Dr. Leandro Castello
Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Dr. Leandro Castello studies the ecology and conservation of fish and fisheries in relation to global change processes. His research is issue-driven and it utilizes a broad array of methodologies to understand and solve fishery problems.
Most of his research has been on Arapaima spp., one of the largest and most overexploited fishes of the Amazon Basin. His research on arapaima has focused on the migration, reproduction, abundance, and population dynamics, as well as on the skills and knowledge of arapaima fishers. These studies have led to the development of a successful model of community-based management, where fishers themselves assess arapaima populations to determine fishing quotas.
Current research projects also encompass the effects of floodplain cover change (e.g., deforestation) and hydrological alteration (e.g., dams, climate change) on fisheries yields in the Amazon, the impacts of dams on the integrity of Amazonian freshwater ecosystems, and the population dynamics of muskellunge (Esox masquiongy) in the New River of Virginia.
Recent Relevant Publications
Macedo, M. and L. Castello. 2015. State of the Amazon: Freshwater Connectivity and Ecosystem Health; edited by D. Oliveira, C. C. Maretti and S. Charity. Brasília, Brazil: WWF Living Amazon Initiative.
2014), Understanding fishing-induced extinctions in the Amazon, Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2491, , , and (
Castello, L., McGrath, D.G., Hess, L.L., Coe, M.T., Lefebvre, P.A., Petry, P., Macedo, M.N., Reno, V., Arantes, C.C. 2013. The vulnerability of Amazon freshwater ecosystems. Conservation Letters 6: 217–229.
Castello, L., Zhulidov, A.V., Gurtovaya, T.Yu., Robarts, R.D., Lysenko, V.S., Holmes, R.M., Zhulidov, D.A., Spencer, R.G.M. 2014. Low and declining mercury in Arctic Russian Rivers. Environmental Science & Technology 48: 747−752
Castello, L., Stewart, D.J., Arantes, C.C. 2011 a. Modeling population dynamics and conservation of arapaima in the Amazon. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 21:623-640.