Conservation planning, Marine Biology, James Cook University – ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Dr Fuentes’ broad scientific interest lies in the conservation and management of threatened marine mega-fauna in a changing climate, spatial risk assessments for conservation and management planning, and the impacts of environmental change on threatened species. She has specifically been committed to the conservation of sea turtles and her research has helped build the capacity of local communities to better manage their own resources and provided valuable results for stakeholders to make informed decisions to better manage turtle populations in the future.
While working at various non-profit agencies as a team leader, researcher and educator (in Brazil, Barbados, Madagascar, USA, and Australia) Mariana was able to reach and educate local communities with different social and education backgrounds and ages through workshops, school visits and the media. She has also translated her doctoral work into a book for Indigenous children, which is now incorporated into the school curriculum at schools in Torres Strait and on the Papua New Guinea marine turtle awareness program.