Joana R Xavier

Position

Associate Professor, Deep-Sea Biology

Affiliation

Research

I'm an Assistant Researcher and leader of the Deep-Sea Biodiversity and Conservation Team at CIIMAR, University of Porto (Portugal), and an invited Associate Professor in Deep-Sea Biology at the Department of Biological Sciences of the University of Bergen (Norway). My research focusses in the understanding of basin- to global-scale diversity, biogeographic, and connectivity patterns of deep-sea sponges and the habitats they form (i.e. sponge grounds), using a combination of disciplines (taxonomy, systematics, ecology and genomics). I collaborate with a vast network of European and North American scientists, and have trained and mentored 15+ students (from BSc to PhD levels) in the fields of sponge taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, and population genomics. I coordinate the DEEPbaseline project, an awardee of the Ocean Conservation Fund; and was scientific manager and co-lead WP3 of the H2020 SponGES project, funded by the European Commission. 

Teaching

Supervision of (under)graduate students

PhD candidate Anna Patova (ongoing) - Conservation genomics of North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds: assessing diversity, connectivity and vulnerability of habitat-forming species (PhD, main supervisor).

PhD Heidi Meyer (2018-2022) - Biodiversity and spatial ecology of arctic sponge grounds in the Nordic Seas (PhD, co-supervisor). 

PhD Francisca Carvalho (2015-2020) - Rock sponges (Lithistid Demospongiae) of the North Atlantic: diversity, phylogeny and biogeography. (PhD, co-supervisor).  

PhD Adriana Alvizu (2013-2019) - Taxonomy and phylogeny of calcaronean sponges (Porifera, Calcarea). (PhD, co-supervisor). 

MSc Tone Ulvatn (2015-2017) - A reverse taxonomic approach to asess the community composition of sponge grounds in the Nordic Seas. (MSc, main supervisor). 

MSc Nickolas Hawkes (2015-2017) - Epibenthic megafauna associated with sponge grounds formed by the unique glass sponge Vazella pourtalesii in Emerald Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada. (MSc, co-supervisor).  

MSc Ida Vee (2015-2016) - Towards improved management of deep-sea sponge grounds in Norwegian waters. (MSc, co-supervisor).  

Publications

Martins I, Guerra A, Azevedo A, Harasse O, Colaço A, Xavier JR, Caetano M, Carreiro-Silva M, Martins I, Neuparth T, Raimundo J, Soares J, Santos MM (2023) A modelling framework to assess multiple metals impacts on marine food webs: Relevance for assessing the ecological implications of deep-sea mining based on a systematic review. Marine Pollution Bulletin 191:114902.

Mejía-Saenz A, Simon-Lledó E, Partridge LS, Xavier JR, Jones DOB (2023) Rock outcrops enhance abyssal benthic biodiversity. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 195:103999.

Taboada S, Whiting C, Wang S, Ríos P, Davies AJ, Mienis F, Kenchington E, Cardenas P, Cranston A, Koutsouveli V, Cristobo J, Rapp HT, Drewery J, Baldó F, Morrow C, Picton B, Xavier JR, Arias MB, Leiva C, Riesgo A (2023) Long distance dispersal and oceanographic fronts shape the connectivity of the keystone sponge Phakellia ventilabrum in the deep northeast Atlantic. Frontiers in Marine Science 10:1177106.

Xavier JR, Pomponi SA, Kenchington EL (2023) Editorial: Deep-sea sponge ecosystems: Knowledge-based approach towards sustainable management and conservation. Frontiers in Marine Science 10:1132451.

Campanyà-Llovet N, Bates AE, Cuvelier D, Giacomello E, Catarino D, Gooday AJ, Berning B, Figuerola B, Malaquias MAE, Moura CJ, Xavier JR, Sutton TT, Fauconnet L, Ramalho SP, Neves BdM, Machado GM, Horton T, Gebruk AV, Minin K, Bried J, Molodtsova T, Silva MA, Dilman A, Kremenetskaia A, Costa EFS, Clarke J, Martins HR, Pham CK, Carreiro-Silva M, Colaço A (2023) FUN Azores: a FUNctional trait database for the meio-, macro-, and megafauna from the Azores Marine Park (Mid-Atlantic Ridge). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 11:1050268.

