Maria José Gonzalez-Bernat is the Area Coordinator for AIDA's Ecosystems Program. She works from Bogotá. María José is a biologist with a Masters in Marine Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a Ph.D. in Governnace from the University of Western Australia. She has experience in the conservation and management of marine ecosystems, climate change, marine-coastal governance and policies, as well as the effective management of marine protected areas. She has worked with non-profit organizations and in Guatemala's public sector, primarily in research and issues related to marine protected areas.