI 10.7717/peerj.1805.

Baeza, J. A., L. Simpson, L. J. Ambrosio, R. Guéron, N. Mora. 2016. Monogamy in a hyper-symbiotic shrimp. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0149797. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149797.

Ambrosio, L. J., J. A. Baeza. 2016. Territoriality and Conflict Avoidance Explain Asociality (solitariness) of the Endosymbiotic Pea Crab Tunicotheres moseri. PLoS ONE. 11(2): e0148285. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0148285.

Baeza, J. A., L. Simpson, L. J. Ambrosio, R. Guéron, N. Mora, D. Owen. 2015. Reproductive investment in a phyletic giant, the Caribbean King crab Damithrax spinosissimus: exploring egg production costs in large brooding marine invertebrates. Journal of Shellfish Research 34(3): 1049–1056.

Holguin, C. M., J. A. Baeza, J. D. Mueller, P. Agudelo. 2015. High genetic diversity and geographic subdivision of three lance nematode species (Hoplolaimus spp.) in the United States. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece3.1568

Baeza, J.A., C.A. Hemphill, R. Ritson-Williams. 2015. The sexual and mating system of the shrimp Odontonia katoi (Palaemonidae, Pontoniinae), a symbiotic guest of the ascidian Polycarpa aurata in the Coral Triangle. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121120. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0121120.

Baeza, J.A. and P. Hernáez. 2015. Population distribution, sexual dimorphism, and reproductive parameters in the crab Pinnixa valdiviensis Rathbun, 1907 (Decapoda: Pinnotheridae), a symbiont of the ghost shrimp Callichirus garthi (Retamal, 1975) in the southeastern Pacific. Journal of Crustacean Biology 35(1): 68-75. DOI: 10.1163/1937240 X-00002294.

Baeza, J.A., Bauer, R.T., Okuno, J. & M. Thiel. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of hinge-beak shrimps (Decapoda: Caridea: Rhynchocinetes and Cinetorhyncus) and allies: a formal test of familiar and generic monophyly using a multilocus phylogeny. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 172: 426–450. doi: 10.1111/zoj.12173

Ocampo, E.H., J.D. Nuñez, M. Cledon and J.A. Baeza. 2014. Parasitic castration in slipper limpets infested by the symbiotic crab Calyptraeotheres garthi. Marine Biology 161(9): 2107–2120.

[News coverage at 10/calyptraeotheres-garthi.html]

Pfaller, J.B., Alfaro-Shigueto, J., Guffoni, B., Ishihara, T., Mangel, J.C., Peckham, S.H., Bjorndal, K.A., & J. A. Baeza. 2014. Social monogamy in the crab Planes major, a facultative symbiont of loggerhead sea turtles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 461: 124–132.

[News coverage at]

Bertini, G., and J. A. Baeza. 2014. Fecundity and fertility in a freshwater population of the neotropical amphidromous shrimp Macrobrachium acanthurus (Caridea :  Palaemonidae) from the southeastern Atlantic. Invertebrate Reproduction and Development. 58(3): 207-217.

Ocampo, E.H., M. Menone, F.G. Iturburu, J.D. Nuñez, and J.A. Baeza. 2014. Effect of the endosymbiotic pea crab Calyptraeotheres garthi on the metabolic rate and oxidative status of the limpet Crepidula cachimilla from the southwestern Atlantic. Invertebrate Biology. 133(2): 170–179. DOI: 10.1111/ivb.12050

Anker, A. and J.A. Baeza. 2014. Corrigendum to ‘‘Molecular and morphological phylogeny of hooded shrimps, genera Betaeus and Betaeopsis (Decapoda, Alpheidae): Testing the Center of Origin biogeographic model and evolution of life history traits [Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 64 (3) (2012) 401–415]". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 77: 23–24.

Baeza, J.A., D.C. Behringer, R. Hart, M. Dickson, and J.R. Anderson. 2014. Reproductive biology of the marine ornamental shrimp Lysmata boggessi in the south-eastern Gulf of Mexico. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 94(1): 141–149. doi:10.1017/S0025315413001185

Bertini, G., J. A. Baeza and E. Perez. 2014. A test of large-scale reproductive migration in females of the amphidromous shrimp Macrobrachium acanthurus (Caridea :  Palaemonidae) from south-eastern Brazil. Marine and Freshwater Research 65(1): 81-93.

Baeza, J.A. and M. S. Fuentes. 2013. Phylogeography of the shrimp Palaemon floridanus (Crustacea: Caridea: Palaemonidae): A partial test of meta-population genetic structure in the wider Caribbean. Marine Ecology 34: 381-393. DOI: 10.1111/maec.12038

Baeza, J.A. and M. S. Fuentes. 2013. Exploring phylogenetic informativeness and nuclear copies of mitochondrial DNA (numts) in three commonly used mitochondrial genes: Mitochondrial phylogeny of peppermint, cleaner and semi-terrestrial shrimps (Caridea: Lysmata, Exhippolysmata, Merguia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 168: 699–722.

