Background and activities


Research Interests

  • My scientific interests are as broad as general invertebrate zoology and marine biology, but I do concentrate my research on marine annelids and other benthic invertebrates.

  • I am interested in the assessment of the systematics and phylogenetic relationships of polychaetes at different taxonomic levels and combining different sources of data.

  • I am also trying to stablish the species boundaries with the aim of revealing the diversity of particular groups of polychaetes and their population structure. But also assesing the status of translocated and cryptic species.

  • Some of the groups of polychaetes that I am working with at present include sphaerodorids, sabellids, oweniids and sabellariids.

  • I am also interested in conservation issues.


  • 2004 PhD in Biological Sciences, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), Spain. Dissertation: Study of the coralline cryptofaunal community and polychaete annelids (Annelida: Polychaeta) living in hard substrates, in the National Park of Coiba, Panama.

  • 1997-1999 M. Sc. in Environmental Biology.

  • 1997 B. Sc. in Biology (Environmental Biology), UAM, Spain.


Research positions

  • 2012- Postdoctoral researcher, Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, NTNU, Trondheim.

  • 2008-2011 Postdoctoral researcher. Australia Biological Resources Study (ABRS)/Australian Museum (AM), Sydney

  • 2005-2007 Postdoctoral fellow in Australian Museum. Fulbright/Spanish Ministry of Education and Sciences.

Lecturing positions

  • 2012- Lecturer in Biogeography and Biosystematics, NTNU, Trondheim.

  • 2004-2005 Part time lecturer, Department of Biology, Zoology Section, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.

Environmental consulting positions

  • 2003- 2005 ZOEA, difusión e investigación del medio marino S.L.

  • 2001- 2002 Tragsatec S.A.

  • 1998- 1998 ERPA S.L.

Research Projects and Grants (summary)

  • 2012-2015 Evolution and systematics of Sphaerodoridae, Annelida.

  • 2009-2012 Polychaete fauna of coral reefs: morphological and molecular characterisation and keys to species. PI. P. Hutchings, JI: M. Capa, C. Glasby, C. Watson, K. Gibbs. Funding body: Census of Marine Life (CReefs/ABRS).

  • 2008-2011 Systematics and phylogeny of Sabellida (Polychaeta). PI. P. Hutchings, JI. M. Capa. Funding body: AM/ABRS.

  • 2005-2007 Taxonomic revision and study of the phylogenetic relationships of the Australian Sabellidae (Polychaeta). PI. M. Capa. Funding body: Ministry of Sciences and Education, Spain and Fulbright Commission.

  • 2001-2002  Identification, characterisation, and geographic distribution of the Spanish Marine Natural Systems. PI: A. Luque, JI: M. Capa. Funding body: Tragsatec, S.A. and the National Parks Department, Environmental Ministry.

  • 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014. SYNTHESYS (Synthesis of Systematic Resources, European Commission) at National Museum of Natural History, London, Zoological Museum, Universität von Amsterdam, Swedish Museum, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid and Museum National, d`Histoire Naturelle.

Professional Memberships/Certification

  • Australian Museum Reseach Associate researcher, 2011-present 

  • Associate member University of Sydney, Australia, 2009-2011

  • International Invertebrate Morphology Association, since 2008

  • Positive evaluation as Profesor Ayudante Doctor by ANECA, Spain, 8 June 2008


  •  Torjus Haukvik. 2014. MsC Thesis. The distribution and diversity of species in the genus Owenia Polychaeta) in Norwegian waters. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Biology 56 p.

  • Mailie Gall. PhD student. Marine connectivity and dispersal in Australia: population genetics, assemblage formation and larval supply. University of Western Sydney/Australian Museum. 2011-present.

  • Ryan Keith. A new species of Philometra (Nematoda) from the gonads of the dusky flathead, Platycephalus fuscus.  Advance Biology, University of Sydney. 2009-2010.

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications