Ricardo Betancur-R.

Ricardo Betancur-R.

Title:
Postdoctoral Scientist
Office:
Lisner Hall 343
Email:
betanri@gmail.com
Website:

Background

Current Research

My research focuses on the systematics and evolutionary history of fishes. I utilize phylogenetic tools to address questions on historical biogeography, ecology, and morphological evolution, using fishes as model organisms. I am particularly interested in studying the underlying processes that shape fish biodiversity at both macro- and microevolutionary levels. I am also interested in documenting the diversity of marine and freshwater ichtyofauna. Ongoing and completed projects have investigated phylogenetic relationships among ariid sea catfishes, using molecular and anatomical data, as well as their historical biogeography and evolutionary transitions between marine and freshwater habitats. Phylogeographic studies have examined potential marine barriers for fishes with low dispersal capabilities. Current taxonomic projects are targeting sea catfishes towards the completion of their alpha taxonomy and classification.

Education

B.Sc. Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Marine Biology, 2000
M.Sc in Marine Biology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2004
Ph.D in Biological Sciences, Auburn University, 2009

CV

Publications

Betancur-R., R. Under review. Molecular phylogenetics supports multiple evolutionary transitions from marine to freshwater habitats in ariid catfishes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (see also Chapter IV of Ph.D. dissertation below).

González, J., M. Grijalba-Bendeck, A. Acero P. & R. Betancur-R. In press. The invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish, Pterois volitans/miles complex, in the southern Caribbean Sea. Aquatic Invasions.

Marceniuk, A. P., R. Betancur-R. & A. Acero P. In press. Description of a new species of Cathorops (Siluriformes; Ariidae) from El Salvador, with redescription of four species of the genus from North and Central American Pacific. Bulletin of Marine Science.

Betancur-R., R. 2009. Molecular phylogenetics and evolutionary history of ariid catfishes revisited: a comprehensive sampling. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009 9: 175. Highly accessed paper.

Betancur-R., R. & J.W. Armbruster. 2009. Molecular clocks provide new insights into the evolutionary history of galeichthyine sea catfishes. Evolution 63(5): 1232-1243.

Betancur-R., R., A.P. Marceniuk & P. Béarez. 2008. Taxonomic Status and Redescription of the Gillbacker Sea Catfish (Siluriformes: Ariidae: Sciades parkeri). Copeia 2008(4): 827–834.

Marceniuk, A.P. & R. Betancur-R. 2008. Revision of the species of the genus Cathorops (Siluriformes; Ariidae) from Mesoamerica and the Central American Caribbean, with description of three new species. Neotropical Ichthyology, 6(1): 25–44.

Betancur-R., R., A. Acero P., E. Bermingham & R. Cooke. 2007. Systematics and biogeography of New World sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae) as inferred from mitochondrial, nuclear, and morphological evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45(1): 339–357.

Betancur-R., R. & P.W. Willink. 2007. A new freshwater ariid (Otophysi: Siluriformes) from the Río Usumacinta basin. Copeia 2007(4): 818–828.

Acero P., A.* & R. Betancur-R.* 2007. Monophyly, affinities, and subfamilial clades of sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae). Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 18(2): 133–143. *Both authors have contributed equally to the work, authorship in alphabetical order.

Betancur-R., R. & A. Acero. 2006. A new species of Notarius (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from the Colombian Pacific. Zootaxa 1249: 47–59.

Acero P., A. & R. Betancur-R. 2006. Real identity of the northern Colombian endemic sea catfish Galeichthys bonillai Miles, 1945 (Siluriformes: Ariidae). Cybium 30 (3): 215–219.

Betancur-R., R. & A. Acero P. 2005. Description of Cathorops mapale, a new species of sea catfish (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from the Colombian Caribbean, based on morphological and mitochondrial evidence. Zootaxa 1045: 45–60.

Acero P., A., R. Betancur-R., A. Polanco F. & Nicolas Chaparro. 2005. Diferenciación sexual temprana a nivel óseo en dos géneros de bagres marinos (Pisces: Ariidae) [Early osteological dimorphism in two genera of sea catfishes]. Memoria de la Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales 163: 37–43.

Betancur-R., R. & A. Acero P. 2004. Description of Notarius biffi n. sp. and redescription of N. insculptus (Jordan and Gilbert) (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from the eastern Pacific, with evidence of monophyly and limits of Notarius. Zootaxa 703: 1–20.

