Marine Science

Roy A. Armstrong, PhD

Faculty Member


Roy A. Armstrong, PhD    (Curriculum Vitae)

"Image of Roy A. Armstrong, PhD"Professor: Bio-optical Oceanography, Remote Sensing

Director, NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) at UPRM

Director, Bio-optical Oceanography Laboratory

PhD - University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, 1990


Department of Marine Sciences
University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus
PO Box 9000
Mayagüez, PR 00681-9000


Tel. (787) 899-2048 ext. 249, 248

Fax: (787) 899-2630; 899-5500

Email: roy.armstrong@upr.edu

Webpage: http://bio-optics.uprm.edu

Office: Magueyes Marine Laboratories



  • Variability of apparent and inherent optical properties in coastal waters.
  • Properties and impacts of Saharan dust aerosols in the Caribbean Sea.
  • Remote sensing of coral reefs, seagrasses and mangroves.
  • Relationships between water optics and coral reef community structure.
  • Hyperspectral remote sensing of water quality parameters.
  • Mesophotic and deep sea coral reef habitat characterization using the Seabed autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).
  • Calibration and validation of ocean color sensor data in southwestern Puerto Rico.





Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Torres-Pérez, J.L., R.A. Armstrong, and Y. Detrés. In review.Impacts of UV radiation on tropical marine organisms. In: Radosevich, J. (Ed.) UV radiation: Application, Processes and Mechanisms. NOVA Publishers.
  • Anderson, D.A., R.A. Armstrong, and E. Weil. 2013. Hyperspectral sensing of disease stress in the Caribbean reef-building coral, Orbicella faveolata - perspectives for the field of coral disease monitoring. PLoS ONE 8(12): e81478.
  • Torres-Pérez, J.L., L.S. Guildand R.A. Armstrong. 2012. Hyperspectral Distinction of Two Caribbean Shallow-Water Corals Based on Their Pigments and Corresponding Reflectance. Remote Sensing 4:3813-3832.
  • Armstrong, R.A. and H. Singh. 2012. Mesophotic Coral Reefs of the Puerto Rico Shelf. Chapter 24 In “Seafloor Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: GeoHab Atlas of seafloor geomorphic features and benthic habitats”, P.T. Harris and E.K. Baker (eds.), Elsevier Insights.
  • Torres J.L. and R.A. Armstrong. 2012. Effects of artificially-enhanced UV radiation on the growth, photosynthetic and photoprotective components, and reproduction of the Caribbean coral Porites furcata. Coral Reefs 31:1077-1091.
  • Locker S.D., R.A. Armstrong, T.A. Battista, J.J. Rooney, C. Sherman, and   D.G. Zawada. 2010. Geomorphology of mesophotic coral ecosystems: current perspectives on morphology, distribution, and mapping strategies. Coral Reefs 29:329-345.
  • Jiménez-Vélez B., Y. Detrés, R.A. Armstrong, and A. Gioda.  2009.  Characterization of African Dust (PM 2.5) across the Atlantic Ocean during AEROSE 2004.  Atmospheric Environment 43:2659–2664.
  • Armstrong, R.A., H. Singh, S. Rivero-Calle, and F. Gilbes.  2009.  Monitoring Coral Reefs in Optically-Deep Waters. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, July 2008: 593-597.
  • Rivero-Calle S, R.A. Armstrong, F.J. Soto-Santiago. 2009.Biological and physical characteristics of a mesophotic coral reef: Black Jack reef, Vieques, Puerto Rico. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, July 2008: 567-571.
  • Guild, L., B. Lobitz, R.A. Armstrong, F. Gilbes, A. Gleason, J. Goodman, E. Hochberg, M. Monaco, R. Berthold, and J. Kerr.  2009.  NASA Airborne AVIRIS and DCS Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, July 2008: 616-620.
  • Lobitz, B., L. Guild, M. Montes, R.A. Armstrong, and J. Goodman.  2009.  Pre-Processing of 2005 AVIRIS Data for Coral Reef Analysis. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, July 2008: 637-641.
  • Torres J.L., R.A. Armstrong, and E. Weil.  2008.  Enhanced ultraviolet radiation can terminate sexual reproduction in the broadcasting coral species Acropora cervicornis Lamarck. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 358:39-45.
