Maria C. Uyarra

When did you first find out that you wanted to be scientist? I discovered my passion for the sea and interest for research at the University of East Anglia, UK, during my MSc on Applied Ecology and Conservation.
Tell us something about your background and main research interests I am a conservation ecologist with interests in socio-economics and environmental management and policy. My research focuses on the mechanisms to balance human pressures and conservation of marine ecosystems, for which I use interdisciplinary approaches. I also work on the implementation of EU marine-related policies (e.g. Marine Strategy Framework Directive, marine Narure 2000, etc.).
What do you like most about your work? I like that I get to work in an inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural environment, combining both technical and management aspects.
What is your role in DEVOTES project? I am the manager of the project, and as such I try to facilitate the work within tasks and work packages, promote communication amongst participants, ensure coordination and achievement of deadlines, supervise quality of the work, etc. I also make contributions tasks, deliverables and research outcomes as a scientist to the project.
How do you think your work in DEVOTES will contribute to the implementation of the EU marine strategy framework directive? I hope that through this project and our close collaboration with the European Commission, Regional Sea Conventions, stakeholders, etc., we are being able to cover gaps in existing knowledge and provide operational solutions to existing difficulties in the implementation of the MSFD.
What´s the relevance for your institute and country to participate in DEVOTES? DEVOTES is a multidisciplinary project with around 200 scientists from different EU and non-EU countries being involved. It provides the perfect fora for exchanging knowledge from/to Member States/research institutions on how best achieving the objectives of the MSFD. The outcomes of such information exchange will be useful in achieving the approaching deadlines regarding the implementation of the MSFD, using the most possible harmonized manner.
What´s your recommended reading list for someone wanting to know more about marine environment and DEVOTES topic? “The unnatural history of the seas” by Callum Roberts is perfect night-reading for finding out about the historical and present human relationships with the marine environment.If you want to know more about DEVOTES, then go to our website and read both “About the project” and “Research outputs”.