Betancur-R., R., A. Acero & L.M. Mejía-Ladino. 2004. Sistemática filogenética preliminar de algunos bagres marinos (Siluriformes: Ariidae) neotropicales [Preliminary phylogenetic analysis of some Neotropical sea catfishes (Siluriformes:Ariidae)]. Memoria de la Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales 158: 61–85.

Mejía-Ladino, L.M., R. Betancur-R., A. Acero P. & M. Grijalba B. 2003. Presencia de Epinephelus nigritus (Pisces: Serranidae) en el Caribe Colombiano, incluyendo una clave para las especies de Epinephelus en el área [Presence of Epinephelus nigritus (Pisces: Serranidae) in the Colombian Caribbean, including an identification key for the species of Epinephelus in the area]. Boletín Ecotrópica 37: 31–39.

Acero, A. & R. Betancur-R. 2002. Description of Arius neogranatensis, a new species of sea catfish from Colombia, including an identification key for Caribbean ariid fishes. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology  6(1): 5–10.

Mejía-Ladino, L.M., R. Betancur-R., A. Acero & E. Zarza. 2002. Presencia de Arius grandicassis en el Caribe colombiano, incluyendo una clave para la dentificación de los peces de la familia Ariidae en el área [Presence of Arius grandicassis in the Colombian Caribbean, including an identification key for the fish family Ariidae in the area]. Boletín Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras 31: 5–13.

Acero, A. & R. Betancur-R. 2002. Arius cookei, a new species of ariid catfish from the tropical American Pacific. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 5(4): 133–138.

Betancur-R., R., A. Acero P. & L.M. Mejía-Ladino. 2001. El pez serránido Gonioplectrus hispanus (Epinephelinae: Epinephelini) en Colombia: primer registro para las costas continentales caribeñas [The serranid fish Gonioplectrus hispanus (Epinephelinae: Epinephelini) in Colombia: first record from the continental Caribbean coast]. Boletín Ecotrópica 35: 25–30.


Book Chapters

Acero P., A. & R. Betancur-R. In press. Ariidae. In: The living marine resources of the Eastern Central Atlantic. FAO, Rome.

Betancur-R., R. & P.J. Kailola. 2009. Ariidae. In: Encyclopedia of flora and fauna of Bangladesh.


In Preparation

Betancur-R., R., A. Acero P. &  S. R. Santos. Phylogeography of the Mapale Sea Catfish: evidence for a major marine barrier in northern South America. To be submitted to Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (70% completed).

Correa, S.B., R. Betancur-R., B. de Mérona, & J.W. Armbruster. Preliminary data on the feeding ecology of the Red Belly Pacu, a decade after its introduction into rivers of Papua New Guinea (95% completed).


Dissertation and Theses

Betancur-R., R. 2009. Systematics and evolutionary history of sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae). Ph.D. Dissertation, Auburn University, Auburn, AL.

Betancur-R., R. 2003. Filogenia de los bagres marinos (Siluriformes: Ariidae) del Nuevo Mundo [Phylogeny of New World Sea Catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae)]. M.Sc. Thesis, Universidad Nacional de Colombia-INVEMAR. Bogotá.

Betancur-R., R. & L.M. Mejia. 2000. Análisis preliminar de la Sistemática filogenética de algunas especies de bagres marinos (Siluriformes: Ariidae) de Colombia y aguas tropicales adyacentes [Preliminary phylogenetic analysis of sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from Colombia and adjacent tropical waters]. B.Sc. Thesis, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá.


