Rosenstiel School

Diego Lirman

Diego Lirman

Associate Professor Department of Marine Biology and Ecology

University of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149


Tel: (305) 421-4168

Lab Website

Google Scholar Profile

My research emphasis is on the disturbance ecology of coastal ecosystems. Over the past 10 years, I have worked on diverse projects to: 1) evaluate the health of seagrasses, macroalgae, and coral reef communities, 2) estimate the impacts of multiple human and natural stressors on these susceptible natural resources, and 3) predict the potential impacts of future disturbances on these systems. My research has included a combination of extensive field monitoring, laboratory experiments, and simulation modelling framed within an ecological risk assessment protocol to document present-day condition of biological endpoints, susceptibility to stressors, and forecast future status based on simulated disturbance scenarios. My research is presently focused on developing a better understanding of the potential effects of changes in hydrology, water quality, and exploitation levels on benthic communities of Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Books and Monographs Published

Davis, S., D. Lirman, and J. Wozniak. Nitrogen and phosphorus exchange among tropical coastal ecosystems. In: Nagelkerken, I. (ed), Ecological Connectivity Among Tropical Coastal Ecosystems. Springer Press. p. 9-43, 2009.

Santos, R., D. Lirman, and S. Pittman. 2015. Long-term spatial dynamics in vegetated seascapes: fragmentation and habitat loss in a human-impacted subtropical lagoon. Marine Ecology (In Press). DOI: 10.1111/maec.12259

Schopmeyer, S., and D. Lirman. 2015. Occupation dynamics and impacts of damselfish territoriality on recovering populations of the threatened staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. PLOS One (In Press).

Lohr, K., S. Bejarano, D. Lirman, S. Schopmeyer, and C. Manfrino. 2015. Optimizing the productivity of a coral nursery focused on staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis. Endangered Species Research 27:243-250.

Juried or Refereed Journal Articles and Exhibitions

Cooper, W., D. Lirman, M. Schmale, and D. Lipscomb. Consumption of coral spat by histophagic ciliates. Coral Reefs, 26:49-50, 2007.

