Turks and Caicos Islands
Ph.D. in Marine Biology
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego (CA, USA)
M.Sc. in Conservation Biology
Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas del Noroeste (BCS, Mexico)
B.S. in Marine Biology
Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur (BCS, Mexico)
SFS 3020 Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values
(The School for Field Studies)
SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)
Nadia obtained her Ph.D. in Marine Biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California, San Diego.
For the past 16 years, Nadia has been involved in numerous marine ecology research programs in the Gulf of California, the Mexican Caribbean, off the California Coast, and the South Pacific. She has worked on a wide scope of projects related to: the study of coastal ecosystem services, the analysis of social-ecological systems involved in small-scale fisheries of Northwest Mexico and Holbox Island, and has studied diverse aspects of the ecology of whales, sea turtles, and coral reefs.
Nadia’s current research focuses on studying how human societies have exploited coastal seas. During her Ph.D., she studied historical and present coastal exploitation at Marismas Nacionales wetlands in Northwest Mexico using interdisciplinary data (field surveys of traditional fishers’ knowledge, ancient historical documents and current fishery statistics). Her main results show fishers’ in Marismas Nacionales have developed unsustainable fishing practices in the past decades because of resource depletion. This has degraded the ecological and social environment.
Throughout her Postdoctoral years, Nadia expanded her research into the study of coastal exploitation at Holbox Island, in Southeast Mexico. She used an interdisciplinary approach that integrates traditional fishers’ knowledge, together with ecological, historical, spatial, and archaeological data on coastal exploitation. To accomplish this, she collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of scientists (University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Georgia State University, University of New England, New College of Florida, Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chiapas, Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social and CINVESTAV, Merida). Results of her post-doctoral research report fishers’ perspectives on overfishing, and identification of over 80 fishing sites that were populated with top predators, among others. Besides Archaeozoological remains demonstrate sharks and sea turtles were numerous. However, contemporary fishers’ surveys and literature sources show a decay of top predators and growing illegal fishing enhanced by human coastal migration.
Nadia is interested in expanding her research into other coastal areas of the Caribbean and Latin America that suffer from fisheries overexploitation and increasing tourism development. She aims to generate baseline scientific knowledge that aids in the creation of sound resource management strategies that can allow resource stocks to recover, preserve coastal ecosystem services, and promote local cultural values for the improvement of coastal people livelihoods.