We are a young group of researchers working on solutions for adapting marine systems to the impacts expected from climate change. We apply a wide perspective from social and natural sciences to understand impacts in our oceans and livelihoods and work on solutions for future oceans sustainability.
Our mission is to ethically conduct the best science, and to share the scientific approach and research results to the broader society. We are committed to science dissemination and outreach and feel responsible delivering research outputs to policy-makers.
Since 2017, Future Oceans Lab is part of Centro de Investigación Mariña (CIM) at Universidade de Vigo. CIM is the core element of the University´s marine strategy, and it constitutes an interdisciplinary reference pole at the local, national and international levels in the generation and transfer of marine knowledge.
Elena Ojea, PhD
Oportunius Research Professor
Elena Ojea is a senior researcher at the University of Vigo currently leading the project CLOCK: Climate Adaptation to shifting stocks, funded by the European Research Council with an ERC Starting Grant. Elena holds an undergrad in Environmental Sciences and a PhD in Economics, and has experience as a post-doc and research fellow at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3). She was a visiting researcher at the Bren School for Environmental Science and Policy (USA) during 2013, continuing visiting over the following years. There she joined the sustainable fisheries group and had the chance to work with experts at UCSB on the set of solutions for sustainable fishery management in many systems that are implemented around the world. To continue this work, Elena joined the University of Vigo in the summer of 2016 and launched the Future Oceans Lab, a Vigo-based research group on marine systems and climate change. She is also supported since 2018 by the Oportunius program from Galician government.
Juan joined University of Vigo in September 2020 as a researcher to work on the FutureMARES project. His main tasks within the project will consist on the coordination of Work Package 5 with Elena Ojea, and the development of a tool for integrating ecological and social research into the assessment of the vulnerability of marine ecosystems and ecosystem services to climate change. Juan began his career at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (Oceanographic Center of Gijón, Spain) where he worked on theoretical ecology developing physiological models for the developmental time of marine organisms, combining bioenergetics and life history theories. After his PhD defence in 2014 (University of Oviedo, Spain) he broaden his research interest participating in several projects related to ecosystem services and fisheries (CESAM – University of Aveiro, Portugal), fisheries and climate change (IFREMER – Centre de Bretagne, France), and climate change vulnerability assessments of the Portuguese fisheries (CCMAR – University of Algarve, Portugal). Juan has more than 10 years’ experience working on data analysis with R and has participated in multiple oceanographic cruises (MALASPINA, PELGAS, etc.) and international conferences (more recent ones: 6th International Symposium of DEB theory, 4th Climate Change Symposium)
Xochitl Elías is a PhD student in Marine Sciences, Technology, and Management at the University of Vigo, interested in understanding human-nature interactions using interdisciplinary approaches. For her PhD she will focus on the adaptations of coastal social-ecological systems in hotspots of climate-driven rapid biodiversity changes. She completed her BSc and MSc at the University of Bremen. For her master thesis, she conducted an exclusion experiment investigating the role of macroherbivores in a rocky reef of El Salvador. Her interest in interdisciplinary research lead her to work as a guest scientist at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in the project SOC Pacific investigating the social justice aspects of the offshore tuna fishery in the South Pacific. Before enrolling the PhD program, she worked as research fellow at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity developing a holistic framework describing islands systems adaptations to pulse disturbances under increasing globalization
Haritz Ayarza is a graduate in Marine Sciences and Aquaculture Technician. Over the years, he has specialized in sustainable fisheries management and marine resources management, completing a Master in Sustainable Development Management. During his professional life he has collaborated with scientific centers such as AZTI, where he has studied the contribution of the code of good practice in tropical tuna fishing. Moreover, he has specialized in different fishing consulting companies, where he has managed the production and marketing plans of different fishing organizations of Galicia and the Basque Country and he has worked with all the fishing associations of Galicia.
He is a great connoisseur of the fishing sector, its people, fishing gears, species and its problems. He has been a recreational fisherman for more than 10 years, and currently he has combined his hobby with scientific dissemination, thanks to an informative spearfishing YouTube channel called Kongriakos, in which he has actually more than 68.000 followers.
Julia holds a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Vigo. She has wide experience in marine invertebrate larval biology and dispersal. She has participated in several multidisciplinary projects, including ressearch in the Antarctic waters. In her career, Julia has combined science with project management, being responsible for general project coordination, management responsabilities, and human resources in several nationaland international projects. At this moment, she is focussing in project management by coordinating the Future Oceans Lab team and managing the European Research Council funded project CLOCK.
