Ilse Alejandra Martínez Candelas

  • Project name: More than a fading memory: conservation of lemon sharks in the Yucatan Peninsula
  • Project site: Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
  • EDGE species: Lemon shark, Negaprion brevirostris
  • Active: 2024 - ongoing


Ilse is a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. She is also a researcher at an NGO in Mexico: Mar Sustentable Ciencia y Conservacion.

Ilse aims to further her experience in community-based research projects while strengthening and extending a long-standing relationship with a defined group of communities and fishers. This focused approach will enable her to establish Campeche and Yucatan as her primary study area for years to come. Additionally, the fellowship will allow her to develop and advance decolonised methodologies in the field of elasmobranch conservation.

EDGE Project

Ilse’s project aims to provide crucial insights into the lemon shark and its conservation. Using local ecological knowledge to identify historical and recent sightings, she will establish the population distribution and historical trends for the species in the Yucatán Peninsula. This will be combined with extensive stakeholder engagement to foster collaborative relationships for conservation in the area.

Her objectives are to:

  • Characterise the shark fisheries in Yucatan state.
  • Assess the distribution of the species of the Yucatan Peninsula.
  • Create a gene bank for lemon sharks.
  • Foster a bilateral relationship with the Mexican Institute of Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (IMIPAS).