  1. Eakin, M., J. Morgan, S. Heron, T. Smith, G. Liu, L. Alvarez-Filip, B. Baca, E. Bartels, C. Bastidas, C. Bouchon, M. Brandt, A. Bruckner, L. Bunkley-Williams, A. Cameron, B. Causey, M. Chiappone, T. Christensen, M. J. Crabbe, O. Day, E. de la Guardia, G. Diaz-Pulido, D. DiResta, D. Gil-Agudelo, D. Gilliam, R. Ginsburg, S. Gore, H. Guzman, J. Hendee, E. Hernandez-Delgado, E. Husain, C. Jeffrey, R. Jones, E. Jordán-Dahlgren, L. Kaufman, D. Kline, P. Kramer, J. Lang, D. Lirman, J. Mallela, C. Manfrino, J-Philippe Maréchal, K. Marks, J. Mihaly, W. J. Miller, E. Mueller, E. Muller, C. Orozco Toro, H. Oxenford, D. Ponce-Taylor, N. Quinn, K. Ritchie, S. Rodr’guez, A. Rodr’guez-Ram’rez, S. Romano, J. Samhouri, J. Sanchez, G. Schmahl, B Shank, W. Skirving, S. Steiner, E. Villamizar, S. Walsh, C. Walter, E. Weil, E. Williams, K. Woody, and Y. Yusuf. Caribbean corals in crisis: record thermal stress, bleaching, and mortality in 2005. PloSOne (In Press), 2010.
  2. Huntington, B., M. Karnauskas, E. Babcock, and D. Lirman. Untangling natural seascape variation from marine reserve effects using a landscape approach. PloSOne 5:1-9, 2010.
  3. Lirman, D., A. Bowden-Kerby, S. Schopmeyer, B. Huntington, T. Thyberg, M. Gough, T. Gough, R. Gough, Y. Gough. A window to the past: documenting the status of one of the last remaining “megapopulations” of the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis in the Dominican Republic. Aquatic Conservation: Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems DOI: 10.1002/aqc.1146, 2010.
  4. Lirman, D., T. Thyberg, J. Herlan, C. Hill, C. Young-Lahiff, S. Schopmeyer, B. Huntington, R. Santos, and C. Drury. Propagation of the threatened staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis: methods to minimize the impacts of fragment collection and maximize production. Coral Reefs 29:729-735, 2010.
  5. Lirman, D., N. Gracias, B. Gintert, A. Gleason, G. Deangelo, M. Dick, E. Martinez, and R. P. Reid. Damage and recovery assessment of vessel grounding injuries on coral reef habitats using georeferenced landscape video mosaics. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, 8:88-97, 2010.
  6. Gleason, A.R., N. Gracias, D. Lirman, P. Reid, B. Gintert, T. Smith, C. Moses, and M. Dick. Landscape video  mosaic from a mesophotic coral ecosystem. Coral Reefs, 29:253, 2010
  7. Lirman, D. and D. Manzello. Patterns of resistance and resilience of the stress-tolerant coral Siderastrearadians (Pallas) to sub-optimal salinity and sediment burial. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 369:72-77, 2009.
  8. Lirman, D., G. Deangelo, J. Serafy, A. Hazra, D. Smith Hazra, J. Herlan, J. Luo, S. Bellmund, J. Wang, and R. Clausing. Seasonal changes in the abundance and distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation in a highly managed coastal lagoon. Hydrobiologia, 596:105-120, 2008. 
  9. Lirman, D., G. Deangelo, J. Serafy, A. Hazra, D. Smith Hazra, and A. Brown. Geospatial video monitoring of nearshore benthic habitats of western Biscayne Bay (Florida, USA) using the Shallow-Water Positioning System (SWaPS). Journal of Coastal Research, 24:135-145, 2008.
  10. Manzello, D.P., M. Brandt, T. B. Smith, D. Lirman, J. C. Hendee, and R. S. Nemeth. Hurricane-associated cooling benefits bleached corals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104:12035-12039, 2007.    
  11. Lirman, D. and P. Fong. Is proximity to land-based sources of coral stressors an appropriate measure of risk to coral reefs? An example from the Florida Reef Tract. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 54:779-791, 2007.
  12. Gleason,A.C.R., D. Lirman, D. Williams, N.R. Gracias, B.E. Gintert, H. Madjidi , R.P. Reid, G.C. Boynton, S. Negahdaripour, M. Miller, and P. Kramer. Documenting hurricane impacts on coral reefs using two-dimensional video-mosaic technology. Marine Ecology, 28:254-258, 2007.
  13. Lirman, D., N. Gracias, B. Gintert, A. R. Gleason, R.P. Reid, S. Negahdaripour, and P. Kramer. Development and Application of a Video-Mosaic Survey Technology for Coral Reef Monitoring. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 125:59-73, 2007.
  14. Lirman, D. and M. Miller. Modeling and monitoring tools to assess recovery status and convergence rates between restored and undisturbed coral reef habitats. Restoration Ecology, 11:488-456, 2004.
