Header image for Plenary Talks
Photo Dr. Josh Cinner will speak as a plenary at IMCC5

Dr. Josh Cinner will speak as a plenary at IMCC5

Photo Dr. Enriqueta Velarde is scheduled as one of IMCC5's plenary speakers

Dr. Enriqueta Velarde is scheduled as one of IMCC5's plenary speakers

Photo Dr. Phil Levin will speak as the #IMCC5 RAM Memorial Honoree

Dr. Phil Levin will speak as the #IMCC5 RAM Memorial Honoree

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IMCC5 Plenary Talks 

Joshua Cinner, Ph.D.

Joshua Cinner began his work as an environmental social scientist while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica in the mid 1990s.  He has since completed a Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a PhD from James Cook University.  Josh’s research explores how social, economic, and cultural factors influence the ways in which people use, perceive, and govern natural resources. His background is in human geography and he often works closely with ecologists to uncover complex linkages between social and ecological systems. He has worked on human dimensions of marine conservation in Australia, Jamaica, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, Seychelles, Indonesia, Mozambique, and the USA. He has published >115 peer-reviewed journal articles and a book published by Oxford University Press. Josh is now a Full Professor at James Cook University. He currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship, and is a recipient of the 2015 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation and the 2017 Elinor Ostrom Award on collective governance of the commons. You can follow Josh on Twitter at @JoshuaCinner, check out his Pew Fellowship project here, and check out his group's current research initiatives here!


Enriqueta Velarde, Ph.D.

Enriqueta Velarde was born and raised in Mexico City, and has worked since 1979 studying seabird ecology. She has visited Isla Rasa every spring for the past 39 years to measure, weigh, census, band, and observe the seabirds. She has also researched the interrelationship of bird population size to anchovy and sardine stocks in the Gulf of California. Velarde and her team have been successful in convincing fishermen to stop illegally ransacking birds’ nests to sell the eggs, and they have totally eradicated invasive rats and mice that had a devastating effect on the seabird population. Additionally, Enriqueta has established a close collaboration with the indigenous Mexican Comcaac community and worked with them and biologist colleagues to train and empower the Comcaac to manage their own natural resources in the towns of Punta Chueca and El Desemboque in the state of Sonora along the west coast of the Gulf of California. She has done similar work with groups of local women in the town of Bahía de los Ángeles in the state of Baja California. At present, she is full time researcher at the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico. Her main interests are seabird life history, genetics, and adaptations to present and past food availability, and nesting conditions for their long term survival. She is also interested how seabirds can be used to learn about the ocean conditions and as sentinels of the environment as well as indicators of forage fish populations, for management purposes. Also of interest to her are the sources of seabird mortality due to human activities and how to mitigate them. Velarde’s book, Islas del Golfo de California, was also used as the base for the designation of the Gulf of California islands as a World Heritage site!


Phillip Levin, Ph.D.

The Dr. Ransom A. Myers Memorial Lecture

Phillip Levin is the lead scientist of The Nature Conservancy, Washington and a Professor-of-Practice in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Levin is a conservation scientist who is interested in bridging the gaps between theory and practice in conservation, and developing modeling and statistical approaches to inform conservation and management of ecosystems. The main focus of his current work is developing interdisciplinary tools to inform conservation of marine, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. Prior to joining the Nature Conservancy and University of Washington, he was the Director of Conservation Biology and a Senior Scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, WA, USA. Levin served as the scientific lead of NOAA’s Integrated Ecosystem Assessment efforts in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem and Puget Sound. In the course of this work, he has led the development of new analytical tools for characterizing ecosystem health and forecasting the cumulative effects of coastal zone management and climate change on ecosystems. Dr. Levin received the Department of Commerce Silver Award and NOAA’s Bronze Medal for his work on marine ecosystems, and the Seattle Aquarium’s Conservation Research Award for his work in Puget Sound. He has published over 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and technical reports, and edited the recently published book, “Conservation of the Anthropocene Ocean: interdisciplinary approaches for nature and people”.  His work has been featured in such news outlets as NPR, PBS, the BBC, MSBNC, The Economist, among others. Levin recently served as President of the Western Society of Naturalists, and has served on numerous editorial boards and scientific advisory panels. Levin received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of New Hampshire in 1993 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina. You can follow him on Twitter at @ConsLevin and find more information on his website here.