Baeza, J.A. 2013. Multi-locus molecular phylogeny of broken-back shrimps (genus Lysmata and allies): a test of the 'Tomlinson-Ghiselin' hypothesis explaining the evolution of simultaneous hermaphroditism. Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics 69: 46–62.

Moss J., D. Behringer, J.D. Shields, J.A. Baeza, A. Aguilar-Perera, P.G. Bush, C. Dromer, A. Herrera-Moreno, L. Gittens, T.R. Matthews, M.R. McCord, M.T. Schärer, L. Reynal, N. Truelove, and M.J. Butler. 2013. Distribution, prevalence, and genetic analysis of Panulirus argus Virus I from the Caribbean Sea. Disease of Aquatic Organisms 104: 129–140. DOI: 10.3354/dao02589

Baeza, J.A., M. Forlan, A.C. Almeida, S. de Paiva Barros-Alves, D.F.R. Alves, and V. Fransozo. 2013. Population dynamics and reproductive traits of the ornamental crab Porcellana sayana: implications for fishery management and aquaculture. Sexuality and Early Development of Aquatic Organisms 1: 1–12. DOI: 10.3354/sedao00002

Peiró, D.F., J.A. Baeza and F.L. Mantelatto. 2013. Host use pattern and sexual dimorphism reveal the mating system of the symbiotic pea-crab Austinixa aidae (Righi, 1967). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 93(3): 715–723. doi: 10.1017/S0025315412000720

Baeza, J.A., R. Ritson-Williams, and M.S. Fuentes. 2013. Sexual and mating system in a caridean shrimp symbiotic with the winged pearl oyster in the Coral Triangle. Journal of Zoology 289: 172–181.

Anderson, J., J. Spadaro, J. A. Baeza and D. Behringer. 2013. Ontogenetic shifts in resource allocation: colour change and allometric growth of defensive and reproductive structures in the Caribbean spiny lobster, Panulirus argus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 108(1): 87–98.

Soledade, G.O., J.A. Baeza, G. Boehs, S.M. Simões, P. Souza-Santos, R. Caetano-Costa, and A. Oliveira-Almeida. 2013. A precautionary tale when describing species in a world of invaders: Morphology, coloration and genetics demonstrate that Lysmata rauli is not a new species endemic to Brazil but a junior synonym of the Indo-Pacific L. vittata. Journal of Crustacean Biology. 33(1): 66-77.

Baeza, J.A., Anderson, J.R., A.J. Spadaro, J.A. and D.C. Behringer. 2012. Sexual dimorphism, allometry and size at first maturity of the caribbean king crab, Mithrax spinosissimus, in the Florida Keys, USA. Journal of Shellfish Research 31(4): 909–916. doi:

Hernandez, J.E., J.A. Bolaños, J. L. Palazon, G. Hernandez, C. Lira, and Baeza, J.A. 2012. The life history of the enigmatic symbiotic crab Tunicotheres moseri (Rathbun, 1918) (Crustacea, Brachyura, Pinnotheridae): implications for its mating system and population structure. Biological Bulletin 223(3): 278-290.

Almeida, A.C., J.A. Baeza, V. Fransozo, A.L. Castilho, and A. Fransozo. 2012. Reproductive biology of an exploited shrimp in a recently established Marine Protected Area in the Western Atlantic: Comparison with over-fished populations and implications for resource management. Aquatic Biology 17: 57–69.

Ocampo, E., J.D. Nuñez, M. Cledón and J.A. Baeza. 2012. Host–specific reproductive benefits, host selection behavior and host use pattern of the pinnotherid crab Calyptraeotheres garthi. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 429: 36–46.

Anker, A. and J.A. Baeza. 2012. Morphological and molecular phylogeny of hooded shrimps, genera Betaeus and Betaeopsis (Decapoda, Caridea, Alpheidae): testing the Center of Origin biogeographic model and evolution of life habits. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64: 401–415.

Onaga, T., C. Fiedler and J.A. Baeza. 2012. Prontadric simultaneous hermaphroditism in Parahippolyte misticia (Crustacea: Decapoda: Hippolytidae): implications for the evolution of mixed sexual systems in marine shrimps. Journal of Crustacean Biology. 32(3):383-394.

Bolaños, J.A., J.A. Baeza, J.E. Hernandez, C. Lira, and R. López. 2012. Population dynamics and reproductive output of the nonindigenous crab Charybdis hellerii in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 92(3): 469-474.

Baeza, J.A. and C. Asorey. 2012. Testing the role of male-male competition in the evolution of sexual dimorphism: a comparison between two species of porcelain crabs. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 105:548–558.

Baeza, J.A. and M. Díaz-Valdés. 2011. The symbiotic shrimp Ascidonia flavomaculata lives solitarily in the tunicate Ascidia mentula; implications for its mating system. Invertebrate Biology 130(4):351–361.

Baeza, J.A., J.A. Bolaños, S. Fuentes, J.E. Hernandez, C. Lira, and R. López. 2011. Molecular phylogeny of enigmatic Caribbean spider crabs from the Mithrax – Mithraculus species complex (Brachyura: Majidae: Mithracinae): ecological diversity and a formal test of genera monophyly–ERRATUM. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 91(8):1715.