  15. Manzello, D. and D. Lirman. The photosynthetic resilience of Porites furcata to salinity disturbance. Coral Reefs, 22:537-540, 2003.
  16. Lirman, D., B. Orlando, S. Maciá, D. Manzello, L. Kaufman, P. Biber, and T. Jones. Coral communities of Biscayne Bay, Florida and adjacent offshore areas: Diversity, abundance, distribution, and environmental correlates. Aquatic Conservation, 13:121-135, 2003.
  17. Lirman, D. and W.P. Cropper Jr.  The influence of salinity on seagrass growth, survivorship, and distribution within Biscayne Bay, Florida: field, experimental, and modeling studies. Estuaries, 26:131-141, 2003.
  18. Lirman, D. A simulation model of the population dynamics of the branching coral Acropora palmata. Effects of storm intensity and frequency. Ecological Modeling, 161:169-182, 2003.
  19. Irlandi, E , B. Orlando, S. Macia, P. Biber, T. Jones, L. Kaufman, D. Lirman, and E. Patterson. The influence of freshwater runoff on biomass, morphometrics, and production of Thalassia testudinum. Aquatic Botany, 72:67-78, 2002.
  20. Lirman, D., D. Manzello, and S. Maciá. Back from the dead: the resilience of Siderastrea radians to severe stress. Coral Reefs, 21:291-292, 2002.
  21. Lirman, D. Competition between macroalgae and corals: effects of herbivore exclusion and increased algal biomass on coral survivorship and growth. Coral Reefs, 19:392-399, 2001.
  22. Gentile, J.H.,  M. A. Harwell, W. Cropper, C. C. Harwell, D. DeAngelis, S. Davis, J. C. Ogden, D. Lirman. Ecological Conceptual Models: A Framework and Case Study on Ecosystem Management for South Florida Sustainability. Science of the Total Environment, 274:231-253, 2001.
  23. Cropper, W. P. Jr., D. Lirman, S. C. Tosini, D. DiResta, J. Luo, and J. Wang. Sponge population dynamics in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 53:13-23, 2001.
  24. Lirman, D., P.W. Glynn, A.C. Baker, and G.E. Leyte Morales. Combined effects of three sequential storms on the Huatulco coral reef tract. Bulletin of Marine Science, 69:267-278, 2001.
  25. Lirman, D. and P. Biber. Seasonal dynamics of algal communities of the Northern Florida Reef Tract. Botanica Marina, 43:305-314, 2000.
  26. Lirman, D.Fragmentation in the branching coral Acropora palmata (Lamarck): growth, survivorship, and reproduction of colonies and fragments. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 251:41-57, 2000.
  27. Lirman, D. Lesion regeneration in the branching coral Acropora palmata: effects of colonization, colony size, lesion size, and lesion shape. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 197:209-215, 2000.
  28. Maciá, S. and D. Lirman. Destruction of Florida Bay seagrasses by an grazing front of sea urchins. Bulletin of Marine Science, 65:593-601, 1999.
  29. Lirman, D. Reef fish communities associated with coral Acropora palmata: relationships to benthic attributes. Bulletin of Marine Science, 65:235-252, 1999.
  30. Lirman, D and P. Fong. Patterns of damage to the branching coral Acropora palmata following Hurricane Andrew: damage and survivorship of hurricane-generated recruits. Journal of Coastal Research, 13:67-72, 1997.
  31. Fong, P., M. Jacobson, M. Mescher, D. Lirman, and M. Harwell. Investigating the management potential of a seagrass model through sensitivity and experiments. Ecological Applications, 7:300-315, 1997.
  32. Lirman, D. and P. Fong. Sequential storms cause zone-specific damage on a reef in the northern Florida Reef Tract: evidence from Hurricane Andrew and the 1993 Storm of the Century. Florida Scientist, 59:50-64, 1996.
  33. Fong, P. and D. Lirman. Hurricanes cause population expansion of the branching coral Acropora palmata (Scleractinia): wound healing and growth patterns of asexual recruits. Marine Ecology, 16:317-335, 1995.
  34. Lirman, D. and P. Fong. The effects of Hurricane Andrew and Tropical Storm Gordon on Florida reefs. Coral Reefs, 14:172, 1995.
  35. Fong, P. and D. Lirman. Damage and recovery of a coral reef after Hurricane Andrew. National Geographic Research and Exploration, 10:246-248, 1994.
  36. Lirman, D. Ontogenetic shifts in habitat preferences in the three-spot damselfish, Stegastes planifrons (Cuvier), in Roatan Island, Honduras. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 180:71-81, 1994.

