Fisheries Research Biologist
Ph.D., Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2007
M.S., Mariculture, Texas A&M University, College Station, 2001
B.S., Fisheries, Humboldt State University, Humboldt, CA, 1998
Hugo's hobbies of fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling sparked his interest in a career in fisheries research. After he obtained his master's degree, Hugo responded to a job posting for the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Albuquerque which was looking for a fisheries researcher through the Scientist Recruitment Initiative. Viewing the position as a stepping-stone back to Humboldt State University and the Pacific Ocean, Hugo joined the Station's Albuquerque Lab in April 2002. He began working on his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico through the Integrated Graduate Education Research and Training program funded through the National Science Foundation. Although he remains landlocked in the upper Sonoran Desert, he continues his research in fisheries.
Interested in the trophic dynamic theory and aquatic ecology, Hugo is studying the effect of nutrients on algae community structure, and how different diatom communities affect the aquatic invertebrate communities which, in turn, affect Hybognathus amarus (Rio Grande silvery minnow) communities. He is also interested in the food preferences and feeding biomechanics of the silvery minnow as well as its feeding habits during different flow regimes. Another area of study is the effect of the outflow from wastewater treatment facilities on the nutrients, algae, aquatic invertebrates, and fish. Hugo is also working to determine which diatom species the minnow prefer in order to provide as a food source in the Rio Grande.
Hugo plans to examine the trophic cascade in creeks, streams, and rivers where the Forest Service is looking at introducing extirpated species of fish.
Magaña, H.A., Contreras, C., and Villareal, T.A. 2003. A historic assessment of Karenia brevis in the Western Gulf of Mexico. Harmful Algae, 2:163-171. PDF
Magaña, H.A., and Villareal, T.A. 2006. The effects of environmental factors on the growth rate of Karenia brevis (Davis) G. Hansen and Moestrup. Harmful Algae, 5:192-198. PDF
Villareal, T.A. and Magaña, H.A. 2001. A red tide monitoring program for Texas coastal waters. Final Report Texas Parks and Wildlife pp. 77. PDF