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Yacqueline Montecinos

MPhil in Biodiversity, conservation and Management Marine Biodiversity Technical Officer at WWF-Chile

Yacquie was born in the little rural town of Paillaco, close to the coastal city of Valdivia, in southern Chile. Because she spent most of her childhood in direct contact with her natural surroundings, she became a very enthusiastic and committed conservationist.

In 2001, she began her studies in marine biology at the Austral University of Chile. Her training soon became her best platform to engage in a diverse array of biodiversity conservation projects.

In 2003, she became a member of the Blue Whale Centre research team and researched the habitat use of blue and humpback whales. This also provided her an opportunity to learn and understand the importance of the critical habitat protection for iconic top predators like blue whales as well as the need for early integration and participation of stakeholders and local communities in protection initiatives.

Since then, Yacquie has started to participate actively in various marine conservation projects worldwide, such as promoting the Corcovado Gulf Marine protected Area proposal to protect the blue whale feeding ground within the Chiloense Ecoregion in Southern Chile. As well as identifying the high ecological value areas for a network of marine protected areas in the coast of Pakistan y Bangladesh in a partnership with different NGOs and universities. As part of her postgraduate course at University of Oxford, she is working to promote the Marine Park proposal for Easter Island with Pew and is currently working on the development of a marine protected area network proposal for Patagonia as the marine biodiversity technical officer at WWF.

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