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Juan Carlos Villaseñor-Derbez

Year Admitted

Year Graduated

Research Areas
Marine Ecology, Marine Reserve Science, Ecological Modeling, and Marine Data Science

Faculty Advisors
Steve Gaines and Christopher Costello

Kyle Meng, Fiorenza Micheli

Dissertation Title & Abstract

Essays on Environmental Markets and Marine Conservation
Humanity depends on the ocean for jobs, subsistence, and way of life. Yet, many of our activities directly or indirectly threaten the marine environment. Environmental markets are one way to regulate these negative externalities. Environmental markets have been frequently used in land, water, and atmospheric contexts, but their application to the marine environment is rare and their interaction with other institutions remains understudied. Here, I combine theory from environmental economics and ecology with modern data science techniques and computer simulation to study three types of links between environmental markets and marine conservation. My first chapter explores how an existing market for fishing effort interacts with a nation’s incentive to engage in marine conservation in the form of Marine Protected Areas. In my second chapter, I propose, design, and analyze a global market for marine conservation, where nations can trade conservation obligations. Finally, my third chapter studies the implied carbon costs of human-induced whale mortality, thus providing a way to connect cetacean conservation and carbon markets. Together, these essays show how seemingly benign nuances in market design features and ecological processes are pivotal in determining the incentives for marine conservation.

MESM, Bren School, UC Santa Barbara
BS, Oceanography, Marine Sciences School (UABC, Mexico)

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