Iratxe Rubio’s research focuses on adaptation to climate change in international fisheries. As a graduate on Environmental Sciences (University of the Basque Country-UPV/EHU), and an Erasmus Mundus MSc in Marine Environment and Resources, Iratxe has gained deep appreciation and respect for the sea and its enormous biological and environmental value, as well as for being a vital source for humans. She is currently conducting her PhD at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) (Leioa, Spain), and is enrolled in Do Mar doctorate program from Campus do Mar (Vigo, Spain). For her PhD, Iratxe is interested in approaching adaptation options for international tuna fisheries from a holistic socio-ecological perspective. This multidisciplinary perspective aims to understand how the Basque international tuna fishery is impacted by climate change to seek integral adaptation solutions that can be later on transferred to industrial fisheries around the globe.
Smit V. Caballero
Smit Vasquez Caballero is a postdoctoral fellow at the Future Oceans Lab at the University of Vigo. Smit holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Southern Oregon University, M.S. in Agriculture and Resource Economics, and a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Oregon State University (OSU.) Smit’s main areas of research are Natural Resource Economics, Applied Microeconomics, and Applied Econometrics. At Oregon State University, Smit developed a model of fishermen fishery participation and location choice behavior for the U.S. West Coast salmon fishery, a research funded by the LMRCSC NOAA program. As Latin American and Caribbean Environmental Economics Fellow, Smit has carried out fieldwork in the Upper Gulf of California, Mexico. His teaching experience includes introductory economics courses at Southern Oregon University and teaching assistant duties for graduate classes at Oregon State University. At the Future Oceans Lab, Smit is developing spatially explicit bioeconomic models that allow evaluating the impacts of climate change and adaptation under different management systems, such as ITQs, TURFs, and MPA
Alex joined University of Vigo in March 2019 as a researcher to work on the ERC CLOCK project– as a Bio-economic modelling position looking into climate adaptation and shifting stocks. Alex begun his career in the UK with over 14 years’ experience working at the Centre for the environment, fisheries and aquaculture Science (Cefas). He has over 14+ years of scientific research conducted within a variety of European Commission and UK government funded research projects. He has gained extensive experience in data collection, fishery survey design, analysis of large datasets and development of innovative approaches to management including fisheries statistical ecological and economic modelling. After securing his PhD in 2013 on fleet dynamics and fisher behaviour from Imperial College London, he has wider interest in linking these processes to aquatic ecosystems. Alex also brings over 5 years of International experience having worked for the Pacific Community (SPC) in New Caledonia on the largest tuna fishery in the world, The University of Tasmania (UTAS) as a fleet dynamics researcher, and the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) in Ireland on European data limited species. Some of the recent highlights of his work include evaluating fisher decision-making to understand how they respond to management. He is currently extending the scope of this work to investigate spatial use and fisher response to climate change.
Raquel Ruiz Díaz
Raquel Ruiz joined University of Vigo in July 2019 as a research assistant to work on adaptation of coastal communities to climate change within the framework of the ERC CLOCK project. Raquel hold a degree in Marine science from University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and has just completed the International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), in which she had the opportunity to study in several recognized institutions such us Ghent University (Belgium) or Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland), among others. She brings experience in the field of fisheries management, having working for more than 2 years in the Applied marine ecology and fisheries group of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Moreover, as part of her master, she did an internship at FOL, where she learnt about socio-ecological systems and to conduct vulnerability assessments. Raquel is highly interested in the effect that climate change has in marine organisms, since changes in their distributional range to changes in their metabolism and physiology, and how these modifications affects stocks productivity and consequently, fishing communities.
Juliano Palacios is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. As part of the Changing Ocean Research Unit (CORU), he is particularly interested in how climate change impacts fisheries management in Latin America and how to mitigate its socio-ecological implications. His current work explores how climate change is shifting the known distribution of marine fishes around the world. Specifically, Juliano looks at how such shifts are having uncertain feedbacks on marine systems and dependent fishing communities, accentuating sources of conflict over shared marine resources, and highlighting the need for adaptive, collaborative, ecosystem- based management strategies. Juliano obtained a bachelor degree in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco in Mexico, and a masters degree on Environmental Science and Management, from the University of California, Santa Barbara.Personal website www.julianopalacios.comEmail: email@example.com
Sissi is a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vigo, joining the ERC Starting project CLOCK: Climate Adaptation to Shifting Stocks in September 2017. Sissi holds a MSc in International Environmental Science from the LUMES program at the Lund University in Sweden and a PhD in Fisheries Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics. She has previously worked as a Post-doc at the Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica in Taiwan and a research coordinator at the Greenpeace International in the Netherlands. Broadly speaking, her research interests are environmental and resource economics, more specifically game theory applied in fisheries, empirical fisheries economics and climate change perception surveys. Moreover, Sissi is a keen hiker, enjoying being close to mountains and nature.
