Rodrigo Bustamante is a senior research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Brisbane, Australia. With his Pew fellowship, Bustamante developed a science-based ecological monitoring system to monitor the effects of fishing, tourism, and conservation on the no-take areas in the Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR). The system uses a combination of fieldwork, ecological modeling, and statistical inference to determine the state of the zone over time. More than 200 sites were sampled at intervals, including the 15 sites that see in excess of 400,000 visitors per year, to assess the status and trends of the GMR and the effectiveness of the zoning scheme. Bustamante’s work has promoted and fostered the education of managers, scientists, local students, fishermen, and other stakeholders who collect data about the effects of the protected area on adjacent fishing grounds. It also detects changes in the structure and functioning of the benthic environment. In addition, the project provided material support and technical data for a comprehensive communication strategy to fishermen, community leaders, journalists, and the general public about the creation of no-take areas within the Galapagos reserve.
To learn more about Bustamante, visit his bio online: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=uJrSBUgAAAAJ&hl=en.