Dr Katia Sanchez Ortiz

Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Biodiversity Metrics and Modelling

Katia is a researcher and data analyst interested in contributing to biodiversity conservation initiatives and conducting research focusing on measuring the progress towards biodiversity targets.

She started her career by completing a Bachelor's degree in Biology in Mexico, where she mainly worked researching population genetics of native oaks. Looking to pursue a research career in biodiversity conservation, she later completed an MRes in Biodiversity, Evolution and Conservation and a PhD in Life Sciences, through which she specialised in statistical modelling to quantify the effects of human pressures on terrestrial biodiversity worldwide. Through her PhD research, she gained extensive experience in the analysis of large and complex datasets – such as the PREDICTS database – to develop biodiversity models and indicators to evaluate the impact of land-use change on biodiversity while focusing on comparing responses across geographic areas and taxonomic groups. More recently, she worked as a Programme Officer at UNEP-WCMC where she directly worked with policymakers to develop data analyses and tools to produce high-quality evidence and scientific reports on international trade of species and deforestation-related commodities to support international Conventions and Agreements (e.g., the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the EU Wildlife Trade, Timber, and Deforestation Regulations).

Her current research focuses on generating quantitative evidence to interrogate and corroborate biodiversity metrics used across different initiatives aiming to measure progress towards biodiversity targets or effectively disclose biodiversity impacts for national and international procedures. This work largely focuses on developing guidance on how to navigate the gap between existing biodiversity assessment frameworks and the metrics used to track global biodiversity goals and targets such as those established in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.