Denise completed her Bachelor in Natural Resource Management from the University of Belize. Denise served as the Managed Access Coordinator for the Belize Fisheries Department, where she was tasked with developing and implementing new rights-based fisheries management approaches for Belize’s small-scale fisheries. From this role, she then served as the Director of a Rare Pride Campaign with the Fish Forever initiative in Belize, which championed managed access areas as an approach for sustainable small-scale fisheries in the country.
Prior to joining the Belize Fisheries Department, Denise worked as a field biologist in Belize’s southern barrier reef marine reserves, including Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve.
Denise is particularly interested in effective fisheries management approaches for developing countries, and will pursue a specialization in Coastal Marine Resources Management as a LAFF and a Wilderness Conservation Society fellow. For her masters project, Denise is on the "Clawless Lobter Project" which assess and systematizes the evaluation and implementation of marine reserves in the Mexican Caribbean.
Her professional goal as a Fellow is serve in roles that support better decision making around Belize’s efforts to reform national fisheries management for increased benefit to ecosystems and livelihoods.