Skip to main content

David Antonio Gill

Assistant Professor in the Division of Marine Science and Conservation
Marine Science and Conservation

Selected Publications


Introducing Elinor for monitoring the governance and management of area-based conservation.

Journal Article Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology · April 2024 Monitoring the governance and management effectiveness of area-based conservation has long been recognized as an important foundation for achieving national and global biodiversity goals and enabling adaptive management. However, there are still many barri ... Full text Cite

A diverse portfolio of marine protected areas can better advance global conservation and equity.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · March 2024 Marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely used for ocean conservation, yet the relative impacts of various types of MPAs are poorly understood. We estimated impacts on fish biomass from no-take and multiple-use (fished) MPAs, employing a rigorous matched co ... Full text Cite

Effects of management objectives and rules on marine conservation outcomes.

Journal Article Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology · December 2023 Understanding the relative effectiveness and enabling conditions of different area-based management tools is essential for supporting efforts that achieve positive biodiversity outcomes as area-based conservation coverage increases to meet newly set intern ... Full text Cite

Improving human well-being outcomes in marine protected areas through futures thinking

Journal Article One Earth · October 20, 2023 Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important tool to protect marine biodiversity that can have substantial impacts on human well-being. However, such social impacts are rarely considered proactively. Proponents must work collectively and proactively to b ... Full text Cite

If you build it, they will come: Coastal amenities facilitate human engagement in marine protected areas

Journal Article People and Nature · October 1, 2023 Calls for using marine protected areas (MPAs) to achieve goals for nature and people are increasing globally. While the conservation and fisheries impacts of MPAs have been comparatively well-studied, impacts on other dimensions of human use have received ... Full text Cite

Entry fees enhance marine protected area management and outcomes

Journal Article Biological Conservation · July 1, 2023 Well-resourced marine protected areas (MPA) are better managed, leading to improved ecological outcomes. Tourism is often cited as an important source of financial support for MPA management, yet it is unclear whether funding from visitor entry fees improv ... Full text Cite

Triple exposure: Reducing negative impacts of climate change, blue growth, and conservation on coastal communities

Journal Article One Earth · February 17, 2023 Coastal communities are on the frontlines of three accelerating global change drivers, climate change, blue growth, and the expansion of area-based conservation, leading to a “triple exposure” scenario. Despite efforts to maximize social benefits from clim ... Full text Cite

Diversity in marine protected area regulations: Protection approaches for locally appropriate marine management

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · February 1, 2023 Globally, marine protected area (MPA) objectives have increasingly shifted from a primary focus on maintaining ecosystems through prohibiting extractive activities, to more equitable approaches that address the needs of both people and nature. This has led ... Full text Cite

Avoiding the misuse of other effective area-based conservation measures in the wake of the blue economy

Journal Article One Earth · September 16, 2022 Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) represent unique opportunities to help achieve the 2030 biodiversity conservation agenda. However, potential misuse by governments and economic sectors could compromise the outcome of these conservat ... Full text Cite

Architecture and agency for equity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Journal Article Earth System Governance · August 1, 2022 The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) bring increased attention to various aspects of ocean governance, including equity. One of the Ocean Decade's identif ... Full text Cite

Participation, not penalties: Community involvement and equitable governance contribute to more effective multiuse protected areas.

Journal Article Science advances · May 2022 Accelerating ecosystem degradation has spurred proposals to vastly expand the extent of protected areas (PAs), potentially affecting the livelihoods and well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) worldwide. The benefits of multiuse PAs ... Full text Cite

Social science for conservation in working landscapes and seascapes

Journal Article Frontiers in Conservation Science · January 1, 2022 Biodiversity is in precipitous decline globally across both terrestrial and marine environments. Therefore, conservation actions are needed everywhere on Earth, including in the biodiversity rich landscapes and seascapes where people live and work that cov ... Full text Cite

Limited Progress in Improving Gender and Geographic Representation in Coral Reef Science

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · September 29, 2021 Despite increasing recognition of the need for more diverse and equitable representation in the sciences, it is unclear whether measurable progress has been made. Here, we examine trends in authorship in coral reef science from 1,677 articles published ove ... Full text Cite

The MPA Guide: A framework to achieve global goals for the ocean.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · September 2021 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are conservation tools intended to protect biodiversity, promote healthy and resilient marine ecosystems, and provide societal benefits. Despite codification of MPAs in international agreements, MPA effectiveness is currently ... Full text Cite

