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. Dr. Castello’s 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.


Lab website

Recent Relevant Publications

Schmitt, J.D., Brandon K.P., Bunch, A.J., Castello, L., Orth, D.J. 2019. Modeling the predation dynamics of invasive blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) in Chesapeake Bay. Fishery Bulletin 117: 277-290. pdf

Castello, L., Bayley, P.B., Fabre, N.N., Batista, V. S. 2019. Flooding effects on abundance of a long-lived river floodplain fish population in the central Amazon. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries pdf

Anderson, E., Osborne, T., Maldonado-Ocampo, J. Mills-Novoa, M., Castello, L., Montoya, M., Encalada, A., Jenkins, C. 2019. Energy development reveals blind spots for Amazon ecosystem conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. pdf

Castello, L., Hess, L.L., Thapa, R., McGrath, D.G., Arantes, C.C., Reno, V., Isaac, V.I.N. 2018.  Fish yields vary with land cover on the Amazon river-floodplain.  Fish and Fisheries 19: 431–440. pdf

Barlow, J., França, F., Gardner, T.A., Hicks, C.C., Lennox, G.D., Berenguer, E., Castello, L., Economo, E.P., Ferreira, J., Guénard, B., Leal, C.G., Isaac, V., Lees, A.C., Parr, C.L., Wilson, S.K., Young, P.J., Graham, N.A.J. 2018. The future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems. Nature 559517–526. pdf

Richard, J., Castello, L. Peoples, B., Gurdak, D. Angermeier, P. 2018. Size-based lake habitat selection by arapaima in floodplains of the lower Amazon. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.28: 1403-1413. pdf

Bayley, P.B., Castello, L., Batista, V.S., Fabre, N.N. 2018. Response of Prochilodus nigricans to flood pulse variation in the central Amazon. Royal Society Open Science 5: 172232. pdf