Enric Sala, Ph.D.

National Geographic
Award Year


Enric Sala is an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society in Washington, where he conducts research about marine reserves. Sala used his Pew fellowship to develop an ecosystem-level framework to monitor the complex changes in marine reserves over time, in order to accelerate the recovery and ensure the conservation of coastal ecosystems. He surveyed 45 sites off the coasts of France, Greece, Italy, Malta, and Spain, where ecosystem states range from extremely diverse to totally degraded. Sala hoped his project would enable decision-makers to evaluate the effectiveness of marine reserves. His intention was that his methods, models, and database information would be useful in other marine ecoregions. As a result, Sala contributed important data to establish a baseline of ecosystem health that can be used to prioritize conservation efforts and evaluate the efficacy of conservation actions in the Mediterranean. This project also demonstrated that removal of some target species, in particular sea urchin and rabbitfish, has experimentally proven to enhance the recovery of the ecosystem. To learn more about Sala, visit his bio online. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/enric-sala/

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