Baeza, J.A., J.A. Bolaños, J.E. Hernandez, C. Lira, and R. López. 2011. Monogamy does not last long in Pontonia mexicana, a symbiotic shrimp of the Amber pen-shell Pinna carnea from the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 407(1): 41–47.

Baeza, J.A., A.A. Braga, L.S. López-Greco, E. Perez, M.L. Negreiros-Fransozo and A. Fransozo. 2010. Population dynamics, sex ratio and size at sex change in a protandric-simultaneous hermaphrodite, the spiny shrimp Exhippolysmata oplophoroides. Marine Biology 157: 2643–2653.

Baeza, J.A. and C. Piantoni. 2010. Sexual system, sex ratio and group living in the shrimp Thor amboinensis (De Man): relevance to resource-monopolization and sex-allocation theories. Biological Bulletin 219: 151–165.

Baeza, J.A. 2010. Molecular systematics of peppermint and cleaner shrimps: phylogeny and taxonomy of the genera Lysmata and Exhippolysmata (Crustacea: Caridea: Hippolytidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 254–265.

Baeza, J.A. 2010. Sexual system and natural history observations on semi-terrestrial shrimp Merguia rhizophorae. Invertebrate Biology 129(3): 266–276.

Baeza, J.A. 2010 The symbiotic lifestyle and its evolutionary consequences: social monogamy and sex allocation in the hermaphroditic shrimp Lysmata pederseni. Naturwissenschaften 97: 729–741.

Baeza, J.A., J.A. Bolaños, S. Fuentes, J.E. Hernandez, C. Lira, and R. López. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of enigmatic Caribbean spider crabs from the Mithrax – Mithraculus species complex (Brachyura: Majidae: Mithracinae): ecological diversity and a formal test of genera monophyly. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 90(4): 851–858.

Baeza, J.A., N.E. Farías, T.A. Luppi, and E.D. Spivak. 2010. Habitat size, social grouping and symbiosis: testing the “resource economic monopolization” hypothesis with the shrimp Betaeus lilianae and description of its partnership with the crab Platyxanthus crenulatus. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 389(1-2): 85–92.

Rivadeneira, M.M., P. Hernáez, J.A. Baeza, S. Boltaña, M. Cifuentes, C. Correa, A. Cuevas, E. del Valle, I. Hinojosa, N. Ulrich, N. Valdivia, N. Vásquez, A. Zander, and M. Thiel. 2010. Testing the abundant-center hypothesis using intertidal porcelain crabs along the Chilean coast: linking abundance and distribution to life history variation. Journal of Biogeography. 37(3): 486–498.

Fransozo V., A.L. Castilho, F.A. Moraes-Freire, M. Furlan, A.C. de Almeida, G. Monteiro-Teixeira, and J.A. Baeza. 2009. Spatial and temporal distribution of the shrimp Nematopalaemon schmitti (Decapoda, Caridea, Palaemonidae) at a subtropical enclosed bay in South America. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 89(8): 1581–1587.

Baeza, J.A. 2009. Protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism is a conserved trait in Lysmata (Caridea: Lysmatidae): implications for the evolution of hermaphroditism in the genus. Smithsonian Contributions to Marine Science 38: 95–110.

Baeza, J.A., J.A. Bolaños, J.E. Hernandez, and R. López. 2009. A new species of Lysmata (Crustacea, Decapoda, Hippolytidae) from Venezuela, southeastern Caribbean Sea. Zootaxa 2240: 60–68.

Anker, A. J.A. Baeza, and S. de Grave. 2009. A new species of Lysmata (Crustacea, Decapoda, Hippolytidae) from the Pacific coast of Panama, with observations on its reproductive biology. Zoological Studies 48(5): 682–692.

Baeza, J.A., C.D. Schubart, P. Zillner, S. Fuentes, and R.T. Bauer. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of shrimps from the genus Lysmata (Caridea: Hippolytidae): the evolutionary origins of protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism and pair-living. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96:415–424.

Baeza, J.A. 2010. Calado, R. 2008. Marine Ornamental Shrimp: Biology, Aquaculture and Conservation. Willey and Blackwell. 280 pages, 20 figs., 10 color plates, 5 tables; ISBN: 978-1-4051-7086-4 (hardback, alk. paper). US$ 199.99. Journal of Crustacean Biology 30(3): 536-537.

Espinoza, N.L., M. Thiel, E. Dupre, and J.A. Baeza. 2008. Is Hippolyte williamsi gonochoric or hermaphroditic? A multi-approach study and a review of sexual systems in Hippolyte shrimps. Marine Biology 155:623–635.

Baeza, J.A. 2008. Protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism in the shrimps Lysmata bahia and L. intermedia. Invertebrate Biology 127(2):181–188.

Baeza, J.A. and A. Anker. 2008. Lysmata hochi n. sp., a new species of hermaphroditic shrimp from the southern Caribbean. Journal of Crustacean Biology 28(1):148–155.

Baeza, J.A. 2008. Social monogamy in the shrimp Pontonia margarita, a symbiont of Pinctada mazatlantica, in the tropical eastern Pacific coast. Marine Biology 153(1):387–395.


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