María José Barragán P.

Science Director

María José Obtained a PhD in Geography (Human Geography) at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, Canada. Her undergraduate in Biological Sciences at the Pontifical Catholic University and her later Master’s research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) illustrated her research interest on coastal marine ecosystems and marine protected areas (MPAs) with special attention paid to marine wildlife management. Her PhD research was inspired by the interactive governance framework, and was applied to better understand the governability of MPAs (with a case study developed in the Galapagos Marine Reserve).

After graduation, she collaborated within varied research clusters of the Too Big to Ignore (TBTI) which is a Global Research Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research. Under that initiative she conducted research and published relevant findings on small-scale fisheries. Later on, she had a postdoctoral research position at the “Development and Knowledge Sociology” Working Group at the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen, Germany. During that time, she conceptualized and co-developed new research agendas, by integrating the development and knowledge sociology approach into small-scale fisheries sustainability, fishing communities’ viability, food security from the marine perspective, and marine resource governance. In early 2018 she joined Charles Darwin Foundation, as the Science Director.

She was assigned as CDF Interim Executive Director from April 2020 to February 2021.


Exploring the crucial intersection of marine conservation and small-scale fisheries at the "Too Big to Ignore – Global Network for Small-scale Fisheries Research" event

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, 20-24 November 2023 Marine conservation and artisanal fisheries are directly connected: healthy oceans, healthy human communities. Small-scale...

A new Marine Protected Area along the entire Ecuadorian coastline to protect key coastal ecosystems, habitats and species

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are management tools that enable marine systems to remain healthy through some sort of protection, restriction or use. Marine protection can be done through the...

Women in science – underrepresented minority? Not at CDF!

Hypathia, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, Jane Goodal, Elinor Orstrom, and more recently Sylvia Earle, are names who resonate in the scientific community as major characters in the scientific development,...

CDF at the ‘Sustainability Round Table’ - Discussion at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany

---News--- ‘Sustainability’ is a notion that many sectors of the society, market and states, at global scale, are taking seriously, from varied standpoints. Research, industry, science, decision and...


The mission of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the world’s most important natural treasures.

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The ‘Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands’, in French ‘Fondation Charles Darwin pour les îles Galapagos”, Association internationale sans but lucratif (AISBL), has its registered office at 54 Avenue Louise, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Trade Registry # 0409.359.103

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