Presentations

  • 2009 Betancur-R., R. Molecular phylogenetics and evolutionary history of ariid catfishes of the world. Invited speaker, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 2009 Betancur-R., R. Molecular phylogenetics and evolutionary history of ariid catfishes of the world. Invited speaker, INVEMAR, Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • 2009 Betancur-R., R. Molecular phylogenetics and evolutionary history of ariid catfishes of the world. X Simposio Colombiano de Ictiología, Medellín, Colombia.
  • 2009 Betancur-R., R. Systematics and evolutionary history of sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae). Ph.D. dissertation defense (AU).
  • 2008 Betancur-R., R. Molecular clocks provide new insights into the diversification of the Galeichthyinae. XIII Senalmar, San Andres, Colombia.
  • 2008 Correa, S.B., J.W. Armbruster, and R. Betancur-R. Feeding Ecology of an Introduced Generalist Frugivorous Fish: the Fate of Pacu in the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Montreal, Canada.
  • 2006 Betancur-R., R., and A. Acero P. The Cathorops mapale species complex (Siluriformes: Ariidae) from the southern Caribbean. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, New Orleans, Luisiana.
  • 2006 Betancur-R., R., and A. Acero P. Sistemática de los bagres marinos del género Cathorops (Siluriformes: Ariidae) en Colombia y Venezuela: un enfoque molecular y morfométrico. II Congreso colombiano de Zoología, Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • 2005 Betancur-R., R., A. Acero P., E. Bermingham & R. Cooke. Systematics evolution & biogeography of New World ariids as inferred from mitochondrial, nuclear and morphological evidence. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Tampa, Florida.
  • 2004 Betancur-R., R. Filogenia los bagres marinos (Siluriformes: Ariidae) del Nuevo Mundo. M.Sc. thesis defense, Universidad Nacional de Colombia/INVEMAR, Santa Marta.
  • 2001 Betancur-R., R., L.M. Mejía-Ladino & A. Acero. Bagres marinos (Pisces: Siluriformes: Ariidae) de aguas americanas: estudio cladístico preliminar. IX Congreso Latinoamericano de Ciencias del Mar, San Andrés, Colombia.
  • 2000 Betancur-R., R. & L.M. Mejía-Ladino. Análisis preliminar de la sistemática filogenética de algunas especies de bagres marinos (Siluriformes: Ariidae) de Colombia y aguas tropicales adyacentes. B.Sc. thesis defense, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Santa Marta, Colombia.
  • 1999 Betancur-R., R., L.M. Mejía-Ladino & A. Acero. Diferenciación sexual del chivo mapalé, Cathorops spixii (Agassiz 1829) (Pisces: Ariidae), de la región sur de Santa Marta a partir de análisis osteológicos. V Simposio Colombiano de Ictiología, Leticia, Colombia.

Professional Experience

2009 Postdoctoral fellow: The George Washington University, Washington D.C. Advisor: Dr. Guillermo Orti.

2009 Short-term postdoctoral fellowship, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Sede Caribe), Santa Marta, Colombia. Project: The scorpaenid lionfish Pterois volitans/miles complex invading Colombian reefs: ecology and origin. Advisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.

2007 Principal Investigator (PI): project “Examination of Ariidae (Otophysi: Siluriformes) types deposited in the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN)”. Co-PI: Dr. Philippe Béarez.

2004–2007 Graduate Research Assistant: duties include sorting of freshwater fishes from southeastern USA and sequencing catfishes (AU). Advisor: Dr. Jonathan W. Armbruster.

2006 PI: project “Description of a new freshwater ariid species from Middle America”, funded by ACSI (AU). Co-PI: Dr. Philip W. Willink.

2004 PI: project “Description of two new species of sea catfishes from the tropical Eastern Pacific”, funded by All Catfish Species Inventory (ACSI) project, which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF DEB–0315963), CECIMAR/INVEMAR, Colombia. Co-PI: Dr. Arturo Acero.

2004 Research Assistant: project “Description of two new species of sea catfishes from the Colombian Caribbean”, funded by ACSI, CECIMAR/INVEMAR. Advisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.

2002–2003 Internship Fellow: project “Evolution of the American sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae)”, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panamá. Advisors: Dr. Eldredge Bermingham and Dr. Richard Cooke.

2002 Research Assistant: project “Análisis de la sistemática de los bagres marinos incluidos en los géneros Ariopsis, Bagre y Selenaspis (Pisces: Siluriformes: Ariidae)”, funded by Universidad Nacional de Colombia proposal DIB-803708, CECIMAR/INVEMAR. Advisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.

2001 Research Assistant: proyect “Estudio sobre el comportamiento reproductivo del bagre estuarino chivo cabezón en cautiverio”, funded by COLCIENCIAS proposal 1117-09-12459, CECIMAR/INVEMAR. Advisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.

1999–2001 Research Assistant: project "Sistemática y biogeografía de los bagres marinos

de la familia Ariidae (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes) del Atlántico y Pacífico oriental Etapa 1", funded by COLCIENCIAS proposal 1101-09-138-98, CECIMAR/INVEMAR. Advisor: Dr. Arturo Acero.


