Juan José Alava

Ph.D., Marine Ecotoxicology/Ocean Pollution

University of British Columbia

Juan José Alava is a marine eco-toxicologist and conservation biologist, working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), University of British Columbia (UBC). His research interests are broad and include environmental toxicology and marine ecotoxicology; food web-bioaccumulation modelling of pollutants and climate change; marine mammals; sea turtles; seabirds; fisheries science and management, climate change, environmental impact and risk assessments, conservation biology; tropical biodiversity and parasitology.


Alava, J.J., Cheung, W.W.L., Ross, P.S., Sumaila, U.R., 2017, Climate change-contaminant interactions in marine food webs: Towards a conceptual framework, Climate Change, Pollution, Bioaccumulation, Global Change Biology, 10.1111/gcb.13667, link

José Alava, J., Tatar, B., José Barragán, M., Castro, C., Rosero, P., Denkinger, J., Jimenéz, P.J., Carvajal, R., and Samaniego, J. (2017). Mitigating cetacean bycatch in coastal Ecuador: Governance challenges for small-scale fisheries. Marine Policy, 110, Marine Policy. link.

Alava, J.J., Calle, P., Tirapé, A., Biedenbach, G., Cadena, O.A., Maruya, K., Lao, W., Aguirre, W., Jiménez, P.J., Domínguez, G.A., Bossart, G.D., & Fair, P.A. (2020). Persistent Organic Pollutants and Mercury in Genetically Identified Inner Estuary Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Residents of the Guayaquil Gulf, Ecuador: Ecotoxicological Science in Support of Pollutant Management and Cetacean Conservation. Front. Mar. Sci. 7:122. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00122 link.


School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) master’s student Sallie Lau (University of Washington) wrote a blog about her experience at the recent Nippon Foundation Nereus Science Conference. Both English and Chinese versions are posted here.

Nereus Program research associate Juan José Alava (UBC) wrote a blog for The Conversation about the rise in mercury concentrations in top marine predators due to climate change and overfishing, and the effect this has on human health, the fishing industry, and marine food webs.

November 17, 2019 | Climate ChangeFisheries

Nereus research associate Juan José Alava is lead author on a new publication in the journal Marine Policy – “Mitigating cetacean bycatch in coastal Ecuador: Governance challenges for small-scale fisheries”

December 14, 2019 | FisheriesCoastal

Research associate Juan José Alava (UBC) is lead author on a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science that measures persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury levels in bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

March 22, 2020 | EcologyCoastal