Maria is a spatial ecologist interested in the science-policy interface for ecosystem services and biodiversity to inform landscape planning. By applying decision support tools like scenario analysis and conservation planning, she explores trade-offs and prioritize management alternatives that balance conservation, development, and social objectives. Her PhD focuses on synthesizing ecosystem services research to  provide scientific evidence that can be used in environmental decision making. She is developing study cases in Mediterranean Chile looking at spatial and temporal changes in ecosystem services provision under global change and exploring ways to expand the current protected areas system to enhance equity in access to nature and improve biodiversity representation.  Her research aims to inform international and national conservation decision-making on best practices to manage multi-functional landscapes for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services.

 This PhD project is supervised by Dr Kerrie Wilson, Professor Hugh Possingham, Dr. Jonathan Rhodes and Dr. Brett Bryan (CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences).

This project is supported through a Chilean Postgraduate Award (Becas Chile), the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions Postgraduate Award, and a CSIRO Integrative Natural Resource Management Postgraduate Fellowship.

Master, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, July 2007-July 2009

PhD, University of Queensland, September 2012 – current


Themes and Projects

Ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation theme

Chile project


Martínez-Harms, M. J., S. Quijas, A. M. Merenlender, and P. Balvanera. 2016. Enhancing ecosystem services maps combining field and environmental data. Ecosystem Services 22, Part A: 32-40.

 Mitchell, M. G. E., A. F. Suarez-Castro, M. Martinez-Harms, M. Maron, C. McAlpine, K. J. Gaston, K. Johansen, and J. R. Rhodes. 2015. Landscape Fragmentation and Ecosystem Services: A Reply to Andrieu et al. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Martinez-Harms, M. J., B. A. Bryan, P. Balvanera, E. A. Law, J. R. Rhodes, H. P. Possingham, and K. A. Wilson. 2015. Making decisions for managing ecosystem services. Biological Conservation. 184: 229-238.

Mitchell M.G.E. Suarez Castro F. Martinez-Harms M. Maron M.  McAlpine C. Gaston K.  Caynes R. Johansen K.  Rhodes J. 2015. Reframing landscape fragmentation’s effects on ecosystem services. Trends in ecology & evolution 30 (4), 190-198.

Martinez-Harms & P. Balvanera. 2012. Methods for mapping Ecosystem Service supply: a review. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management 8 (1-2): 17-25. 

Balvanera, P., A. Castillo, M. J. Martínez-Harms. 2011. Ecosystem services. En: Dirzo, R., H. Mooney, G. Ceballos Young, H. (Eds.). Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests: Biology and Conservation. Island Press. 300p.

Martínez-Harms, M. J., & R. Gajardo. 2008. Ecosystem value in the Western Patagonia Protected Areas. Journal for Nature Conservation 16: 72-87.