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 team gallery 



President and founder



- Casandra 

Casandra studied Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur (UABCS) located in La Paz, B.C.S., Mexico. Her thesis title was: “Gastroenteric pathologies in South America sea lion Otaria byronia stranded in Lima, Perú (2010)”. Thorough Veterinary School she had contact with sea lions, whale sharks and manatees and decided to explore health aspects of wild populations. Three years after, she obtained her master’s degree in “Management of Marine Resources”, by the National Polytechnic Institute (Instituto Politecnico Nacional) at Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR-IPN) with the thesis title: ´´Causes of mortality in Guadalupe fur seal Arctocephalus townseni neonates´´ (2013-2015). This was the first study of its kind on this species, which is under protection in Mexico. During those years, she collaborate with Massy University (New Zealand) and Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), she also participated in national and international marine mammal and wildlife conservation conferences, but her main contribution was, her collaboration in the first Mexican program for Guadalupe fur seal management and conservation, issued by Mexican governmental institution: ´´Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas´´ (CONANP)´´.

After her master, Casandra obtained a doctoral degree under the program of ´´Marine Science´´ at CICIMAR-IPN with a thesis titled: ´´Guadalupe fur seal Arctocephalus townsendi health assessment (2016-2020)´´. During this period, she participated in several national and international marine mammal conferences and had the opportunity to collaborate with The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC) and members of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at USA, regarding the first health assesment study of species at Guadalupe Island, B.C. Mexico. At the same time, the sacarse number of multidisciplinary programs in conservation of wild populations in Mexico, such as marine mammals, inspired her and her friend and colleague Daniela Barcenas to found CIENTINELA DEL MAR, a Nonprofit organization whose objective is to help to protect wildlife in Mexico, considering health, as an essential aspect to include in national conservation programs. Finally, Casandra had the opportunity to be an officer in the Mexican Marine Mammal Society (SOMEMMA, A.C.) as well as a participation at the general advisory council at Instituto Politecnico Nacional (IPN) (as student).

Currently, Casandra belongs to National System of Researchers in Mexico (SNI, 1) and she is working in some projects regarding health and ecology of marine mammals as well as sharks with different institutions in Mexico and  the U.S. She is starting her collaboration as part time professor of subjects such as Conservation Medicine in different universities. Her main goal is to apply health knowledge to improve wildlife management and conservation programs in Mexico. She thinks conservation success of wildlife populations is proportional to the multidisciplinary background of people involved. Therefore, CIENTINELA DEL MAR, is currently working on that matter.

Her main areas of interest are politics and wildlife management, conservation Medicine as well as Health aspects  of free-range populations.



Co-founder & Animal welfare committee

Daniela studied the career of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics at Instituto Tecnologico de Sonora (2004-2009). Since she was a student she became really interested in wildlife.  In 2013 she completed her master’s in “Marine Resources Management”, by the National Polytechnic Institute (Instituto Politecnico Nacional) at Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR-IPN) where she began her work with marine mammals, especially pinnipeds. Her master’s theses title was: ´´Exploring the causes of mortality of the California sea lion Zalophus californianus at Magdalena Island, B.C.S., Mexico´´.

Ever since, she has collaborated in various research projects related to this subject. She co-founded Cientinela del Mar A.C., in 2015. She has been a part time Professor at the Autonomous University of Baja California Sur in the Animal Science and Habitat Conservation Department, teaching subjects related to wild fauna such as Marine Mammals Biology. 


During that time, she co-founded a Project for disentanglement of sea lions in La Paz, B.C.S., which later expanded to the northwestern region of Mexico. This program brought for the first time in Latin America the use of the Remote Sedation Technique and Telemetry to achieve the rescue and capture of free-range sea lions in the Gulf of California.  In 2015, she made a professional internship at The Marine Mammal Center (TMMC), as part of the International Veterinarian in Residency program. From 2017 to date she has dedicated most of her time to the strengthening and expansion of the Sea Lion Rescue Project as the Technical and Veterinary Science Director, overseeing the rescue operations and performing anesthesia and medical care to entangled sea lions in Mexico.