Other works, publications and abstracts:

  1. Lirman, D., J. Herlan, C. Langdon, and T. Capo. Exposure to nutrient-­enriched sediments mitigates the negative impacts of sedimentation on coral growth in the Caribbean corals Porites astreoides and Siderastrea siderea. Proceedings 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, 900-904, 2009.
  2. Gintert, B., N. Gracias, D. Lirman, A.C.R. Gleason, P. Kramer, and R.P. Reid. Second-generation landscape mosaics of coral reefs. Proceedings 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, 577-581, 2009.
  3. 3. Herlan, J. and D. Lirman. The development of a coral nursery program for the threatened coral Acropora cervicornis in Florida. Proceedings 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, 1244-1247, 2009.
  4. Bouchon, C., P. Portillo, Y. Bouchon-Navaro, M. Loius, P. Hoetjes, K. De Meyer, D. Macrae, H. Armstrong, V. Datadin, S. Harding, J. Mallela, R. Parkinson, J-W. Van Bochove, D. Lirman, J, Herlan, A. Baker, L. Collado and S.C. Isaac. Status of Coral Reef Resources of the Lesser Antilles: The French West Indies, The Netherlands Antilles, Anguilla, Antigua, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago. In: Wilkinson, C. (ed.). Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008. Australian Institute for Marine Science, Australia. p. 265-279, 2008.
  5. Lirman, D., and G. Deangelo. Geospatial Video Monitoring of Benthic Habitats Using the Shallow-Water Positioning System (SWaPS). Proceedings of the MTS/IEEE Oceans 2007 Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 2007.
  6. Boukerrou, L., C. Grecsek L. Alpert, M.J. Matthews, and D. Lirman. Methodology for preparing cumulative impacts sections of project reviews and assessments in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida. The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative/Maritime Industry and Coastal Construction Impacts. 17 p, 2006
  7. Lirman, D and P. Fong. Susceptibility of coral communities to storm intensity, duration and frequency. Proceedings 8th International Coral Reef Symposium, Panama, 1:561-566, 1998.
  8. Lirman, D., Thyberg, T., Santos, R., Schopmeyer, S., Drury, C., Collado-Vides, L., Bellmund, S., & Serafy, S. (2014): SAV communities of western Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, USA: Human and natural drivers of seagrass and macroalgae abundance and distribution along a continuous shoreline. Estuaries and Coasts (In Press).
  9. Enochs, I.C., Manzello, D.P., Carlton, R., Schopmeyer, S., van Hooidonk, R., & Lirman, D. (2014): Effects of light and elevated pCO2 on the growth and photochemical efficiency of Acropora cervicornis. Coral Reefs 33, 477-485.
  10. Cooper, W. T., Lirman, D., Porter VanGroningen, M., Parkinson, J.E., Herlan, J., & McManus, J.W. (2014): Assessing techniques to enhance early post-settlement survival of corals in situ for reef restoration. Bull. Mar. Sci. 90, 661-674.
  11. Serafy, J.E., Gillette, P., Miller, M.W., Lirman, D., & Capo, T.R. (2013): Incorporating herbivorous sea urchins in ramet culture of staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. Endang. Sp. Res. 22, 183-189.
  12. Collado-Vides, Avila, L.C., Blair, S., Rodríguez, D., T. Thyberg, Schneider, S., Rojas, J., Sweeney, P., Drury, C., & Lirman, D. (2013): A persistent bloom of Anadyomene Lamouroux species (Anadyomenaceae, Chlorophyta) in Biscayne Bay, Florida. Aq. Bot. 111, 95-103.
  13. Lirman, D., Formel, N., Schopmeyer, S., Ault, J., Smith, S., Gilliam, D., & Riegl, B. (2013): Percent recent mortality as an ecological indicator of disturbance impacts and reef condition. Ecol. Ind. (In Press). 
  14. Schopmeyer, S., Lirman, D., Bartels E., Byrne, J., Gilliam, D., Hunt, J., Johnson, M., Larson, E., Maxwell, K., Nedimyer, K., & Walter, C. (2012): In-situ coral nurseries serve as genetic repositories for coral reef restoration after an extreme cold-water event. Rest. Ecol. 20, 696-703.
  15. Santos, R. & Lirman, D. (2012): Using habitat suitability models to predict changes in seagrass niche distribution caused by water management practices. Can. J. Fish. Aq. Sci. 69, 1380-1388.
  16. Huntington, B.E. & Lirman, D. (2012): Coral species richness estimates are sensitive to differences in reef size and regional diversity. Limnol. Oceanogr: Methods 10, 110-116.
  17. Huntington, B.E. & Lirman, D. (2012): Species-area relationships in coral communities evaluating mechanisms for a commonly observed pattern. Coral Reefs 31, 929-938.
  18. Young, C., Schopmeyer, S., & Lirman, D. (2012): A review of reef restoration and coral propagation using the threatened genus Acropora in the Caribbean and Western Atlantic. Bull. Mar. Sci. 84, 1075-1098.
  • Drury, Crawford
  • Zink, Ian
  • MBF 515 &mdash Tropical Marine Ecology

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