Silvia Maciá, PhD


Contact Information

Office: Siena Building 307
Telephone: 305-899-3205

Silvia Maciá, Ph.D.


Bachelor of Science in Marine Science and Biology from the University of Miami
PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Miami

Joined Barry: August 2002

Silvia Maciá has been conducting research in various areas of marine biology since her senior year as an undergraduate at the University of Miami, where she assisted in a research project on the crustacean communities living within shallow-water sponges. Hours spent identifying and counting hundreds of tiny shrimp under the microscope did not dampen her enthusiasm for the subject, and after completing her undergraduate degree she began graduate school. Her dissertation research focused on the community ecology of seagrass beds, particularly the role of sea urchins. Dr. Maciá’s love of all things marine led her to work with many different species and habitats over the years, including: foraging behavior of seagrass fishes, the role of sea urchins on coral reefs, the reproduction and ecology of sea-urchin associated shrimp, and flying squid. She is currently researching mating behaviors of pipefishes. Her research program involves both field and laboratory work and has involved several undergraduate students. Dr. Maciá shares her diverse experiences in marine biology with students in various classes such as marine biology, ecology, environmental science, and introductory biology for non-majors.

Courses Taught

  • Marine Biology
  • Oceanography
  • Tropical Marine Ecosystems
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science
  • Botany
  • Introductory Biology for non-majors

Research Interests

  • pipefish mating behavior
  • seagrass community ecology
  • coral reef grazing ecology
  • seagrass restoration

Selected (or Recent) Publications

  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson (2012) Reproductive pattern in the caridean shrimp Gnathophylloides mineri Schmitt (Gnathophyllidae), a symbiont of sea urchins. J. Crustacean Biol. 32: 727-732.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson (2009) Why be cryptic?  Choice of host urchin is not based on camouflage in the caridean shrimp Gnathophylloides mineri. Acta Ethologica 12:105-113.
  • Maciá, S. and MP Robinson (2009) Growth rates of the tropical sea urchins Tripneustes ventricosus and Lytechinus variegatus based on natural recruitment events. Carib. J. Sci. 45(1): 64-68
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson (2008) Habitat-dependent growth in a Caribbean sea urchin Tripneustes ventricosus: the importance of food type.   Helgoland Mar. Res. 62(4): 303-308.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson, A Nalevanko (2007) Experimental dispersal of recovering Diadema antillarum increases grazing intensity and reduces macroalgal abundance on a coral reef.  Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 348: 173-182.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson (2005) Effects of habitat heterogeneity in seagrass beds on grazing patterns of parrotfishes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 303: 113-121.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson, P Craze, R Dalton, and JD Thomas (2004) New observations on airborne jet propulsion (flight) in squid with a review of previous reports.  J. Molluscan Studies 70(3): 309-311.
    Prince, JS, WG LeBlanc, and S Maciá (2004) Design and analysis of multiple choice feeding preference data. Oecologia 138(1): 1-4.
  • Lirman, D. B Orlando, S Maciá, D Manzello, L Kaufman, P Biber and T Jones (2003) Coral communities of Biscayne Bay, Florida and adjacent offshore areas: Diversity, abundance, distribution, and environmental correlates.  Aq. Conserv. 13: 121-135.
  • Irlandi, E, B Orlando, S Maciá, P Biber, T Jones, L Kaufman, D Lirman, and E Patterson (2002) The influence of freshwater runoff on biomass, morphometrics, and production of Thalassia testudinum. Aq. Bot. 72(1): 67-78.
  • Maciá, S (2000) The role of sea urchin grazing and drift algal blooms in the community ecology of a subtropical seagrass bed.  J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 246: 53-67.
  • Maciá, S and D Lirman (1999) Destruction of Florida Bay seagrasses by a grazing front of sea urchins.  Bull. Mar. Sci. 65: 593-601.

Selected Conferences or Presentations

  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson, R Cascioli, M Metcalf, D Roque (2012) Copying of mate choice in male pipefish, Syngnathus scovelli.  Oral presentation, 41st Annual Benthic Ecology Meeting (BEM), Norfolk, VA.
  • Robinson MP, S Maciá, N Glass (2012) Diel survey of benthic fishes in Jamaican seagrass blowouts.  Poster presentation, 41st BEM, Norfolk, VA.
  • Robinson, MP, S Maciá, N Glass (2012) Use of seagrass blowouts by fishes. Poster Presentation, 76th FAS, Tampa, Florida.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson, J Million (2010) Relationship between the bright coloration of juveniles and agonism by territorial adults in damselfishes. Poster presentation, 39th BEM, Wilmington, NC.
    MP Robinson, Maciá, S (2010) Male mate choice behaviors are influenced by female parasite load in a damselfish.  Oral presentation, 39th BEM, Wilmington, NC.
  • Maciá, S, R Cascioli, M Metcalf (2009) Use of turtlegrass (Thalassia testudinum) seedlings for restoration of propeller scars. Poster presentation, 38th BEM, Corpus Christi, TX.
  • MP Robinson, Maciá, S, N Glass (2008) Parasite-effects on male mating preferences in the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus.  Oral presentation, 72nd FAS, Jacksonville, FL.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson (2007) Why be cryptic? Choice of host urchin by the caridean shrimp Gnathophylloides mineri is not explained by color. Oral presentation, 36th BEM, Atlanta, GA.
  • Maciá, S, MP Robinson, N Glass, J Million (2007) Relationship between the bicolor damselfish, Stegastes partitus, and a parasitic isopod, Anilocra partiti. Poster presentation, 36th BEM, Atlanta, GA.


  • Barry University Outstanding Faculty Member Award 2007-2008