Brodnicke OB, Meyer HK, Busch K, Xavier JR, Knudsen SW, Moller PR, Hentschel U, Sweet M (2023) Deep-sea sponge derived environmental DNA analysis reveals demersal fish diversity of a remote Arctic ecosystem. Environmental DNA 00:1-13.

Baco AR, Ross R, Althaus F, Amon D, Bridges AEH, Brix S, Buhl-Mortensen P, Colaço A, Carreiro-Silva M, Clark MR, Du Preez C, Franken M, Gianni M, Gonzalez-Mirelis G, Hourigan T, Howell K, Levin LA, Lindsay DJ, Molodtsova TN, Morgan N, Morato T, Mejia-Mercado BE, O’Sullivan D, Pearman T, Price D, Robert K, Robson L, Rowden AA, Taylor J, Taylor M, Victorero L, Watling L, Williams A, Xavier JR, Yesson C (2023) Towards a scientific community consensus on designating Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems from imagery. PeerJ 11:e16024

Meyer HK, Davies AJ, Roberts EM, Xavier JR, Ribeiro PA, Glenner H, Birkely SR, Rapp HT (2022) Beyond the tip of the seamount: distinct megabenthic communities found beyond the charismatic summit sponge ground on an arctic seamount (Schulz Bank, Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge). Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers: 103920.

Busch K, Slaby BM, Bach W, Boetius A, Clefsen I, Colaço A, Creemers M, Cristobo J, Federwisch L, Franke A, Gavriilidou A, Hethke A, Kenchington E, Mienis F, Mills S, Riesgo A, Ríos P, Roberts EM, Sipkema D, Pita L, Schupp PJ, Xavier JR, Rapp HT, Hentschel U (2022) Biodiversity, environmental drivers, and sustainability of the global deep-sea sponge microbiome. Nature Communications 13, 5160.

Brix S, Kaiser S, Lörz A-N, Le Saout M, Schumacher M, Bonk F, Egilsdottir H Olafsdottir SH, Tandberg AHS, Taylor J, Tewes S, Xavier JR, Linse K (2022) Habitat variability and faunal zonation at the Ægir Ridge, a canyon-like structure in the deep Norwegian Sea. PeerJ 10:e13394.

Taboada S, Ríos P, Mitchell A, Cranston A, Busch K, Tonzo V, Cárdenas P, Sánchez F, Leiva C, Koutsouveli V, Cristobo J, Xavier JR, Hentschel U, Rapp HT, Morrow C, Drewery J, Romero PE, Arias MB, Whiting C, Riesgo A (2022) Genetic diversity, gene flow and hybridization in fan-shaped sponges (Phakellia spp.) in the North-East Atlantic deep sea. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 181: 103685.

Santín A, Uriz M-J, Cristobo J, Xavier JR, Ríos P (2022) Unique spicules may confound species differentiation: taxonomy and biogeography of Melonanchora Carter, 1874 and two new related genera (Myxillidae: Poecilosclerida) from the Okhotsk Sea. PeerJ 9: e12515.

van Denderen PD, Holah H, Robson LM, Hiddink JG, Menot L, Pedreschi D, Kazanidis G, Llope M, Turner PJ, Stirling D, Murillo FJ, Kenny A, Campbell N, Allcock AL, Braga-Henriques A, González-Irusta JM, Johnston G, Orejas C, Serrano A, Xavier JR, Hopkins P, Kenchington EL, Nixon E, Valanko S (2021) A policy-based framework for the determination of management options to protect vulnerable marine ecosystems under the EU deep-sea access regulations. ICES Journal of Marine Science 79(1): 34-49.

Xavier JR, Rees DJ, Pereira R, Colaço A, Pham CK and Carvalho FC (2021) Diversity, Distribution and Phylogenetic Relationships of Deep-Sea Lithistids (Porifera, Heteroscleromorpha) of the Azores Archipelago. Front. Mar. Sci. 8:600087.

Dudik O, Amorim S, Xavier JR, Rapp HT, Silva TH, Pires RA and Reis RL (2021) Bioactivity of Biosilica Obtained From North Atlantic Deep-Sea Sponges. Front. Mar. Sci. 8:637810.

Figueiredo C, Caetano M, Mil-Homens M, Tojeira I, Xavier JR, Rosa R, Raimundo J (2021) Rare earth and trace elements in deep-sea sponges of the North Atlantic. Marine Pollution Bulletin 166: 112217. 