  • Armstrong, R.A. 2007. Deep zooxanthellate coral reefs of the Puerto Rico - U.S. Virgin Islands insular platform. Coral Reefs, 26(4):945.
  • Suarez, E., J. Matta, M. Rolon, L. Maldonado, Y. Detrés, A. de la Motta, M. Gelado, J. Ramos, and R. Armstrong. 2008.Molecular identification of the bacterial burden in Sahara Dust Samples using a new method to improve the evidence for the effective management of public health measures during an SD event. Journal of Environmental Health Research 7(2):99-106.
  • Torres J.L., R.A. Armstrong, J.E. Corredor, and F. Gilbes. 2007. Physiological responses of Acropora cervicornis to increased solar irradiance.  Photochemistry and Photobiology 83:839-850.
  • Morris, V., T.W. Yu, E. Joseph, R. Armstrong, R. Fitzgerald, R. Karim, X.Z. Liang, and Q. Min. 2007. The NOAA Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS): Programs and Achievements. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88(2):141-145.
  • Matta, J.L., J. M. Ramos, R.A. Armstrong, and H. D’Antoni. 2007. Response of Human Fibroblasts to Very Low Doses of Environmental UV Radiation. Caribbean Journal of Dermatology and Therapeutics 2:16-27.
  • Morris, V., P. Clemente-Colon, N.R. Nalli, E. Joseph, R.A. Armstrong, Y. Detrés, M.D. Goldberg, P.J. Minnett, and R. Lumpkin. 2006. AEROSE Science Team Conducts Ongoing Investigations of Downwind Transport from Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa in the Tropical Atlantic.  EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union 87(50):565,571.
  • Costa, C. S. B., R. Armstrong, Y. Detrés, E. W. Koch, M. Bertiller, A. Beeskow, L. S.  Neves, G. M. Tourn, O. A. Bianciotto, L. B. Pinedo, A. Y. Blessio, and N. San   Roman.  2006.  Effect of Ultraviolet-B Radiation on Salt Marsh Vegetation: Trends of the Genus Salicornia along the Americas. Photochemistry and Photobiology 82: 878–886.
  • Díaz, S., C. Camilion, G. Deferrari, H. Fuenzalida, R. Armstrong, C. Booth, A. Paladini, S. Cabrera, C. Casiccia, C. Lovengreen, J. Pedroni, A. Rosales, H. Zagarese, and M. Vernet. 2006.  Ozone and UV Radiation over Southern South America: Climatology and Anomalies. Photochemistry and Photobiology 82: 834-843.
  • Armstrong, R.A., H. Singh, J. Torres, R. Nemeth, A. Can, C. Roman, R. Eustice, L. Riggs, and G. Garcia-Moliner.  2006. Characterizing the deep insular shelf coral reef habitat of the Hind Bank Marine Conservation District (US Virgin Islands) using the Seabed Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. Continental Shelf Research 26, 194-205.
  • Díaz, S., C.R. Booth, R. Armstrong, C. Brunat, S. Cabrera, C. Camilion, C. Cassiccia, G. Deferrari, H. Fuenzalida, C. Lovengreen, A. Paladini, J. Pedroni, A. Rosales, H. Zagarese, and M. Vernet. 2005.  Multi-channel radiometers calibration: A new approach. Applied Optics 44 (26): 5374-5380.
  • Schweizer, D., R.A. Armstrong, and J. Posada.  2005.  Remote sensing characterization of benthic habitats and submerged vegetation biomass in los Roques Archipelago National Park, Venezuela. Intl. J. of Remote Sensing 26(12): 2657-2667.
  • Matta, J., J. Ramos, R. Armstrong, and H. D’Antoni. 2005. Environmental UVA and UVB Threshold Doses for Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Fibroblasts. Photochemistry and Photobiology 81, 563-568.
  • Ramos, J., Villa, J., Ruiz, A., Armstrong, R., and J. L. Matta. 2004. UV dose determines key characteristics of non-melanoma skin cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 13(12): 2006-2011.
  • Armstrong, R.A., F. Gilbes, R. Guerrero, C. Lasta, and H. Miazán.  2004. Validation of SeaWiFS chlorophyll algorithm for the Rio de la Plata Estuary and adjacent waters. Intl. J. of Remote Sensing 25(7-8):1501-1505.
  • Gilbes, F. and R.A. Armstrong.  2004.  Phytoplankton dynamics in the eastern Caribbean Sea as detected by space remote sensing. Intl. J. of Remote Sensing 25(7-8):1449-1452.
