Effectiveness of trans boundary collaboration in systematic and spatial marine conservation planning and prioritisation in the Coral Triangle and at global scales
Ruben is originally from Costa Rica, where he did his BSc in Biology. After finishing his undergraduate degree, he worked for several years in a Sea Turtle Conservation project in the Caribbean coast of the country. Ruben was also involved in environmental education activities, and together with other colleagues, started Keto Foundation, a Non-for-Profit Organization which strives to do research which can better inform management decisions of coastal and marine areas of the country.
Later, Ruben obtained an MSc degree in Geo-information Science and Earth Observations in the Netherlands, which opened the doors to be involved as a GIS and remote sensing analyst in several projects in Costa Rica and South East Asia, both in marine and terrestrial environments. Through these experiences, he has become interested in spatial conservation prioritization, which led him to start his PhD at the University of Queensland in November 2014.
Globally, there is a growing interest in multinational conservation initiatives in the marine environment. Thus through his PhD research, Ruben would like to generate information that will help to better understand how incorporating trans-national collaboration into marine spatial conservation prioritization could affect environmental decisions, as well as the benefits and limitations of doing so.