Martins E, Rapp HT, Xavier JR, Diogo GS, Reis RL, Silva TH (2021) Macro and Microstructural Characteristics of North Atlantic Deep-Sea Sponges as Bioinspired Models for Tissue Engineering Scaffolding. Frontiers in Marine Science 7:613647.

Howell KL, Hilário A, Allcock AL, …, Xavier JR (2020) A Decade to Study Deep-Sea Life. Nature Ecology and Evolution 5, 265-267.

Howell KL, Hilario A, Allcock AL, …, Xavier JR (2020) A blueprint for an inclusive, global deep-sea Ocean Decade field programme. Frontiers in Marine Science 7. 

Carvalho FC, Cárdenas P, Rios P, Cristobo J, Rapp HT, Xavier JR (2020) Rock sponges (lithistid Demospongiae) of the Northeast Atlantic seamounts, with the description of ten new species. PeerJ 8, e8703. 

Ríos P, Prado E, Carvalho FC, Sánchez F, Rodríguez-Basalo A, Xavier JR, Ibarrola TP, Cristobo J (2020) Community Composition and Habitat Characterization of a Rock Sponge Aggregation (Porifera, Corallistidae) in the Cantabrian Sea. Frontiers in Marine Science 7.

Rooks C, Fang JKH, Mørkved PT, Zhao R, Rapp HT, Xavier JR, Hoffmann F (2020) Deep-sea sponge grounds as nutrient sinks: High denitrification rates in boreo-arctic sponges. Biogeosciences, 17, 1231–1245. 

Xavier JR, Carreiro-Silva M, Colaço A, Le Bris N, Levin L (2019) Vulnerabilities: invertebrate taxa (VME indicators). In: Levin L, Baker M, Thompson T (Eds.) Deep-ocean climate change impacts on habitat, fish and fisheries. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 638. Rome, FAO. 186 pp.

Otero, MM, Serena F, Gerovasileiou V, Barone M, Bo M, Arcos M, Vulcano A, Xavier JR (2019) Identification guide of vulnerable species incidentally caught in Mediterranean fisheries. Malaga, Spain. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Hawkes N, Korabik M, Beazley L, Rapp HT, Xavier JR, Kenchington E (2019) Glass sponge grounds on the Scotian Shelf and their associated biodiversity. Marine Ecology Progress Series 614, 91-109. 

Howell KL, Davies JS, Allcock AL, Braga-Henriques A, Buhl-Mortensen P, Carreiro-Silva M, Dominguez-Carrió C, Durden JM, Foster NL, Game CA, Hitchin B, Horton T, Hosking B, Jones DOB, Mah C, Marchais CL, Menot L, Morato T, Pearman TRR, Piechaud N, Ross RE, Ruhl HA, Saeedi H, Stefanoudis PV, Taranto GH, Thompson MB, Taylor JR, Tyler P, Vad J, Victorero L, Vieira RP, Woodall LC, Xavier JR, Wagner D (2019) A framework for the development of a global standardised marine taxon reference image database (SMarTaR-ID) to support imagebased analyses. PLoS ONE 14.

Ramiro-Sánchez B González-Irusta JM, Henry L-A, Cleland J, Yeo I, Xavier JR, Carreiro-Silva M et al (2019) Characterization and Mapping of a Deep-Sea Sponge Ground on the TropicSeamount (Northeast Tropical Atlantic): Implications for Spatial Management in the High Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science 6.

Riesgo A, Taboada S, Pérez-Portela R, Melis P, Xavier JR, Blasco G, López-Legentil S (2019) Genetic diversity, connectivity and gene flow along the distribution of the emblematic Atlanto-Mediterranean sponge Petrosia ficiformis (Haplosclerida, Demospongiae). BMC Evolutionary Biology 19: 24.

Alvizu A, Xavier JR, Rapp HT (2019) Description of new chiactine-bearing sponges provides insights into the higher classification of Calcaronea (Porifera: Calcarea). Zootaxa 4615, 201-251. 

Cassarino L, Coath CD, Xavier JR, Hendry KR (2018) Silicon isotopes of deep-sea sponges: new insights into biomineralisation and skeletal structure. Biogeosciences 15, 6959-6977. 

