Dr Darren Fa, BA (QTS), MA, PhD, CBiol, FLS

Dr Darren Fa, BA (QTS), MA, PhD, CBiol, FLS Image

Chair of Research And Research Degrees Committee.

University of Gibraltar:

Director of Academic Programmes & Research
Executive Team
PhD Supervisor
Natural Sciences & Environment
Academic Board
Academic Quality & Standards Committee
Research & Research Degrees Committee

Research Background

After obtaining a first-class honours degree in Education with QTS in 1990, Darren taught for ten years during which he read for and completed his PhD in Biological Oceanography at the University of Southampton. He then moved to the Gibraltar Museum in 1999 during which time he also read for a Masters Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. Darren was then chosen to be seconded as part of the team that developed and implemented the roadmap for the creation of the University of Gibraltar, eventually joining its team as Director of Academic Programmes and Research in 2014.

He is responsible for all the academic research that takes place under the aegis of the Research Office of the University, and is a member of the University’s Research and Research Degrees Committee as well as its Academic Board. He is also directly responsible for the development and delivery of a number of its academic programmes, having personally written the specifications for the MSc in Marine Science and Climate Change and the University’s flagship PhD programme.

As well as co-editing and authoring a number of books, he has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters mainly on ecological, palaeoecological and archaeological subjects, and has been principal investigator on a number of EU and EFCHED funded projects, several of which received international awards.

Amongst other things, Darren is a member of HMGoG’s statutory Nature Conservancy Council, Climate Change Committee and Scientific Diving Committee, as well as member of the UNESCO WHS Gorham’s Cave Complex Action Forum. He is an appointed mentor on the Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort and European Commission Expert on Environment and Higher Education. He is a registered Scientific Diver, a Chartered Biologist by the Royal Society of Biology and Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He is married with three daughters and somehow finds time to dive, ride and play music when he can.

Research Interests

Darren’s research mainly focuses on the marine ecology of the rocky intertidal and shallow benthos, particularly on aspects of diversity and conservation. He is a recognised authority on the highly endangered Mediterranean ribbed limpet, Patella ferruginea. Other research has concentrated on the archaeological and ecological implications of global climatic events (particularly Pleistocene glacial events and sea-level changes) on the behaviour, distribution, evolutionary dynamics and extinction of palaeofauna including prehistoric human populations, with special reference to the relationship between people and the sea in the past.


    • Masters in Marine Science & Climate Change (Msc)
    • PhD Research

Selected Publications

Mackelworth, P.C., Teff Seker, Y., Vega Fernández, T., Marques, M., Lopes Alves, F., D’Anna, G., Fa, D.A., Goldborough, D., Kyriazi. Z., Pita, C., Portman, M.E., Rumes, B., Warr, S.J. & Holcer, D. (2019). Geopolitics and Marine Conservation: Synergies and Conflicts. Frontiers in Marine Science, 6: Article 759, DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00759.

Fa, D.A., Finlayson, G., Sempere-Valverde, J. & García-Gómez, J.C. (2018). ‘Impossible’ re-introduction of the endangered limpet Patella ferruginea Gmelin, 1791? Progress in resolving translocation mortality. Endangered Species Research, 37: 219-232 DOI: 10.3354/esr00921.

Fa, D.A., Finlayson, J.C., Finlayson, G., Giles Pacheco, F., Rodríguez-Vidal, J. & Gutíerrez López, J.M. (2016). Marine Mollusc exploitation as evidenced by the Gorham’s Cave (Gibraltar) excavations 1998-2005: the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic Transition. Quaternary International, 407: 16–28.

García-Gómez, J.C., Guerra-García, J.M., Espinosa, F., Maestre, M.J., Rivera-Ingraham, G., Fa, D.A. & González, A.R. (2014). Artificial marine reserves networks: an innovative approach to conserve marine littoral biodiversity and protect endangered species. Marine Ecology, DOI:10.1111/maec.12167.

Rodríguez-Vidal, J., d’Errico, F., Giles Pacheco, F., Blasco, R., Rodell, J., Jennings, R.P., Queffelec, A., Finlayson, G., Fa, D.A., Gutíerrez López, J.M., Carrión, J.S., Negro, J.J., Finlayson, S., Cáceres, L.M., Bernal, M.A., Fernández Jimenez, S & Finlayson, C. (2014). A rock engraving made by Neanderthals in Gibraltar. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,

Colonese, A., Mannino, M.A., Bar-Yosef Mayer, D.E., Fa, D.A., Finlayson, J.C., Lubell, D. & Stiner, M.C. (2011). Marine mollusc exploitation in Mediterranean prehistory: an overview. Quaternary International, 239: 86–103.

Fa, D.A., Finlayson, G. & Finlayson, C. (2011). Applying a Conservation Prioritization approach to Submerged and Coastal Heritage Sites. ARCHAEOMAP Programme Handbook ‘Archaeological Management Policies in the Mediterranean’, UNESCO pp. 107–116.

Ferguson, J.E., Henderson, G.M., Fa, D.A., Finlayson, J.C. & Charnley, N.R. (2011). Increased seasonality in the Western Mediterranean during the last glacial from limpet shell geochemistry. Earth & Planetary Science Letters, 308: 325–333.

Fa, D.A. (2008). Effects of tidal amplitude on intertidal resource availability and dispersal pressure in prehistoric human coastal populations: the Mediterranean-Atlantic transition. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27 (23-24): 2194–2209.

Finlayson, C., Giles Pacheco, F., Rodriguez-Vidal, J. Fa, D.A., Gutierrez López, J.M., Santiago Pérez, A., Finlayson, G., Allue, E., Preysler, J., Cáceres, I., Carrión, J.S., Férnandez Jalvo, Y., Gleed-Owen, C., Jimenez Espejo, F.J., López, P., López Sáez, J.A., Riquelme Cantal, J.A., Sánchez Marco, A., Giles Guzman, F., Brown, K., Fuentes, N., Valarino, C., Villalpando, A., Stringer, C., Martinez Ruiz, F. & Sakamoto, T. (2006). Late survival of Neanderthals at the southernmost extreme of Europe. Nature, 443: 850–853.

Full Publications List