Print Friendly

About Us

What is DataMARES?

“Work. Finish. Publish. Release.”


In the Gulf of California, access to open science and information will facilitate the understanding of coastal and marine ecosystems. The promotion of sound use of science and information for conservation and management initiatives will lead to more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable communities, and healthy ecosystems for future generations.


We aim to promote free, open science by providing easy-access to robust scientific information for everyone. We believe this will help lead to a deeper understanding of the ecosystems in the Gulf of California and other parts of the world, while contributing to a better quality of life and a resourceful and healthy environment for present and future generations.

Our Main Goal

Data, metadata, analyses and integration are at the centre of DataMARES, providing users with a platform for making informed decisions based on sound historical information from long-term monitoring data of coastal and marine ecosystems in the Gulf of California. DataMARES is the foundation of new, innovative science that allows, open, robust, and secure integration and access to scientific information that meets the needs of science, management and society, helping us understand our coasts and oceans.

+ Our Team

Octavio Oropeza

Octavio Aburto-Oropeza, Co-Founder and Managing Director

Assistant Professor, SIO. Dr. Aburto’s research has focused on the ecology and fisheries of reef fishes of the Gulf of California as well as the management of marine protected areas in the region for the past 12 years. He has been the PI for several scientific and fishery policies grants funded by Mexican and international organizations. Octavio currently leads a research group composed of undergraduate and graduate students from UABCS and SIO that investigates the importance of coastal habitats (e.g. mangroves and Sargassum beds) for the regional fisheries. He was formally a post-doctoral fellow of the WWF Kathryn Fuller Science for Nature Fund.

Marcia Moreno Báez

Marcia Moreno Báez, Co-Founder and Director of Operations

Spatial Analyst and over the last decade, Dr. Moreno Baez has worked in the study of the spatial and temporal dimension of human-environment interactions through collaborative research involving stakeholders into the process. Her most significant work can be summarized as facilitating the practical use of natural resources, science and technology, and helping meet the growing demand for a spatially explicit planning in conservation. She is currently coordinating projects and collaborations centered on the coastal and marine spatial ecosystem approaches towards research and management of fisheries on two major initiatives: the fisheries and the marine reserves in the Gulf of California program.

Raquel López Sagástegui

Raquel López Sagástegui, Co-Managing Director

Raquel has worked for ten years in the areas of communication and fundraising in non-profit and academic organizations in Mexico. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a focus in Politics from Seattle University (Seattle, WA) and has a Master’s in Development and International Aid from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. Her professional experience includes developing and coordinating communications and fundraising strategies, most recently for Centro de Colaboración Cívica (CCC), where she also provided support for institutional strengthening efforts. Raquel also worked in the Development Department at Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) as Head of Foundation Relations where she successfully helped continue and grow the University’s scholarship programs with corporate and private foundations, and secured funds for capital campaign projects.

Andrew F. Johnson

Andrew F. Johnson, Editor-in-Chief

Postdoctoral Researcher at SIO. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on the impacts of marine fisheries on fish populations and habitats. Since beginning his studies in marine biology in 2002, Dr. Johnson has traveled extensively, working with nine different fisheries in six countries gaining valuable experience in a range of fishing methods and management strategies. His doctorate at the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University (UK, 2012) focused on determining the habitat requirements of demersal fishes and how this knowledge can be used in MPA design. He is passionate about integrating sound ecological knowledge of fishes and ecosystems with the behaviour and patterns of fisheries in order to help predict the future impacts of current exploitation levels. He aims to use such synergies to aid the Gulf of California Marine Program in the design of future, sustainable management strategies for Mexican fisheries.

Catalina López-Sagástegui

Catalina López-Sagástegui, Editor

Scholar in Residence, UCMEXUS. Catalina studied Marine Biology at UABCS and received a Master’s degree in 2006 in biodiversity and conservation from SIO. Since then she has worked in the Upper Gulf of California in conservation and resource management initiatives that involve a variety of stakeholders. She is part of a multi-disciplinary group working with the Cucapá fishermen in order to integrate indigenous rights into conservation and resource management policies. Her work focuses in developing descriptive analyses of the collaborative efforts local communities have been involved in, and coordinates citizen science program in the upper gulf.