Beazley LI, Wang Z, Kenchington EL, Yashayaev Y, Rapp HT, Xavier JR, Murillo FJ, Fenton D, Fuller SD (2018) Predicted distribution of the glass sponge Vazella pourtalesi on the Scotian Shelf and persistence in the face of climatic variability. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0205505. 

Cárdenas P, Vacelet J, Chevaldonnée P, Pérez T, Xavier JR (2018) From marine caves to the deep sea, a new look at Caminella (Demospongiae, Geodiidae) in the Atlanto-Mediterranean region. Zootaxa 4466(1), 174-196.

Alvizu A, Eilertsen MH, Xavier JR, Rapp HT (2018) Increased taxon sampling provides new insights into the phylogeny and evolution of the subclass Calcaronea (Porifera, Calcarea). Organisms Diversity and Evolution 18(3), 279-290.

Dudik O, Leonor I, Xavier JR, Rapp HT, Pires RA, Silva TH, Reis RL (2018) Sponge-derived silica for tissue regeneration. Materials Today 21(5), 577-578. 

Karimi E, Ramos M, Gonçalves JMS, Xavier JR, Reis MP and Costa R (2017) Comparative Metagenomics Reveals the Distinctive Adaptive Features of the Spongia officinalis Endosymbiotic Consortium. Frontiers in Microbiology 8, 2499.

Xavier JR, Bo M (2017) Deep-sea sponges of the Mediterranean Sea. http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/df94258d-ed23-4a65-9fd9-d344f75f746e/

Hestetun JT, RappHT, Xavier JR (2017) Carnivorous sponges (Porifera, Cladorhizidae) from the Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge seamounts. Deep Sea Research II 137, 166-189.

Gaspar H, Cutignano A, Grauso L, Neng N, Cachatra V, Fontana A, Xavier JR, Cerejo M, Vieira, H, Santos S (2016) Erylusamides: Novel Atypical Glycolipids from Eryluscf. deficiens. Marine Drugs 14(10), 179.

Taboada S, Riesgo A, Blasco G, Solà J, Xavier JR, López-Legentil S (2015) Development of 10 microsatellite markers for the Atlanto-Mediterranean sponge Petrosia ficiformis. Conservation Genetics Resources 7(4), 895-897.

Xavier JR, Cárdenas P, Cristobo J, Van Soest RWM, Rapp HT (2015) Systematics and biodiversity of deep-sea sponges of the Atlanto-Mediterranean region (Foreword). JMBA of the UK 95(7), 1285-1286.

Xavier JR, Tojeira I, Van Soest RWM (2015) On a hexactinellid sponge aggregation at the Great Meteor seamount (North-east Atlantic). JMBA of the UK 95(7), 1389-1394.

Carvalho F, Pomponi SA, Xavier JR (2015) Lithistid sponges of the upper bathyal of Madeira, Selvagens and Canary Islands with description of a new species of Isabella. JMBA of the UK 95(7), 1287-1296.

Cristobo J, Pomponi SA, Rios P, Xavier JR (2015) A new carnivorous sponge, Chondrocladia robertballardi sp. nov. (Porifera: Cladorhizidae) from two Northeast Atlantic seamounts. JMBA of the UK 95(7), 1345-1352.

Van Syoc, Van Soest RWM, Xavier JR, Hooper JNA (2015) A Phylogenetic Overview of Sponge-inhabiting Barnacles and Their Host Specificity (Crustacea, Cirripedia). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 62(11), 331-357.

Graça AP, Viana F, Bondoso J, Correia MI, Gomes L, Humanes M, Reis A, Xavier JR, Gaspar H, Lage OM (2015) The antimicrobial activity of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from the marine sponge Erylus deficiens (Astrophorida, Geodiidae). Front. Microbiol. 6, 389.

Hardoim, CCP, Cardinale M, Cúcio ACB, Esteves, AIS, Berg G, Xavier JR, Cox CJ, Costa R (2014) Effects of sample handling and cultivation bias on the specificity of bacterial communities in keratose marine sponges. Frontiers in Microbiology 5, 611.

Graça AP, Bondoso J, Gaspar H, Xavier JR, Monteiro MC, de la Cruz M, Oves-Costales D, Vicente F, Lage OM (2013) Antimicrobial activity of heterotrophic bacterial communities from the marine sponge Erylus discophorus (Astrophorida, Geodiidae). PLoS ONE 8(11): e78922.