Using Forecasting Methods to Incorporate Social, Economic, and Political Considerations Into Marine Protected Area Planning

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · August 13, 2021 As the global environmental crisis grows in scale and complexity, conservation professionals and policymakers are increasingly called upon to make decisions despite high levels of uncertainty, limited resources, and insufficient data. Global efforts to pro ... Full text Cite

Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · July 30, 2021 Substantial efforts and investments are being made to increase the scale and improve the effectiveness of marine conservation globally. Though it is mandated by international law and central to conservation policy, less attention has been given to how to o ... Full text Cite

Relationships Matter: Assessing the Impacts of a Marine Protected Area on Human Wellbeing and Relational Values in Southern Tanzania

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · June 17, 2021 The push to meet global marine conservation targets has significantly increased the scope and scale of marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide. While the benefits derived from MPA establishment are often optimistically framed as a “win-win” for both marine ... Full text Cite

Trends in ecology and conservation over eight decades

Journal Article Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment · June 1, 2021 The fields of ecology and conservation have evolved rapidly over the past century. Synthesizing larger trends in these disciplines remains a challenge yet is critical to bridging subdisciplines, guiding research, and informing educational frameworks. Here, ... Full text Open Access Cite

Introducing Elinor for monitoring the governance and management of area-based conservation.

Journal Article Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology · April 2024 Monitoring the governance and management effectiveness of area-based conservation has long been recognized as an important foundation for achieving national and global biodiversity goals and enabling adaptive management. However, there are still many barri ... Full text Cite

A diverse portfolio of marine protected areas can better advance global conservation and equity.

Journal Article Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America · March 2024 Marine protected areas (MPAs) are widely used for ocean conservation, yet the relative impacts of various types of MPAs are poorly understood. We estimated impacts on fish biomass from no-take and multiple-use (fished) MPAs, employing a rigorous matched co ... Full text Cite

Effects of management objectives and rules on marine conservation outcomes.

Journal Article Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology · December 2023 Understanding the relative effectiveness and enabling conditions of different area-based management tools is essential for supporting efforts that achieve positive biodiversity outcomes as area-based conservation coverage increases to meet newly set intern ... Full text Cite

Improving human well-being outcomes in marine protected areas through futures thinking

Journal Article One Earth · October 20, 2023 Marine protected areas (MPAs) are an important tool to protect marine biodiversity that can have substantial impacts on human well-being. However, such social impacts are rarely considered proactively. Proponents must work collectively and proactively to b ... Full text Cite

If you build it, they will come: Coastal amenities facilitate human engagement in marine protected areas

Journal Article People and Nature · October 1, 2023 Calls for using marine protected areas (MPAs) to achieve goals for nature and people are increasing globally. While the conservation and fisheries impacts of MPAs have been comparatively well-studied, impacts on other dimensions of human use have received ... Full text Cite

Entry fees enhance marine protected area management and outcomes

Journal Article Biological Conservation · July 1, 2023 Well-resourced marine protected areas (MPA) are better managed, leading to improved ecological outcomes. Tourism is often cited as an important source of financial support for MPA management, yet it is unclear whether funding from visitor entry fees improv ... Full text Cite

Triple exposure: Reducing negative impacts of climate change, blue growth, and conservation on coastal communities

Journal Article One Earth · February 17, 2023 Coastal communities are on the frontlines of three accelerating global change drivers, climate change, blue growth, and the expansion of area-based conservation, leading to a “triple exposure” scenario. Despite efforts to maximize social benefits from clim ... Full text Cite

Diversity in marine protected area regulations: Protection approaches for locally appropriate marine management

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · February 1, 2023 Globally, marine protected area (MPA) objectives have increasingly shifted from a primary focus on maintaining ecosystems through prohibiting extractive activities, to more equitable approaches that address the needs of both people and nature. This has led ... Full text Cite

Avoiding the misuse of other effective area-based conservation measures in the wake of the blue economy

Journal Article One Earth · September 16, 2022 Other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) represent unique opportunities to help achieve the 2030 biodiversity conservation agenda. However, potential misuse by governments and economic sectors could compromise the outcome of these conservat ... Full text Cite

Architecture and agency for equity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Journal Article Earth System Governance · August 1, 2022 The United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (Ocean Decade) bring increased attention to various aspects of ocean governance, including equity. One of the Ocean Decade's identif ... Full text Cite

Participation, not penalties: Community involvement and equitable governance contribute to more effective multiuse protected areas.

