Juan Carlos
LAFF Fellow 2017

Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez graduated from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), Mexico in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Oceanography. Prior to that program, he performed independent research on trophic ecology of the invasive lionfish at the Mexican Caribbean. Later, during his three and a half years as an undergrad student at UABC, Juan Carlos worked with the university’s Kelp Forest Ecology Group, where he mainly studied fish assemblages associated with Kelp Forests along the Baja Peninsula.    

Before coming to Bren, Juan Carlos worked as a consultant by the Mexican Tuna Seine Fleet in order to perform stock assessments and catch-data analysis. He also worked with the Mexican NGO Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C. (COBI), as a Field Assistant, where he performed oceanographic and ecological monitoring in marine reserves voluntarily established by fishermen along the Baja Peninsula.    

Juan Carlos has a deep interest in understanding the implications of marine resource exploitation and management strategies, as well as addressing and communicating priority environmental and social issues and their possible solutions. Fisheries management, marine reserve design, and ecosystem ecology are among his main research interests. At the Bren School specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management, Juan Carlos completed his MESM degree as a LAFF Fellow in 2017.

Now as a PhD student, Juan Carlos will pursue research on management (design, implementation, and evaluation) of marine reserves specific to their application as a fishery management tool. With Dr. Steve Gaines and Dr. Chris Costello, he plans to perform research that broadens interdisciplinary knowledge of fisheries management, marine ecology, and human interactions with the environment, with an eye towards informing environmental policy and climate change adaptation for marine natural resources management. Juan Carlos’ research goal is to combine ecological data with economic instruments through modeling to understand how best to design and manage marine reserves under current and future socioeconomic and environmental conditions.