Roberto Iglesias-Prieto is the head of the Unidad Académica Puerto Morelos at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Chair of the Mesoamerican Center of Excellence of the GEF/World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research program.
Born in Mexico City, he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology and a MSc. in biological oceanography at UNAM. Roberto moved to the University of California Santa Barbara, where he received a PhD in aquatic and population biology. After a year as a post-doctoral fellow at UCSB, Dr. Iglesias-Prieto moved in 1994 to the northern Mexican state of Baja California to take a position as a senior scientist at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Studies of Ensenada.
Since 1996, Roberto has been a research professor at UNAM’s laboratory at Puerto Morelos in the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Roberto’s main research interest is the photobiology of the symbiotic associations between zooxanthellae and reef-building corals. His work has been focused on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of symbiont specificity in corals, the effects of thermal and light stress on the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus of symbiotic dinoflagellates, and the role of coral skeletons as modulators of the intracellular light environment. In addition to his research interests in coral reefs, Roberto is currently serving as the head of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council on Coral Reefs for the Mexican government.