Currently, Daniela is collaborating on several research projects involving health, welfare, and fisheries interactions with pinnipeds.

Her main areas of interest are Conservation Medicine and Health aspects of free-range marine mammal populations as well as  anthropogenic interactions. 



Research Advisor

Collaboration is the key to comprehend how we are impacting nature and what to do about it.

- Vanessa

Vanessa is biologist from the University of Guadalajara, México (1999). In 2003 she finished her master’s in “Management of Marine Resources”, by Instituto Politecnico Nacional at Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR). Her master’s theses title was: “Tourism influence on the behavior of California sea lion Zalophus californianus in Los Islotes, Baja California Sur, Mexico”. She collaborated  with Laboratory of Marine Mammals of CICIMAR-IPN as researcher and then as research Professor in same institution. She was  the laboratory technician for the Laboratory of Pinnipeds Ecology in charge of Dr. David Aurioles Gamboa and for the Laboratory of Dynamics of Ecosystems in charge of Dr. Francisco Arreguín Sanchez both laboratories located at CICIMAR-IPN.

She obtained the doctoral degree at the Doctoral Program “Use, Conservation and Preservation of Natural Resources” of Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) in La Paz, Baja California Sur. The title of doctoral thesis was: “Health state of the Pacific green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in the Occidental Coast of Baja California Peninsula”.


As postdoctoral research she collaborated with the project “Purine metabolism of marine mammals in response to hypoxic conditions associated to diving and exercise: in vitro and in vivo studies” directed by Dra. Tania Zenteno Savín and also developed the following research projects: “Creation of logistic and state-dependent energy allocation models to assess maturity size and differential growth related to health and nutritional state of East Pacific green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)” (2013-2014) and “In vivo biomarkers of environmental toxicity: determination of nuclear abnormalities and oxidative stress of green turtle (Chelonia mydas)” (2015).

Currently, Vanessa  belongs to National System of Researchers in Mexico (SNI, 1) and is full Time Research Professor at the Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi and  responsible of the Laboratory el Ecological Health of the same institution.

Her main area of research is health ecology which includes the evaluation of biomarkers in free-living populations in order to understand the effects of environmental perturbation.



 Ecology Science committee

“The environment must be studied as a whole, a complete integration, taking into account different points of view and from producers to predators, to understand how it works”


Tatiana is a marine biologist from the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Colombia (2007). She has always had an interest in the ecology of marine organisms, especially top predators. In 2010 she finished her master’s in “Management of Marine Resources”, by Politecnico Nacional at Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas (CICIMAR). Her master’s theses title was: “Growth and isotopic variation of carbon and Nitrogen in vibrissae of northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris). At same institution she got her doctoral degree under the program of ´´Marine Science´ and the theses title was: Ontogenetic variation in feeding habits of striped marlin Kajikia audax and swordfish Xiphias gladius in the Eastern Pacific at CICIMAR-IPN. As a graduate student, he had the opportunity to participate in different national and international conferences, exposing his work.

In both cases she uses stable isotope biochemical technique, which allows solving not only questions about trophic habits, but also allows a better vision of factors such as migration or ontogenetic changes, in the species that are analyzed. The fact of being able to work with different species of top predators allows the vision of the functioning of the marine ecosystem to be broadened much more.

Currently, Tatiana belongs to National System of Researchers in Mexico (SNI, 1) and is working with producer organisms, without neglecting top predators. In particular, she is starting to work with macroalgae, which allow determining isotopic base values that can help to understand more complex processes at the following levels that are part of the analyzed systems. She is teaching at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur in bachelor and postgraduate, in the careers of marine biology, water sciences and the postgraduate degree in Marine and Coastal Sciences. Also, she advises undergraduate and graduate students.

She works in collaboration also with the macroalgae Lab at the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste (CIBNOR) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, since 2016 in different projects.


Her main areas of interest is marine ecology, particularly from the point of view of energy transfers and changes through time, using the stable isotope technique, which can be used from primary producers to top predators.

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