  • Corredor, J., J. Morell, J. López, J. Capella and R.A. Armstrong.  2004. Cyclonic Eddy Entrains Orinoco River Plume in Eastern Caribbean. EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union 85(20):197, 201-202.
  • Singh, H., R.A. Armstrong, R. Eustice, C. Roman, O. Pizarro, and J.Torres. 2004.  Imaging Coral I: Imaging Coral Habitats with the SeaBED AUV.  Subsurface Sensing Technologies and Applications 5(1):25-42.
  • Corredor, J.,  J. Morell,  J. López, R. Armstrong,  A. Dieppa, C. Cabanillas, A. Cabrera and V. Hensley.  2003.  Remote continental forcing of phytoplankton biogeochemistry: Observations across the “Caribbean-Atlantic front”. Geophysical Research Letters 30(20):1-4.
  • Armstrong, R.A., H. Singh, and F. Gilbes.  2002.  Benthic Survey of Insular Slope Coral Reefs Using the SeaBED AUV.  Backscatter 13(3): 22-25.
  • Gilbes, F., R.A. Armstrong, R. Webb, and F. Muller-Karger.  2001. SeaWiFS Helps Assess Hurricane Impact in the Caribbean Sea. EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Vol. 82, No. 45, pages 529 and 533.
  • Detrés, Y., R.A. Armstrong, and X. Connelly.  2001. Ultraviolet-induced responses in two species of climax tropical marine macrophytes. Photochemistry and Photobiology 62(1-2):55-66.
  • Armstrong, R.A., J. Lopez, and F. Gilbes. 2000.  Apparent optical properties at the Caribbean Time Series Station. Ocean Optics XV – CDROM Publication.
  • Gilbes, F., and R.A. Armstrong.  2000.  Inherent optical properties at the Caribbean Time Series Station (CaTS).  Ocean Optics XV – CDROM Publication.
  • Corredor, J., A.W. Bruckner, F. Muszynski, R.A. Armstrong, and J.M. Morell. 2000. UV-absorbing compounds in three species of Caribbean zooxanthellate corals: depth distribution and spectral response. Bulletin of Marine Science 67:821-830.
  • Navarro, A., J. Corredor, J. Morell, and R.A. Armstrong. 2000.  Distribution of the cyanophyte Trichodesmium in the Eastern Caribbean Sea: Influence of the Orinoco River. Intl. J. of Tropical Biology 48(1).
  • Muszynski, F., A. Bruckner, R.A. Armstrong, J.M. Morell, and J.E. Corredor. 1998. Within-colony variations of UV absorption in a reef building coral.  Bull. Mar. Sci., 63(3): 589-594.
  • Matta, J.L., C.M. Nazario, R.A. Armstrong, and J. Navas.  1998. Epidemiological trends of melanoma in Puerto Rico from 1975 – 1991. Boletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico 90(1-3): 221-224.
  • Stoner, A.W., P.A. Pitts, and R.A. Armstrong. 1996. The interaction of physical and biological factors in the large-scale distribution of queen conch populations in seagrass meadows.  Bull. Mar. Sci., 58(1): 217-233.
  • Johnson, L., B. Lobitz, R. Armstrong, R. Baldy, E. Weber, J. DeBenedictis, and D. Bosch. 1996. Remotely sensed observations of phylloxera-infested vineyard in the Napa Valley. California Agriculture (50) 4:14-18.
  • Armstrong, R.A. 1994. Oceanic fronts in the northeastern Caribbean revealed by satellite ocean color imaging. International Journal of Remote Sensing 15(6): 1169-1171.
  • D'Antoni, H., R. Armstrong, J. Coughlan, J. Skiles, and G. Daleo.  1994.  Effects of stratospheric ozone depletions and increased levels of ultraviolet radiation on subantartic forests and western patagonian steppe: A research project. In: Stratospheric Ozone Depletion/UV Radiation in the Biosphere, R.H. Biggs and M. Joyner (eds.), NATO ASI Series, Vol I 18, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
  • Stoner, A.W., M.D. Hanisak, N.P. Smith, and R.A. Armstrong. 1994. Large-scale distribution of queen conch nursery habitats: Implications for stock enhancement. pp. 169-189 In: R.S. Appeldoorn and Q. Rodriguez (eds.) Queen Conch Biology, Fisheries and Mariculture. Fundación Científica Los Roques, Caracas, Venezuela.
  • Armstrong, R.A. 1993. Remote sensing of submerged vegetation canopies for biomass estimation. International Journal of Remote Sensing 14(3): 621-627.
  • Goenaga, C., V.P. Vicente, and R.A. Armstrong.  1989. Bleaching induced mortalities in reef corals from La Parguera, Puerto Rico: A precursor of change in the community structure of coral reefs?  Carib. J. Sci., 25(1-2): 59-65.