Spotlight: Ivonne Ortiz

Research Scientist

Ivonne OrtizIvonne joined JISAO in October 2013 as a Research Scientist. She is particularly interested in developing spatial and multidisciplinary approaches that integrate ecosystem processes and knowledge. Ivonne collaborates with the Resource Ecology and Ecosystem Modelling Task (REEM) at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center working on ecosystem models and tool development in support of ecosystem-based fisheries management. 

For the past few years Ivonne has been one of the lead developers of FEAST, an end-to-end model developed as part of The Bering Sea Project that integrates climate, oceanography, lower trophic levels, fish dynamics, and fisheries in a high resolution framework. It was during this project that Ivonne met and worked with JISAO scientists Al Hermann, Nick Bond, and Muyin Wang. The FEAST model was also the main work of her postdoctoral research with André Punt at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. She continues to improve FEAST for further use in fisheries management. Prior to developing FEAST, Ivonne developed a series of food-web models and researched the historical exploitation of the marine resources in the Aleutian Islands. These results played an important role in the development of the Aleutian Islands Fishery Ecosystem Plan (2007). Her work continues to contribute to the Aleutians Islands Ecosystem Assessment.

Ivonne earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, and both her master’s (2002) and doctoral (2007) degrees at the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. As Ivonne in Icelandpart of her undergraduate studies, she spent some time at the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission in La Jolla, California, investigating the biota associated with flotsam in the tuna fishery. That study sparked her interest in spatial processes and multispecies approaches to fisheries issues. Her interest in the marine environment started long before her university work. As a kid, she traveled with her family to many then undeveloped beaches in Mexico swimming with turtles and around coral reefs. Since then she has continued visiting remote or hard-to-access places such as the Revillagigedo Islands, the upper Gulf of California, and Western Aleutian Islands as part of her own research or volunteering for fellow researchers. In her spare time Ivonne enjoys photography, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.