MaPACo – Larval connectivity

Logo_Marie-Curie                     FP7                    Commission EU

This page will present some information about my ongoing Marie-Curie FP7 – People project called MaPACo “Larval connectivity for effective MPAs networks: A multidisciplinary approach”

Mullus surmuletus postlarvae

1 – Summary of the project

International engagements call for the designation of representative networks of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) by 2020. Up to now, numerous studies have proved the performance of MPAs for both protecting local biodiversity and supporting fisheries by adults spillover. However, these studies have also pointed out that many important factors are still overlooked. Indeed, MPAs effectiveness is also conditioned by their role as dispersal origin of larvae to replenish nearby depleted fished areas. Thus, understanding the connectivity patterns among them and with unprotected sites is essential to build effective MPAs networks.

MarketTo do so, the present project will propose an original and complete survey based on combining complementary methodological approaches (ecology, dispersal dynamic model and genetic connectivity), with two critical questions in mind: which Mediterranean areas received the fish larvae issued from a MPA? Where do the fish observed in a MPA come from? We will consider the Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve (CPMR, Spain, SW Mediterranean). This area presents a very dynamic hydrography; the winds and currents directions are therefore likely to strongly influence the larval dispersal pattern around the MPA. We will develop a dynamic model using currents and temperature data to simulate the dispersal of fish larvae during their pelagic stage. Then, the model results will help us to target sites at regional scale (tens of km’s) where larvae issued from CPMR could settle, and areas within this geographical range likely to act as sources of larvae replenishing CPMR.

MullusBoth adults and larvaes will be collected through field work (diving and fisheries data) in all these areas, and genetic analyses will be performed to identify the parent-offsprings pairs. The results will allow us to better understand the relationships between distinct coastal areas through their fish exchanges and to underline the MPA role as sources of fishes for the marine fisheries.

2 – Associated publications / Communications

Rocklin D., Muntoni M., Beuvier J. & García Charton JA (2014) Models and sensitivity: How reliable are they? Johan Hjort Symposium, Bergen, Norway, 2014.

Rocklin D., Muntoni M., Muñoz I., Beuvier J. & García Charton JA (2014) Evaluating fiish population connectivity combining larval dispersal models and genetics for MPAs network design. International Marine Conservation Congress IMCC3, Glasgow, UK, Aug. 2014

Rocklin D., Beuvier J., García Charton JA (2013) Modelling the larval dispersal from a Mediterranean Marine Protected Area. International Marine Protected Areas Congress, Marseille, France, Oct 2013.

Caló, A., Félix-Hackradt, F.C., Garcia, J., Hackradt, C.W., Rocklin, D., Treviño-Otón, J. & García-Charton, J.A. (2013). A review of methods to assess connectivity and mobility of fish populations in the Mediterranean Sea. Advances in Oceanography and Limnology 4: 150-175.

3 – Outreach

3.1 Storytelling / Monologues

TalesFromSeaI had the possibility to develop a storytelling on larval dispersal and fish population connectivity at the workshop “Tales from the Sea” at the International Marine Conservation Congress 2014 (Glasgow, UK).

The SOUND of this story can be found there (my story begins at 11’20”!).


3.2 Famelab 2014

– Semi-finalist of the FameLab Spain 2014: “FameLab sets out to support and encourage those working in science and engineering to use the skills they learn to communicate their work to society as a whole, not just colleagues and peers.” (

Famelab2014See the Fecyt (Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología)  press note here

The information was spread over various media: the newspapers La Verdad and La Opinion & the radio with an interview at “Radio Onda Regional”, for the program of scientific comunication “Kitaro”.

See here the semifinal monologue, played the 21th of March in Teatro Poliorama, (Barcelona, Spain) in front of a public of more than 600 persons!

The whole semi-final can be seen there.

3.3. Short-movies

Life in a genetic laboratory

Here is a short video of our work during the genetic analyses.

Life in a genetic laboratory from Delphine Rocklin on Vimeo.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

3.4. Marie-Curie day

marie curie actionAn information day concerning the Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions in H2020 was organized at the University of Murcia in May 2014 (see the program). The objective was to explain what are the possible actions, and give general information and advices to people interested to propose a project.


I was asked by the Operum European Project Office of Murcia to do a presentation of my experience as a Marie-Curie fellow.MCday

The local newspaper La Verdad was there and has done a video report of this special day.

 3.5. Press release

I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the national press ‘La Verdad” and also by two local radios: ORM (Onda Regional de Murcia), for the scientific communication programm “Kitaro”, and ROM Murcia (Radio Online), for the “Ecomandanga” scientific communication programm. It concerned both my participation to the FameLab competition and my work as a Marie-Curie researcher.

The links are here:

  • Onda Regional de Murcia radio interview here
  • ROM – Ecomandanga interview thereafter:

  • La Verdad interview here: