guillermoI am a Ph.D. student at Duke’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab and a Fellow with the UNC-Nippon Foundation Nereus Program. As part of my Ph.D. research here at Duke, I will try to better understand the spatiotemporal patterns of distribution of highly mobile species through the use of different spatial modelling approaches. Even though my main interest is in commercially exploited pelagic species, the bycatch of non-target species is an area which I find interesting from both an ecological modelling and management perspectives. Through this work I hope to explore different paths to help bridge the knowledge gap between the distribution of migratory species and the ecological role the play within the range of marine ecosystems (both coastal or open-ocean) that they are part of during their migrations. Ecosystem-level models or multispecies habitat modelling are tools which will most likely become the pillars of my research, however as a first year student in such a dynamic field, I plan to keep my options open to new modelling approaches and sources of data.

I obtained a B.A. in Marine Biology from Rollins College and the Duke University Marine Laboratory and have recently completed a M.Sc. degree in Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. This background in biophysical science and policy has fueled my interests in understanding the policy dimension behind many of the ecological questions that my research will address, something which I find particularly interesting given the current international efforts to better conserve biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

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