María José Barragán


Office: SN 1018
Telephone: (709) 864-8190
Fax: (709) 864- 3119



Dr. Alistair Bath
Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee



Thesis Title [tentative]

The human face behind the ocean paradise: exploring the governing images of Galapagos Marine Reserve

Research Description

Galapagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is one of the most well known and best maintained Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the world. However it faces challenges for the marine resources conservation and sustainable use due to the complex interactions between and among the users within and outside of the system. This research intends to know how the GMR system works and how its elements are arranged; the implications of the historical background of its creation in the present situation; and the values, images and principles from interest groups, toward the GMR governance.

A qualitative methodological approach has been used to explore the institutional arrangement and the value orientation of users within the interactive governance approach. Knowing the GMR history, structure and dynamics, this research aims to encourage the decision-, policy makers and interest groups to promote a more comprehensive process in marine resources governance. A better understanding of the relationships between humans and marine resources, and the recognition of the existing failures could foster potential solutions to deal with the challenges faced in the GMR at present and in the future.

Research Interests

  • Human dimension of marine-related issues
  • Small-scale fisheries and coastal communities
  • Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
  • Tourism in MPAs
  • Marine Mammals conservation


Peer reviewed articles

Alava, J.J., M.J. Barragán and J. Denkinger. 2012. Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the bycatch problem in a breeding ground off coastal Ecuador: A Critical Overview and Recommendations. Ocean and Coastal Management, 57 (2012): 34-43.

Alava, J.J., M.J. Barragán, C.Castro, R. Carvajal.2005. A Note on Stranding and Entanglements of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Ecuador. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. 7(2): 163-168.

Working papers

Alava, J.J., B. Tatar; M.J. Barragán, P. Rosero, J.Denkinger, P. Jiménez and J. Samaniego. 2012. Mitigation Efforts and Challenges to Reduce Marine Mammals Bycatch in Ecuador. Paper Presented at the Workshop “Achieving greater reductions in marine mammal bycatch in South American gillnet fisheries” Centro Nacional Patagónico/University of Patagonia, 15 September 2012.

Barragán, M.J. 2011. Who is who? Analysis of Actors involved in Galapagos Marine Reserve Use and Management’. People and the Sea VI: ‘Bridging Science and Policy for sustainable coasts and seas’. Amsterdam, July 5-9, 2011.

Barragán, M.J. 2010. Are you a local or an outsider? Understanding networks in small-scale fisheries off the Ecuadorian coast”. World Small-scale Fisheries Congress / Coastal Zone Asia Pacific World Congress. Bangkok, Thailand, October 18-22.

Barragán, M.J. 2010. Managing Whale Watching requires integrating various Human Dimension Perspectives. Pathways to Success: Human Dimensions for Wildlife and Fisheries. Estes Park, Colorado, United States. September 22-Ocotber 2.

Tapia, W. and M.J. Barragán. 2009. “National Ecuadorian Technical Report for the Interamerican Convention for Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles Meeting”. Galápagos National Park/NAZCA Marine Research Institute.

Krutwa, A., J. Denkinger, M.J. Barragán, P. Brtnik, and S. Bräger. 2005. “Abundance and Local Migrations of Humpback Whales off Ecuador”. Poster at the Proceedings of the XXII Conference of the European Cetacean Society. Poland, May 2005.

Denkinger, J., M.J. Barragán, P. Brtnik, V.Cano, C. Pairoa-Riofrío, M. Rodríguez y C. Yumiseva. 2004. “Informe Nacional sobre el Estado Actual de los Mamíferos Marinos del Ecuador”. South East Pacific Permanent Commission (CPPS)-Technical Report.

Barragán, M.J. 2004. “Marine turtle nesting monitoring program in Machalilla National Park, Ecuador since 1996 until 2000”. Page 106–108. In: Coyne, M.S. and Clark, R.D. (compilers) Proceedings of the Twenty First Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-528. 368p.

Ledergerber, T. and M.J. Barragán. 2004. “Working Collaboratively to Build Local-Level Partnerships for Ocean Management. Scaling up ocean management: The context for marine conservation Session at the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress”. People and Nature: only one world. Bangkok, Thailand.

Barragán, M.J. 2003. “Monitoreo de la anidación de tortugas marinas en playas del Parque Nacional Machalilla y su zona de influencia (1996-2000)”. In: Baquero, A. (ed.). 2002. Resultados Preliminares del programa de Monitoreo Socio-Ambiental 1998-2001. Fundación Natura/Centro de Datos para la Conservación, CDC-Ecuador/Yaqu Pacha/ECOLAP.

Barragán, M.J. 2003. “Marine turtle nesting in Machalilla National Park, Ecuador: comparing the monitoring made between 1996-2001”. Page 131, In: J.A. Seminoff (Compiler). Proceedings of the Twenty Second Annual Symposium on Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-SEFSC-503. 308p.

Alava, J.J., M.J. Barragán, C. Castro and R. Carvajal. 2002. “A Note Concerning the Newest Stranding of Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) related to the bycatch in Ecuador”. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference - The Culture of Whales: The Animals, The People, The Connections. Seattle, Washington. American Cetacean Society.

Barragán, M.J. 2001. “Monitoring of sea turtle nesting in Machalilla National Park beaches and its influence zone from 1996 until 2001”. Jatun Sacha / CDC-Ecuador. In: Mendoza, R. (comp.). 2001. Proceedings of Workshop “Coastal-Marine Wetlands of the Ecuadorian Mainland”. Ministerio del Ambiente, Eco Ciencia, CISP. Quito.

Campos, F.; A. Vallejo and M.J. Barragán. 1998. “Monitoring and Protection of Sea Turtle Nesting sites in Machalilla National Park beaches”, in: Proceedings of XXII Ecuadorian Biology Congress. Eds: Dr. Carlos E. Cerón; Dra. Mariana Moyón & Lcdo. Edison D. Jiménez. Universidad Central del Ecuador. Facultad de Filosofía, Letras y Ciencias de la Educación. Escuela de Biología y Química. Quito. Noviembre, 1998.

Environmental Education

Henderson, S. ; A. Baquero, M.J. Barragán, A.Hern, W. Tapia, P.Zárate. 2007. A long travel along the ocean. Ecuador Terra-Incógnita Magazine. March 2007.

Barragán, M.J. 2003. Marine Environments, Sea Turtles and Artisanal Fisheries: Machalilla National Park and influence zone. Alianza Jatun Sacha/CDC Ecuador – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Diseño & Comunicación Press. Quito.

Barragán, M.J. 2002. The Humpback Whales: those giants visiting us. Golden Mar Magazine. The Ecuadorian Nautical Sports & Tourism Magazine. Año 1, No.3. June 2002.


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552