Curatorial Experience

For abreaviation details see "A Guide to Fish Collections in the Catalog of Fishes."

2000– Museum visits: examination of type and non-type material of fishes deposited at INVEMAR-PEC, ICN-MHN, Universidad del Valle (Colombia); STRI (Panamá); USNM, AUM, UF, AMNH, UMMZ (USA); Biocentro, Unellez, Guanare (Venezuela); Mus. Bogoriense Zool., Cibinog (Indonesia); MZUSP (Brazil); MNHN (France).

2002– Material examined through loans: type and non-type material of fishes deposited at BNHM (England); CAS, MCZ, USNM, AUM, AMNH, FMNH, FU (USA); MHNG (Switzerland); MNHN (France); MZUT (Italy); NMW (Austria); UCR (Costa Rica); ZMB (Germany).

Distinctions

Grants and Awards

  • 2009 Co-PI, project “The scorpaenid lionfish Pterois volitans/miles complex invading
  • Colombian reefs: ecology and origin”, funded by Universidad Nacional de Colombia (US $10000).
  • 2009 Outstanding International Graduate Students, Auburn University. Overall winner within the College of Sciences and Mathematics (five departments). 2007 PI, project “A catfish survey of Papua New Guinea”, funded by ACSI (US$ 17000).
  • 2007 PI, project “Examination of Ariidae (Otophysi: Siluriformes) types deposited in the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris (MNHN)”, funded by MNHN (US$ 5000).
  • 2006 PI, project “Molecular systematics of sea catfishes (Siluriformes: Ariidae) of the world”, funded by DeepFin project (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) (US$ 4,000).
  • 2006 PI, project “The specific status of the New Granada Sea Catfish (Ariidae: Ariopsis) from Colombia”, funded by ACSI (US$ 2,000).
  • 2006 PI, project “Description of a new freshwater ariid species from Middle America”, funded by ACSI (US$ 3,000).
  • 2005 PI, project “Survey of ariid catfishes of Indonesia”, funded by ACSI (US$ 5500).
  • 2004 PI, Project “Description of two new species of sea catfishes from the tropical Eastern Pacific”, funded by ACSI (US$ 4000).
  • 2004–2009 Graduate Assistantship: US$ 36,000/year for Ph.D. tuition and living expenses (AU).
  • 2004 Co-PI, project “Description of two new species of sea catfishes from the Colombian Caribbean”, funded by ACSI.
  • 2004 Thesis M.Sc. Magna Cum Laude honors, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • 2002 PI, Project “Evolution of American sea catfishes”, funded by Andrew J. Mellon Foundation, STRI (US$ 3000).
  • 2001–2003 Tuition waiver (US$ 800 per semester) due to academic performance during five semesters of the M.Sc. program.

total awards: 235,300


Memberships

2007– American Association for the Advancement of Science.
2004– American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.
2009– Society for the Study of Evolution.


Synergetic Activities

  • 2009 Doctoral committee member, Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Student: Francisco Villa. Dissertation “Estudio filogenético del complejo Pimelodus blochii (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) en el norte de Suramérica [Phylogeny of the Pimelodus blochii complex (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) from Northern South America].
  • 2008 Manuscript referee for Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.
  • 2008 Assessor for the IUCN Sampled Red List Index (SRLI).
  • 2007 Manuscript referee for Copeia.
  • 2007 Manuscript referee for Revista de Biología Tropical.
  • 2007 Assessor for the IUCN red list of marine fishes from the Eastern Pacific. Panamá City, Panamá. Smithsonian Tropical research Institute and Conservation International.
  • 2006 Manuscript referee for Neotropical Ichthyology.
  • 2006–2009 Project referee for Fundación para la Promoción de la Investigación y la Tecnología, Banco de la República, Colombia (thirteen projects and final reports).2002–2009 Manuscript referee

Classes Taught

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Biol-1010 (AU), Survey of Life (spring semester). Instructor: Matthew Kearley.

2008 Graduate Teaching Assistant: Biol-1010 (AU), Survey of Life (fall semester). Instructor: Matthew Kearley.

2008 Graduate Teaching Assistant: Biol-3010 (AU), Comparative Anatomy (summer semester). Instructor: Dr. Jonathan W. Armbruster.

2008 Graduate Teaching Assistant: Biol-1010 (AU), Survey of Life (spring semester). Instructor: Matthew Kearley.