Alfredo Girón

Alfredo Girón, Data Analyst

PhD student, SIO. Alfredo recently obtained an Oceanology degree from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, and will start his PhD in Biological Oceanography at SIO. He has been collaborating with the Gulf of California Marine program for the last 4 years, specifically in databases administration, incorporation of oceanographic data to all our programs and in developing the web platform called DataMares. He is specialized in the use of satellite information and analysis of temporal series, and is in charge of correlating these data with the biological datasets collected by the Gulf of California Marine Program.

Vicente Obregón Noriega

Vicente Obregón Noriega, Co-Founder and Developer + Systems Architect

Since ‘95, Vicente Obregon has been developing software at a professional level for several research institutions (CEDES, CECARENA, DICTUS), non-governmental organizations (Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund, Pronatura Mexico) and governmental organizations (ICRESON, CONAPESCA). His expertise involves the development of geographic information systems (for desktop and web) providing support to the Gulf of California Marine Program by improving and automating the information technologies processes, through the use of commercial and open source software, in highly used modern platforms (Windows, Linux, Unix).

+ Collaborators

Exequiel Ezcurra

Exequiel Ezcurra

Former director of the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias and provost of the San Diego Natural History Museum. Current director of the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS). Dr. Ezcurra is a professor of ecology at the University of California Riverside and an adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego. His 30-year career as an ecologist has embraced a vast range of interests that include nature conservation, the ecology and biogeography of coastal deserts and wetlands, land-ocean interactions, the application of mathematical modeling in ecology and conservation, and the management of natural resources in areas under traditional use (Please visit: Ezcurra Lab).

Brad Erisman

Brad Erisman

Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Science (Fisheries Ecology), University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Erisman utilizes a blend of field, laboratory and analytical techniques to understand the influence of variations in behavioral, demographic and life history traits in fishes on their response to fishing pressure and environmental change. He applies a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate spatial and temporal interactions between fishes, fisheries, coastal habitats, managed areas, and endangered species. His research seeks to inform management policies that promote a balance between healthy marine ecosystems and productive fisheries for the benefit of coastal communities. Erisman received his bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, his master’s degree in marine biology from California State University, Northridge and his Ph.D. in marine biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. After completing his doctorate in 2008, he remained at Scripps as a postdoctoral researcher and later as an assistant research scientist. See also:

Heather Leslie

Heather Leslie

An international leader in marine conservation science, Heather Leslie conducts research on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. She is interested in understanding the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively integrate science into marine policy and management. Specific research areas include coastal marine ecology, design and evaluation of marine conservation strategies, and human-environment linkages in coastal areas. Leslie’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and has been covered by The New York Times and the Environmental News Service. A member of the Brown faculty since July 2007, Heather Leslie received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University. Before arriving at Brown, she was a research fellow at Princeton University. She is originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Adrian Munguía

Adrian Munguía

Adrian is a marine biologist from UABCS, with a Master’s degree from CIBNOR and a PhD from the University of Arizona (2011). He is a population and evolutionary geneticist interested in the application of genetic and genomic tools to describe, manage and conserve the biodiversity of the Gulf of California and the Sonoran Desert region. He worked for the PANGAS initiative, a multidisciplinary and inter-institutional consortium for ecosystem based management in the Gulf of California, where he has contributed to merging oceanographic modeling and genetics to understand patterns of marine connectivity via larval dispersal in commercial species of invertebrates and fish. Currently he works as science coordinator of the PANGAS project.

Jorge Torre-Cosio

Jorge Torre-Cosio

He is General Director and co-founder of Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C. (COBI,, a non-governmental organization that promote marine conservation and sustainable fisheries through effective participation. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Natural Resources, The University of Arizona (2002). He has been working in marine conservation and sustainable fisheries in Mexico, mainly in Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez), since 1988. Over these years, he has obtained extensive experience working with endangered marine species as the vaquita, the Sea of Cortez endemic harbor porpoise, marine biodiversity inventories, design and implementation of long-term monitoring programs, fisheries impacts studies, and ecological traditional knowledge (Seri Indians). In recent years he has been focusing in the application of management effectiveness indicators (biophysical, socioeconomic and governance) in marina protected areas, the design, establishment and evaluation of community-based fully protected marine reserves, identifying priority marine sites for conservation and understanding the shifting-baseline phenomenon in marine resources. His research is based in the generation of practical answers to marine conservation problems using ecological, socioeconomic and governance information.Jorge has more than 40 publications, and 50 congresses and symposiums presentations. In 2012 he received the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Conservation Award.