Naima Andrea López

PhD candidate

Contact

Centre for Marine Futures
School of Biological Sciences
& UWA Oceans Institute
University of Western Australia M092
35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley, WA 6009

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PhD title: Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of oceanic sharks: implications for management and conservation.

Start date: 04 Feb, 2019

I studied in Spain, where I received my Honours in Biological Sciences with majors in Zoology and Ecology from the University of Vigo, and my MSc degree in Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Barcelona. After this, I had the opportunity to take part in conservation efforts, such as tagging giant bluefin tunas in Moroccan waters and documenting the work of sustainable fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea with the World Wildlife Fund and studying sea lions in the Galapagos Islands with the Galapagos National Park.

 

Always captivated by marine predators, I joined the Marine Futures Lab in February 2019 to start my PhD, studying highly migratory oceanic sharks. These oceanic sharks are highly susceptible to targeted fisheries, as well as by-catch and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and are among the most threatened of vertebrates. Regardless of their vulnerable conservation status, they remain poorly understood and under-investigated. Australia has established a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) throughout its marine territory. The aim of my PhD is to evaluate whether these MPAs include key habitats for the conservation of oceanic sharks and whether there is a difference in the abundance and diversity of oceanic sharks in different management zones within these MPAs. Additionally, I will study the presence of aggregations of oceanic sharks in coastal ecosystems using drones to assess the importance of such habitats to these species.

 

These key questions will be addressed using two non-invasive sampling methods: stereo baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVS) and unmanned aerial vehicles (commonly referred to as drones).

  • Publications
  • Grants & Awards
  • Collaborations
2016

Quílez-Badia G, Ospina-Alvarez A, Sainz Trápaga S, Di Natale A, Abid N, Rodríguez López NA, Tudela S. (2016). Population structure, migratory behavior and spawning habitat of East Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna revealed by a multi-annual electronic tagging program. PeerJ Preprints 4:e1813v1

2014

Abid, M. Talbaoui, S. Benchoucha, S. El Arraf, C. El Fanichi, G. Quílez-Badia, S. Tudela, N. A. Rodríguez López, P. Cermeño et G. Shillinger, K. Benmoussa et S. Benbari. SCRS/2013/196 ICCAT Conference paper. Tagging of bluefin tunas (Thunnus thynnus) in the Moroccan Atlantic trap « Essahel » during 2013: methodology and preliminary results. Collect. Vol. Sci. Pap. ICCAT, 70(2): 663-672 (2014).

2019

Robson and Robertson Award (2019-2020) to support the research project: “Shark aggregations underpin conservation but where are they and when do they occur?”

University of Western Australia Postgraduate Award International Students (2019-2023)

Australian Government International Research Training Program (RTP) Fee Offset Scholarship (2019-2023)

2014

Galápagos National Park and Government Council cooperation agreement grant (2014).

2012

Spanish Government Scholarship for University Education adapted to the European Higher Education Area leading to official Master’s degree (2012-2013)

2006

Spanish Government Scholarship for University Education adapted to the European Higher Education Area leading to official University degree, Bachelor and Honours (2006-2012)

Ocean communication:

Translator for American environmental journalist Liz Cunningham. Extensive translation of field interviews with artisanal fishermen and fisheries administrators for Cunningham’s book Ocean Country.

“Liz Cunningham, in the rich tapestry of her book, documents better than any scientific treatise could, what we stand to lose if we continue to let the oceans go.”

— Prof. Daniel Pauly

Citizen Science Initiatives:

Garmin Great Tuna Race scientific officer carrying out satellite and conventional tagging of bluefin tunas on the Western coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Non-governmental organizations:

WWF European Policy Programme fisheries consultant and field assistant researcher in tagging campaign of bluefin tuna on the Atlantic coast of Morocco as part of the “On the Med tuna trail” project done in collaboration with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and Tag a Giant Foundation (TAG) Stanford University Programme.