Valeria Tamayo – Cañadas: Project Manager
Valeria is an Ecuadorian first-year graduate student at the Bren School, University of California Santa Barbara, Coastal Marine Resource Management specialization. as a Latin American Fisheries Fellow. She is the former head of the Environmental Education and Social Participation department at the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve, and ecology instructor and citizen science promoter at Ecology Project International. Valeria has an undergraduate degree in International Relationships from the Pontifical Catholic University of Quito – Ecuador, and a postgraduate in Designing, Monitoring and Assessing Social Development Projects from the Latin American Faculty of Social Studies, 2011.
She works enthusiastically to overcome challenges to create private and public partnerships with the goal of supporting an environmentally conscious culture through communication and education strategies.
Her experience and interests include: environmental policy, planning, plastic consumption, responsible fisheries, good environmental practices, invasive land and marine species.
Edaysi Bucio: Finance Manager
Edaysi Bucio Bustos, a first-year MESM student, holds a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries Engineering. During undergraduate studies, Edaysi collaborated to reconstruct the Hondura’s fisheries catches at the Fisheries Center of the University of British Columbia, as a project with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
After college, she worked 4 years for the National Commission for Aquaculture and Fisheries (CONAPESCA). During her time at CONAPESCA, she collaborated to modified the Mexican fisheries regulatory framework to protect marine species and increase sustainable fisheries practices.
As a LAFF Fellow who was also awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, Edaysi is interested in management strategy evaluation for fisheries, marine spatial planning, fisheries community empowerment, and improve Mexican fisheries catch records.
Seleni Cruz: Data Manager
Seleni Cruz is a graduate student at the Bren School, University of California Santa Barbara pursuing a specialization in Coastal Marine Resource Management as a Latin American Fisheries Fellow. She is interested in small scale fisheries reform in developing countries. More specifically, through a multidisciplinary approach ensuring conservation impact and with opportunities for scaling. He goal is to better understand and contribute to the dynamic and innovative solutions including fisheries science and ecology, communities, livelihoods, market based initiatives and policy.
Prior to joining Bren, Seleni served as the Conservation Coordinator at The Nature Conservancy in Mexico and Northern Central America for four years. She has worked on various sustainable fisheries management projects including design of marine protected areas, economic alternatives, seaweed aquaculture, traceability and adaptive management framework. She has experience collaborating with a diverse group of stakeholders, government agencies, NGOs, local communities and the private sector. In 2012, Seleni graduated Cum-Laude from the University of Belize with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management.
Vienna Saccomanno: Editorial Manager
Vienna is joining the Bren School after working as the Communications Director and Conservation Projects Coordinator for Marine Conservation Institute (MCI) in Seattle, WA. Prior to her time with MCI, Vienna studied the impacts of invasive lionfish on reef ecology as a Research Fellow at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in The Bahamas. As a SCUBA Divemaster she fell in love with the marine environment, which fuels her professional aspirations to influence ocean conservation and her specialization in Coastal Marine Resource Management at the Bren School. Upon graduating, Vienna plans to focus on marine reserve creation, implementation and management, specifically in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction. A Barry M. Goldwater National Scholar, Vienna graduated summa cum laude in 2013 from the University of Puget Sound where she received her Bachelor of Science and Arts degrees in biology and International Political Economy.
Juliette Verstaen: Outreach & Communications
Juliette Verstaen, a first-year graduate student, graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology. The two years post graduation Juliette worked as a research technician for the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, a thirteen-year old site assessing the long-term external drivers affecting the resilience of the coral reef in Moorea. While in the field, Juliette collected and deployed an array of oceanographic instruments, maintained ongoing ecological experiments, and set up new experiments. In the lab she organized, processed, and analyzed this data. Working for the LTER opened her eyes to various avenues of ocean research and it’s applicability to real world issues. Most interesting to her were experiments mimicking effects that humans have on the ecosystem such as overfishing, nutrient runoff, bleaching, etc. and how it would impact the reef. Juliette plans on specializing in Coastal Marine Resource Management and is interested in fisheries management and mediating human impacts on marine ecosystems. She will join others figuring out the ocean’s limits and finding a way to benefit from it without irreversibly damaging it.
Comunidad y Biodiversidad (Community and Biodiversity in English), also known as COBI, is a Mexican non-government organization (NGO) with a mission to preserve marine ecosystems from exploitation of natural resources. To learn more about COBI's mission and goals, click the link below:
Hunter Lenihan: Faculty Adviser
Hunter Lenihan’s primary research interests lie in the fields of applied population and community ecology, especially in connection with fisheries management and restoration. He has collaborated with California fishing communities to design research projects intended to advance habitat-based fisheries management. He is also exploring ecological and oceanographic processes that regulate coral populations, particularly at a long-term project on the island of Moorea, in French Polynesia, with the goal of developing new techniques for coral reef restoration. In addition, Professor Lenihan is working with disease physiologists to isolate and cultivate disease-resistant abalone to be used as part of population enhancement efforts. He has also done extensive research within estuaries, at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and in polar environments. His overall objective is to generate new ideas and methods for marine resource management and train young scientists interested in community-based research and management.
Erin Winslow: PhD Adviser
Erin is a San Diego native who spent her childhood tidepooling. Her love of the ocean took her to Santa Barbara, where she received her B.S. in Aquatic Biology in 2013. After graduating, Erin worked as an intern and then lab technician for the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research (MCR LTER) lab at UCSB and in Moorea, French Polynesia. Her time in Moorea exposed Erin to coral reefs for the first time, and she soon saw how unique and fragile these ecosystems are. Erin saw all of the research in Moorea conducted by people all over the world, but noticed no local conservation or management seemed to stem from any findings. To address this, Erin came to Bren for her master’s degree to gain a better understanding of how science, policy, economics, and interdisciplinary collaboration come together to make conservation a priority. Erin focused on planning and incentivizing native oyster restoration in Southern California for her master’s thesis, and was supported by the Honda Marine Science Foundation throughout. The project gained a lot of local attention, and motivated more collaborative Olympia oyster restoration efforts along the west coast. Erin is now in her PhD at the Bren school in the hopes of motivating more conservation in coral reef systems in the South Pacific through field experiments, monitoring, communication, and ecological modeling.
Headline photo: REEF Headquarters