Crisol Mendez-Medina

I consider myself a passionate researcher and an idealist. From my perspective, it is equally meaningful for science to develop research methods and theories as it is to communicate science with the world. I genuinely believe that as scientists we have a moral responsibility to return knowledge to society. I’m currently working on an innovative project about the self-governance of fishing organizations in Mexico. It brings together the fishing sector (i.e. the Mexican Confederation of Fishing Cooperatives CONMECOOP, representing more than 11,000 fishers), two Mexican civil society organizations: Comunidad y Biodiversidad (CoBi) and the Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá, and Duke University. The project has had two phases. The first one was a national diagnostic (DNOP) to understand the grade of the functionality of fishing organizations in Mexico in three levels of association: cooperatives, federations, and confederations.  Phase I resulted in reports of the results presented to the Mexican Confederation of Fishing Cooperatives (CONMECOOP by its name in Spanish) and the National Commission for Fisheries and Agriculture (CONAPESCA by its name in Spanish). The second phase (2018-2019) will transform the needs assessment into a basic work-plan for a national program for the strengthening of fishing organizations (PNFOP) approved and supported by the Confederation.

I graduated with a Ph. D.  in science in Ecology and Sustainable Development from ECOSUR, México. For my Master and Ph.D. dissertations, I conducted a research case study about the successful fishing cooperatives in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (2013-2017). Using various disciplines, I explored how the elements of the reef system (social organization, productive activities, public policy, biological environment, ecological interactions) are interconnected. I have a special interest in analyzing power relations immersed in environmental governance. From the institutional theory, I explore how cooperation happens between actors involved in the management of a Biosphere Reserve. I deep into the role of the State, analyzing both public policies governing resources, such as control mechanisms and sanctions, as well as the processes of appropriation of these regulations by local communities.

If you want to know more about my work, you can take a look at my website


  • 2014-2018: Doctorate in Science in Ecology and Sustainable Development (with an orientation in Conservation), El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal.
  • 2012-2013: Master in Science in Natural Resources and Rural Development (with an orientation in management of territories), El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chetumal.
  • 2006-2009: Master in Conservation, Management and Dissemination of Heritage (Minor in Cultural Tourism and Minor in Environmental Interpretation), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.
  • 2007-2008: Certificate in Education, Universidad de Guadalajara.
  • 2002-2006: Bachelor in sociology (minor in Latin-American studies), Universidad de Guadalajara.