Meet our staff
Maria Pena’s interests are in the biological and socio-economic aspects of marine resource management. Before joining CERMES in 2001, she was Research Assistant with the Natural Resource Management Programme, UWI, Cave Hill Campus conducting genetic analyses on the white sea urchin, Tripneustes ventricosus, in the eastern Caribbean in an attempt to confirm the population stock structure of this species.

More recently, in the capacity of Project Assistant at CERMES, she has been involved in, assisted with, implemented and managed numerous externally funded marine resource management projects including socio-economic monitoring at marine protected areas (MPAs) and coastal sites (at many sites in the eastern Caribbean); fisheries management planning (at the Negril Marine Park, Jamaica); MPA management effectiveness evaluation (at the Negril Marine Park, Jamaica; Tobago Cays Marine Park, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Belize); marine resource governance  (in the eastern Caribbean); and more recently climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in fisheries and aquaculture (in CARICOM). Her project work frequently includes stakeholder engagement and outreach. 

Maria is currently the Regional SocMon Coordinator for the English-speaking Caribbean. Her experience with the Global Socio-economic Monitoring for Coastal Management (SocMon) initiative includes assisting with the inaugural SocMon Caribbean regional workshop in 2003; conducting training in support of and managing the Socio-economic Monitoring by Caribbean Fishery Authorities project (2007-2009); promoting SocMon at numerous marine training courses and conferences; and most recently, project management of the NFWF-funded Socio-economic Monitoring by Caribbean Challenge MPA managers project (2011-2012) and NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program funded Socio-economic Monitoring at
National Marine parks in the Turks and Caicos Islands (2013-2014).

Maria has been a part-time lecturer at the UWI from 2001-2010.

Recent Publications:
Pena M., K. Blackman and P. McConney. 2013. Final Technical Report. Socio-economic Monitoring by Caribbean Challenge MPA Managers Project Report No. 11. 64 pp.
Availability: request from author

Pena, M., P. McConney, and K. Blackman. 2012. Common Socio-economic monitoring indicators for Caribbean Challenge MPAs. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, 65:193-203.
Availability: request from author

McConney P. and M. Pena. 2012 Capacity for (Co)Management of Marine Protected Areas in the Caribbean. Coastal Management, 40:3, 268-278.
Availability: request from author

Pena, M. and P .McConney. 2010. Institutional arrangements for local management of marine areas in the eastern Caribbean. Proceedings of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 63: 267-273.
Availability: request from author

Pena, M., H.A. Oxenford, C. Parker and A. Johnson.2010. Biology and fishery management of the white sea urchin, Tripneustes ventricosus, in the eastern Caribbean. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular # 1056, 43 pp.
Availability: request from author

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Ms. Maria Pena

Project Assistant

BSc (UWI, Cave Hill)
MSc (UWI, Cave Hill)

E-mail: maria.pena@cavehill.uwi.edu