Esteves AIS, Hardoim CCP, Xavier JR, Gonçalves MS, Costa R (2013) Molecular richness and biotechnological potential of bacteria cultured from Irciniidae sponges in the Northeast Atlantic. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 85(3): 519-536.

Hardoim CCP, Esteves AIS, Pires FR, Gonçalves JMS, Cox CJ, Xavier JR, Costa R (2012) Phylogenetically and spatially close marine sponges harbour divergent bacterial communities. PLoS ONE 7(12), e53029.

Xavier JR, Van Soest RWM (2012) Diversity patterns and zoogeography of the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean shallow-water sponge fauna. Hydrobiologia 687(1), 107-125.

Araújo M, Xavier JR, Nunes CD, Vaz PD, Humanes M (2012) Marine sponge melanin: a new source of an old biopolymer. Structural Chemistry 23(1), 115-122.

Cárdenas P, Xavier JR, Reveillaud J, Schander C, Rapp HT (2011) Molecular phylogeny of the Astrophorida (Porifera, Demospongiae) reveals an unexpected high level of spicule homoplasy. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18318 

Xavier JR, Van Soest RWM, Breeuwer JAJ, Frias Martins AMF, Menken SBJ (2010b) Phylogeography, genetic diversity and structure of the poecilosclerid sponge Phorbas fictitius at oceanic islands. Contributions to Zoology 79, 119-129.

Xavier JR, Rachello-Dolmen PG, Parra-Velandia F, Schönberg CHL, Breeuwer JAJ, Van Soest RWM (2010a) Molecular evidence of cryptic speciation in the “cosmopolitan” excavating sponge Cliona celata (Porifera, Clionaidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56, 13-20.

Reveillaud J, Remerie T, Van Soest RWM, Erpenbeck D, Cárdenas P, Sofie Derycke S, Xavier JR, Rigaux A, Vanreusel A (2010) Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships between Atlanto-Mediterranean shallow-water and deep-sea coral associated Hexadella species (Porifera, Ianthellidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56, 104-114.

Webster N, Xavier JR, Freckleton M, Motti C, Cobb R (2008) Shifts in microbial and chemical patterns within the marine sponge Aplysina aerophoba during a disease outbreak. Environmental Microbiology 10(12), 3366-3376. 

Marques D, Esteves A, Almeida M, Xavier JR, Humanes M (2008) Superoxide dismutase in the marine sponge Cliona celata. Marine Biology 153, 807-813.

Xavier JR, Van Soest RWM (2007) Demosponge fauna of Ormonde and Gettysburg Seamounts (Gorringe Bank, Northeast Atlantic): diversity and zoogeographical affinities. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U. K. 87, 1643-1653.

Cárdenas P, Xavier JR, Tendal O, Schander C, Rapp HT (2007) Redescription and resurrection of Pachymatisma normani (Demospongiae: Geodiidae), with remarks on the genus Pachymatisma. J. Mar.Biol. Ass. U. K. 87, 1511-1525.

Academic article
Editorial

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

Teaching and supervision

Supervision of (under)graduate students

PhD candidate Anna Patova (ongoing) - Conservation genomics of North Atlantic deep-sea sponge grounds: assessing diversity, connectivity and vulnerability of habitat-forming species (PhD, main supervisor).

PhD Heidi Meyer (2018-2022) - Biodiversity and spatial ecology of arctic sponge grounds in the Nordic Seas (PhD, co-supervisor). 

PhD Francisca Carvalho (2015-2020) - Rock sponges (Lithistid Demospongiae) of the North Atlantic: diversity, phylogeny and biogeography. (PhD, co-supervisor).  

PhD Adriana Alvizu (2013-2019) - Taxonomy and phylogeny of calcaronean sponges (Porifera, Calcarea). (PhD, co-supervisor). 

MSc Tone Ulvatn (2015-2017) - A reverse taxonomic approach to asess the community composition of sponge grounds in the Nordic Seas. (MSc, main supervisor). 

MSc Nickolas Hawkes (2015-2017) - Epibenthic megafauna associated with sponge grounds formed by the unique glass sponge Vazella pourtalesii in Emerald Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada. (MSc, co-supervisor).  

MSc Ida Vee (2015-2016) - Towards improved management of deep-sea sponge grounds in Norwegian waters. (MSc, co-supervisor).