Publications are here
Guillermo joined Future Oceans Lab (FOL) at the University of Vigo as a fisheries scientist in the context of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project “Illuminating Hidden Harvest. The contribution of small-scale fisheries to sustainable development” in June 2019 which aims to expand our knowledge about the impact of small-scale fisheries at economic, ecological, social and governance levels. After finishing his bachelor’s degree in Sea Sciences at the University of Alicante, he pursued an MSc in “Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology” at the University of Aberdeen under the sponsor of “La Caixa Postgraduate Grant”. During his academic and professional career, he has worked in several fisheries-related topics, including, effects of river discharge in local inshore fisheries at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, development of highly resolved spatiotemporal species distribution models during his master thesis, design of pelagic self-sampling programs in collaboration with the Scottish Pelagic industry and data-limited stocks methodologies at the Chilean Fisheries Development Institute. These experiences provided him with a strong background in large database management, statistical and programming skills, fisheries policies and a holistic approach to fisheries sciences. Guillermo’s interests include but are not solely limited to innovative stock assessment methodologies, spatiotemporal modelling and the sustainable development of fisheries resources under the application of multidisciplinary management approaches.
Elena Fontán completed a MSc in Oceanography at the University of Vigo in the Climate Change module. During her master thesis, Elena was working on the importance of fisheries and how climate change affects populations in socioeconomic and ecologic terms. She is graduated in Marine Science and joined the inter-university MSc of Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management in Belgium. There she developed her skills at different institutions, including the University, Parliament and research centres like EAWAG, at the Limnological Research Centre in Switzerland. She is a multidisciplinary worker, with experience in marine resources in the private sector, in engineering using Landsat imagery to identify water swamps, and in fisheries working in a project on protecting marine areas. For this she conducted an internship in a European fisheries organization. Her major interest is in climate change and how our world is always adapting itself.
Eréndira Aceves Bueno, PhD
Eréndira is a marine biologist working as a postdoc at the Duke University Marine Lab (US). She is broadly interested on developing management tools that can help solve and prevent over-exploitation problems in marine ecosystems. Focusing primarily on artisanal fisheries, her research seeks to understand the social and ecological consequences of different spatial management tools to inform policy-making. She obtained a PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California Santa Barbara, a masters’ degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a bachelors’ degree in Marine Biology from the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur, México. Ere visited FOL in 2017 to work on marine protected areas and climate change adaptation, and she is also involved in Alba’s PhD project as an advisor in the DoMar program.
Niels is a student in Coastal Zone Management at VHL University of Applied Science in Leeuwarden. In spring 2017 he developed an internship at CIM and FOL where he analyzed the effects of climate change on the Galician fisheries under supervision of Gonzalo Macho, Elena Ojea and Sebastian Villasante. Currently he is doing a minor in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture which includes subjects as fisheries management, stock assessment and RAS. His main interests are paleobiology, oceanography and marine ecology.
Luz Eva Fernandez
Luz Eva Fernández is a PhD student in Marine Science, Technology and Management at the University of Vigo, with focus on Global Change over the last 3.000 years. Her aim is to understand the biogeochemical changes in the environment, such as carbon and pollutants in sediments of the Galician continental shelf. During her PhD she has visited the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research (Germany) where she could investigate the biogeochemistry of sulfur and mercury, and at the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science at Xiamen University (China).
Luz Eva has experience in collaborating with town councils and Spanish natural parks in the recovery and monitoring of damaged coastal sites, and she is interested in improving awareness and knowledge of social and environmental problems, which led her to collaborate with Future Oceans Lab during summer 2018 in the field work developed under CLOCK.
Carlos Pereira is a marine biologist with wide expertise as a fisheries observer. He carried out scientific sampling on board of the trawling and gillnet vessels of the Cantabrian Sea and The Sole Bank for the IEO (Spanish Institute of Oceanography). He has also worked as Head of Quality and Production in the sector of the commercialization and distribution of fish and shellfish in Barcelona.
He joined FOL in the summer of 2018 to develop the field work at the Galician fishing guilds to support CLOCK case study on artisanal fisheries. He surveyed several coastal communities by directly interacting with fishers and a team of researchers on the field.
Laura Oubiña is enrolled in Political Analysis and Institutional AssessmentMSc at the University of Barcelona. She is graduated in Political Science and Public Administration from University of Santiago de Compostela with particular interest in social research. Prior to join Future Oceans Lab, she worked in a company in charge of providing technical assistance for public policy development where she could develop her skills. During July 2018, she collaborate in CLOCK project running the social survey at the Galician small-scale fisheries, a new and interesting field which she would to study thoroughly.