To conserve coastal habitats and biodiversity for healthy and sustainable human livelihoods.


Our scientific mission is to generate and integrate interdisciplinary data on coastal exploitation and socioecological systems to integrate the ecological, social, archaeological, and physical dimensions of coastal environments. We aim to produce trajectories of human coastal exploitation on different temporal and spatial scales over critical conservation habitats (e.g., coral reefs, mangroves). The aforementioned is needed to understand the past, current, and future delivery of coastal ecosystem services on which at-risk coastal communities rely.
Our environmental education mission is to produce and share novel and attractive visual material that ignites collective human awareness on the need to take care and make changes as individuals and as a community for a healthier “planet ocean”.

How our work helps for Marine Conservation

We aim to create sound scientific and environmental education products useful to policy managers for decision-making strategies focused on preserving the natural capital and socio-cultural heritage of evolving human coastal societies in the 21st century.

More about us

Humans and Sharks on Cozumel

Islands in the Mexican Caribbean Sea (MCS) harbor coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves critical for coastal communities’ livelihoods and sharks’ conservation. The islands in the MCS are global touristic sites. Increasing fishing and tourism here transformed landscapes and ignited the social conflict. Here, harmful environmental practices afflict society and biodiversity conservation, including top predators. Our group started studying the historical biodiversity of sharks on Holbox in 2015 and in 2021 in Isla Mujeres using fishers’ Local Ecological Knowledge. This project documents the trajectory of the diversity and availability of sharks on Cozumel. Our team is using fishers’ and divers’ perceptions of the environment and field observations integrated with historical ecology methods and geospatial tools. The fishers´ traditional knowledge is allowing us to visit unstudied reefs where young and juvenile reef sharks and nurse sharks were sighted. Baseline socio-ecological data about sharks is limited to the MCS. COVID-19 hit the elder community members. Local ecological knowledge of sharks is fading. This project is allowing interdisciplinary scientific research on the human and ecological dimension of the presence of sharks on a hotspot touristic island. We couple our scientific activities with environmental education activities. We aim to develop broad audiences’ awareness of the need for healthy oceans for human well-being and sharks´ conservation in collaboration with local authorities

Club de los Tiburones México

Mar Sustentable has been working on environmental education since 2015. As part of this work, in 2021, the support of the Save Our Seas Foundation to Dr. Rubio allowed starting the development of virtual workshops in Mexico for children interested in the conservation of sharks. These workshops have reached over 10 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our workshops aim promoting youth’s knowledge and appreciation for sharks. The workshops in the Mexican Caribbean are part of the research project being performed by our team on Isla Holbox, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres related to coastal exploitation.

Photo Gallery

Here you can find some behind the scenes of our work in the field on Mexico’s Caribbean Islands.

Since 2018, we have created over 150 short videos focused on educating broad audiences about the marine environment and its biodiversity.




You can help us continue our scientific and environmental education mission.