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Dr. Angelo Jason Spadaro

Staff Scientist & Program Manager

Coral Reef Restoration Program

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans


Dr. Spadaro’s research focuses on landscape scale restoration of Caribbean coral reef communities. His work involves manipulating ecological processes, such as grazing, to facilitate and support the restoration and recovery of coral reefs. His work is primarily focused on Florida’s Coral Reef, but he has active collaborative projects throughout the Caribbean including Belize and Mexico where he is part of a multi-national and multi-institution team working with a large native crab whose potential to facilitate large scale coral reef restoration is dramatic. His research is funded by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Monroe County Tourism Development Council, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Mote’s Protect Our Reefs grant program.


2019 Ph.D. Ecological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
2010 B.Sc. Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

Additional Publications

Gravinese PM, Perry S, Spadaro AJ, Boyd AE, Enochs IC (2022) Caribbean king crab larvae and juveniles show tolerance to ocean acidification and ocean warming. Marine Biology 169:65.

Spadaro AJ, Butler MJ (2021) Herbivorous crabs reverse the seaweed dilemma on coral reefs. Current Biology 31:1-7.

Gravinese PM, Page HN, Butler CB, Spadaro AJ, Hewett C, Considine M, Lankes D, Fisher S (2020) Ocean acidification disrupts the orientation of postlarval Caribbean spiny lobsters. Scientific Reports 10:18092.

Spadaro AJ, Butler MJ (2016) Cascading effects of the Caribbean king crab, Maguimithrax spinosissimus, on coral patch reef communities in the Florida Keys. Proceedings of the 69th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.

Spadaro AJ (2014) Caribbean coral reef restoration: a brief review and concept proposal of a new method. Proceedings of the 67th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.

Anderson JR, Spadaro AJ, Baeza JA, Behringer DB (2013) Ontogenetic shifts in resource allocation: colour change and allometric growth of defensive and reproductive structures in the Caribbean spiny lobster Panulirus argus. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 108:87-98.

Baeza JA, Anderson JR, Spadaro AJ, Behringer DB (2012) Sexual dimorphism, allometry, and size at first maturity of the Caribbean king crab, Mithrax spinosissimus, in the Florida Keys. Journal of Shellfish Research, 31(4):909-916.