Juan José Alava

Juan José Alava
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada


Dr. Juan José Alava is a marine eco-toxicologist and conservation biologist, working as a researcher at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), University of British Columbia (UBC). He is also a Research Scientist at the Ocean Pollution Research Program (OPRP), Vancouver Aquarium (Ocean Wise) Marine Science Centre?s Coastal Ocean Research Institute (CORI). Dr. Alava serves as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management (Faculty of Environment), Simon Fraser University (SFU). His. Alava holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Universidad de Guayaquil (Ecuador), and a Master of Earth and Environmental Resource Management from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA (Fulbright Scholarship, 2002-2004). He obtained his PhD from Simon Fraser University. He was as a sessional instructor in both SFU and Royal Roads University teaching diverse courses. He was also a collaborating scientist of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands and is the current Science Director (honorary) of the Ecuadorian Foundation for the Study of Marine Mammals. Alava was also a research associate with the Institute of Ocean Sciences, DFO, Canada. His research has involved the assessment of pollutants, biomagnification, and health effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs such as DDTs and PCBs) in endangered Galapagos sea lion pups of the Galapagos Islands and food web bioaccumulation modeling in threatened marine mammals (killer whales, Steller sea lions) from British Columbia. He has conducted modelling work on PBDE bioaccumulation and readioecology/bioaccumulation of Cesium 137 in the regional food web of fish-eating (resident) killer whales of BC. Previous research fronts have included the assessment of mercury and PFOS in abiotic (sediments) and biotic (lichens and seabird feathers) samples from the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as organic mercury accumulation and microplastics in sediments and organisms of the Guayaquil Gulf Estuary (Ecuador) in close collaboration with the Superior Polytechnic School (ESPOL, Guayaquil, Ecuador). He has published about 65 peer reviewed publications and was selected as an active member of the Academia of Sciences of Ecuador in 2014.

Research Interest

Dr. Alava?s current research envisions the assessment and food-web modelling of pollutants bioaccumulation and interaction of climate change and anthropogenic pollution in the ocean and marine food webs. His research interests and field of expertise are broad and include: Environmental toxicology and marine ecotoxicology; food web-bioaccumulation modelling of pollutants, climate change impacts in species and ecosystem; zoology, marine mammals; sea turtles; seabirds and field ornithology; fisheries science and management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental impact and risk assessments, conservation biology; tropical biodiversity; microbiology, tropical parasitology and public health.