Diego del Villar


Post-Doctoral Research Associate

E-Mail Address

Phone Number

+44 (0)1847 889673

Job Description

Dr. Diego del Villar is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands (Thurso, Scotland), in the field of fish biology.
His research interests are in behavioural ecology, physiological ecology, conservation biology, and fisheries ecology. In his research, Diego applies state-of-the-art methods in the field of animal biotelemetry (acoustic, radio and PIT-tag telemetry) to study the spatial behaviour and migration of fish; variations in habitat use and life history strategy; evaluation of anthropogenic effects on fish migration; and fisheries management. His research involves the most advanced statistical modelling techniques to resolve the underlying scientific questions. These include GLMs, GLMM, GAMs, MCMC, discriminant analysis, PCAs, particle tracking models etc.

Diego is currently the coordinator of the Petland Salmon Initiative: A research partnership exploring the potential interactions between migratory fish and marine renewables in the North of Scotland.


Post-Doctoral Research Associate
August 2014 to present
Environmental Research Institute (ERI), Scotland

PhD. work
2010 – 2014
Technical University of Denmark (DTU-Aqua), Denmark

MSc., work and Research assistant

Coastal and Marine Resources Centre, University College Cork, Ireland
2008 –  2010


• August 2014 to present: Post-Doctoral Research Associate. Fisheries Scientist. Environmental Research Institute (Scotland).

• 2014: PhD. in Freshwater fisheries and ecology. Technical University of Denmark. DTU-AQUA, (Denmark).

• 2010: MSc. in Marine geomatics. Coastal & Marine Research Centre, University College Cork (Ireland).

• 2005: B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences.University of Salamanca (Spain).


Aarestrup, K., Baktoft, H., Koed, A., del Villar-Guerra, D. & Thorstad, E., 2014. Comparison of the riverine and early marine migration behaviour and survival of wild and hatchery-reared sea trout Salmo trutta smolts. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

del Villar-Guerra, D., Aarestrup, K., Skov, C. & Koed, A. 2013. Marine migrations in anadromous brown trout (Salmo trutta). Fjord residency as a possible alternative in the continuum of migration to the open sea. Ecology of Freshwater Fish.

Näslund, J., Rosengren, M., del Villar-Guerra, D., Gansel, L., Norrgård, J., Persson, L., Winkowski, J. & Kvingedal, E. 2013. Hatchery tank enrichment affects cortisol levels and shelter-seeking in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

del Villar-Guerra, D., Cronin, M., Dabrowski, T. & Bartlett, D. 2012. Seals as collectors of oceanographic data in the coastal zone. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.


My research focusses on the potential impacts of marine renewables developments on fish. To do that I use electronic devices (fish tags and receivers) which allow researchers to quantify migratory behavior, and spatial/temporal patterns of fish habitat use around the areas in which the offshore renewables will be implemented (e.g. Pentland and Moray Firth in Scotland).This research area is designed to play a pivotal role in the development of the renewable energy sector in Scotland.