Sergio A. Balaguera-Reina, Ph.D.

Position and Affiliation

Quantitative ecologist, UF - Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center

Areas of Interest

Sergio is interested in understanding how ecological processes are influenced by spatiotemporal attributes and how those affect phylogeographic relationships among species in an anthropogenic world. He uses a combination of methods and technologies derived from fields such as ecology, molecular biology, systematics, conservation biology, and geosciences, to get an integrative view of effects, causes, and patterns. Sergio have been involved in several research projects related with population and community ecology, conservation biology, and ecological modeling across marine and continental systems, using mainly crocodylians as study objects. His current research is focused on understanding the structural and functional roles these species play in aquatic and coastal systems, their phylogeographic relationships, and the effect of those in current and future distribution patterns.


Ph.D. Biological Sciences. Texas Tech University, TX, United States. May 2018.

GradCert. Geographic Information Science and Technology. Texas Tech University, TX, United States. May 2018.

BSc. Marine Biology. Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, Bogotá, Colombia. August 2007.

Project Involvement

As quantitative ecologist and database manager, Sergio is currently involved in all projects handled by the CrocDocs (crocodylian and invasive species research and monitoring programs). He is also leading and collaborating in several projects on ecology and phylogeography of crocodylians in South and Central America.


Balaguera-Reina S.A., J.D. Konvalina, R.S. Mohammed, B. Gross, R. Vazquez, J.F. Moncada, S. Ali, E.A. Hoffman, L.D. Densmore. 2021. From the river to the ocean: mitochondrial DNA analyses provide evidence of spectacled caimans (Caiman crocodilus Linnaeus 1758) mainland-insular dispersal. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 10.1093/biolinnean/blab094

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., A. Vargas-Castillo, L.D. Densmore. 2021. Population ecology of the spectacled caiman (Caiman crocodilus) in the Apaporis River middle basin. Ecosphere. 10.1002/ecs2.3532.

Franco Pérez, L.M., P.A. Hincapié-Usma, C.A. Restrepo, S.A. Balaguera-Reina, and G. Guevara. 2020. Distribution and habitat use intensity of the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis Olfers, 1818) in a Colombian hydroelectric dam. Revista de Biología Tropical. 68(Suppl. 2): S177-S189 10.15517/RBT.V68IS2.44348

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., C. Pinzón-Barrera, N. Farfán-Ardila, D. Vargas-Ortega, L.D. Densmore. 2020. Individual identification patterns as a monitoring strategy for American crocodiles: Tayrona National Natural Park as a study case. Amphibia-Reptilia. 41(2021): 73-80 10.1163/15685381-bja10033.

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., J.F. Moncada-Jimenez, C.F. Prada-Quiroga, F. Hernandez-Gonzalez, N.W. Bolaños-Cubillos, N. Farfán-Ardila, L.M. Garcia-Calderón, L.D. Densmore. 2020. Tracking a voyager: mitochondrial DNA analyses reveal mainland-insular dispersal of an American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) across the Caribbean. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 131(3):647-655 10.1093/biolinnean/blaa121.

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., M Vargas-Ramírez, N. Ordóñez-Garza, F. Hernández-González1, L.D. Densmore III. 2020. Unveiling the mystery: Assessing the evolutionary trajectory of the Apaporis caiman population (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis, Medem 1955) via mitochondrial molecular makers. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 131(1):163-171. 10.1093/biolinnean/blaa096

Rodríguez-Cordero, A.L., S.A. Balaguera-Reina, and L.D. Densomore III. 2019. Regional conservation priorities for crocodylians in Bolivia. Journal for Nature Conservation. 51: 10.1016/j.jnc.2019.125753

Balaguera-Reina, S.A. 2019. Rediscovering the Apaporis caiman (Caiman crocodilus apaporiensis): Notes from a long-waited expedition. Journal of Herpetology. 53(4):310-315

Balaguera-Reina, S.A. and A. Velasco. 2019. Caiman crocodilus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T46584A3009688.

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., S. Bustillo, D. A. Zárrate-Charry, F. Charry, A. Cepeda-Mercado, and J. F. González-Maya. 2019. Conservation Status and Distribution Based on a Species Distribution Model of the Endemic Yellow-striped Poison Frog, Dendrobates truncatus (Cope, 1861), in Colombia. Herpetological Review 50(1):52-57.

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., A. Espinosa-Blanco, R. Antelo, M. Morales-Betancourt and A. Seijas. 2018. Crocodylus intermedius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T5661A3044743.

Balaguera-Reina S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, B. Rivera-Rivera, D. A. Morales Ramírez, and L. D. Densmore. 2018. How to estimate population size in crocodylians? Population ecology of American crocodiles in Coiba Island as study case. Ecosphere 9(10):e02474.10.1002/ecs2.2474

Balaguera-Reina, S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, V. Beltrán-López, A. Cristancho, and L. D. Densmore III 2018. Food habits and ontogenetic dietary partitioning of American crocodiles in a tropical Pacific Island in Central America. Ecosphere 9(9):e02393. 10.1002/ecs2.2393

Balaguera-Reina S.A. and N. Farfán-Ardila. 2018. Are we ready for successful apex predator conservation in Colombia? Human-Crocodylian interactions as a study case. Herpetological review 49(1):5-12.

Balaguera Reina S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, B. Rivera-Rivera, L.D. Densmore III. 2017. Scute Patterns as an Individual Identification Tool in an American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) Population on Coiba Island, Panama. Journal of Herpetology 51(4):523-531.

Balaguera-Reina S.A., A.S. Espinosa-Blanco, M.A. Morales-Betancourt, A.E. Seijas, C.A. Lasso, R. Antelo, L.D. Densmore III. 2017. Conservation Status and Regional Habitat Priorities for the Orinoco Crocodile: Past, Present, and Future. PLoS ONE. 12(2): e0172439.

Balaguera-Reina S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, A. Sánchez, I. Arbeláez, H.A. Lessios, L.D. Densmore III. 2016. Spatial Ecology of the American Crocodile in a Tropical Pacific Island in Central America. PLoS ONE 11(6): e.0157152.

Balaguera-Reina S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, O.I. Sanjur, H.A. Lessios, Ll. Densmore. 2015. Reproductive ecology and hatchlings' growth rates of American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) on Coiba island, Panama. South American Journal of Herpetology 10(1):10-22.

Venegas-Anaya, M., A. Escobedo-Galván, S.A. Balaguera-Reina, F. Lowrance, O. I. Sanjur, L.D. Densmore III. 2015. Population Ecology of American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Coiba National Park, Panama. Journal of Herpetology 49(3):349-357.

Balaguera-Reina S.A., M. Venegas-Anaya, Ll. Densmore. 2015. The biology and conservation status of the American crocodile in Colombia. Journal of Herpetology 49(2):200-206.