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Anmari Alvarez Aleman

Anmari Alvarez Aleman is a PhD student at University of Florida, United States focusing on the endangered Antillean manatee (Trichechus manatus) in Cuba. Despite the importance of the manatee population in Cuba within the Antillean region, it has been reported that there has been a decrease in the number of individuals and at the same time an increase in the number of threats that impact the species. Despite this, there are no recognized “management units” identified in Cuba in order to establish an appropriate conservation/management program. The geographic position of Cuba within the region may have led to peculiarities in the genetic structure if they can be compared with other areas. Understanding these parameters could be useful to better describe the phylogenetic relationship among all West Indian manatee populations. Conservation genetics can provide information about the health of the population as well. These tools will allow for more accurate estimations of dispersal, gene flow, size of the populations, reproductive success and reproduction strategies, as well as social organization systems. In addition, understanding the habitat use and movement patterns of manatees will help provide recommendations for conservation actions and management plans of critical protected areas throughout the country.

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