At COSTAS (Coastal Ecosystems and Societies) we are broadly interested on developing management tools that can help solve and prevent over-exploitation problems in marine ecosystems. Focusing primarily on artisanal fisheries, our lab's research seeks to understand the social and ecological consequences of different spatial management tools to inform policy-making. We apply novel methodologies by combining tactics from diverse disciplines, including ecology, economics and anthropology. Through a combination of theoretical simulations and empirical methods, we aim to assess the effect that different management institutional arrangements have on socio-ecological systems and propose innovative solutions to marine conservation problems.
TERRITORIAL USE RIGHTS IN FISHERIES
Territorial Use Rights on Fisheries are sections of coastal areas assigned to particular group of fishermen for their exclusive use. Although it's been shown that this can be an effective tool for small scale fisheries management, we still lack an understanding of the design characteristics that affect their performance. Combining theoretical and empirical approaches, my research aims to contribute to our basic understanding of the social and ecological dynamics of these systems. You can see our publications here and here.
My ongoing work aims to expand this research to the development of guidelines for the design of TURF networks.
Top Predator Conservation in the Islas Marias Biosphere Reserve
The Islas Marias Archipelago is a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO world heritage site. Due to it's ecological role, these islands are currently considered priority for marine conservation research efforts in the Mexican Pacific.
I am coordinating a project that aims to provide the first comprehensive analysis of predator abundance, diversity and movement in the area, with a particular focus on elasmobranch species. As a collaborative effort between TNC, the Caselle Lab at UC Santa Barbara, Pelagios-Kakunja A.C. and Prozona- Grupo Cleofas we've so far performed two expeditions to in March 2018 and July 2018.