Journal Article Science advances · May 2022 Accelerating ecosystem degradation has spurred proposals to vastly expand the extent of protected areas (PAs), potentially affecting the livelihoods and well-being of indigenous peoples and local communities (IPLCs) worldwide. The benefits of multiuse PAs ... Full text Cite

Social science for conservation in working landscapes and seascapes

Journal Article Frontiers in Conservation Science · January 1, 2022 Biodiversity is in precipitous decline globally across both terrestrial and marine environments. Therefore, conservation actions are needed everywhere on Earth, including in the biodiversity rich landscapes and seascapes where people live and work that cov ... Full text Cite

Limited Progress in Improving Gender and Geographic Representation in Coral Reef Science

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · September 29, 2021 Despite increasing recognition of the need for more diverse and equitable representation in the sciences, it is unclear whether measurable progress has been made. Here, we examine trends in authorship in coral reef science from 1,677 articles published ove ... Full text Cite

The MPA Guide: A framework to achieve global goals for the ocean.

Journal Article Science (New York, N.Y.) · September 2021 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are conservation tools intended to protect biodiversity, promote healthy and resilient marine ecosystems, and provide societal benefits. Despite codification of MPAs in international agreements, MPA effectiveness is currently ... Full text Cite

Using Forecasting Methods to Incorporate Social, Economic, and Political Considerations Into Marine Protected Area Planning

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · August 13, 2021 As the global environmental crisis grows in scale and complexity, conservation professionals and policymakers are increasingly called upon to make decisions despite high levels of uncertainty, limited resources, and insufficient data. Global efforts to pro ... Full text Cite

Advancing Social Equity in and Through Marine Conservation

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · July 30, 2021 Substantial efforts and investments are being made to increase the scale and improve the effectiveness of marine conservation globally. Though it is mandated by international law and central to conservation policy, less attention has been given to how to o ... Full text Cite

Relationships Matter: Assessing the Impacts of a Marine Protected Area on Human Wellbeing and Relational Values in Southern Tanzania

Journal Article Frontiers in Marine Science · June 17, 2021 The push to meet global marine conservation targets has significantly increased the scope and scale of marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide. While the benefits derived from MPA establishment are often optimistically framed as a “win-win” for both marine ... Full text Cite

Trends in ecology and conservation over eight decades

Journal Article Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment · June 1, 2021 The fields of ecology and conservation have evolved rapidly over the past century. Synthesizing larger trends in these disciplines remains a challenge yet is critical to bridging subdisciplines, guiding research, and informing educational frameworks. Here, ... Full text Open Access Cite

Marine protected and conserved areas in the time of covid

Journal Article Parks · March 1, 2021 The intersection of potential global targets and commitments for ocean conservation with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has resulted in an opportunity to rethink the future of marine area-based conservation tools, particularly for marine protected and conse ... Full text Cite

Training future generations to deliver evidence-based conservation and ecosystem management

Journal Article Ecological Solutions and Evidence · January 1, 2021 1. To be effective, the next generation of conservation practitioners and managers need to be critical thinkers with a deep understanding of how to make evidence-based decisions and of the value of evidence synthesis. 2. If, as educators, we do not make th ... Full text Cite

The COVID-19 Pandemic, Small-Scale Fisheries and Coastal Fishing Communities

Journal Article Coastal Management · July 3, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread around the world with extensive social and economic effects. This editorial focuses specifically on the implications of the pandemic for small-scale fishers, including marketing and processing aspects of the sector, ... Full text Cite

Social and ecological outcomes of conservation interventions in tropical coastal marine ecosystems: A systematic map protocol

Journal Article Environmental Evidence · May 13, 2020 Background: Tropical coastal marine ecosystems (TCMEs) are rich in biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services, including carbon storage, shoreline protection, and food. Coastal areas are home to increasing numbers of people and population growth is e ... Full text Cite

Strengthen causal models for better conservation outcomes for human well-being.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2020 BackgroundUnderstanding how the conservation of nature can lead to improvement in human conditions is a research area with significant growth and attention. Progress towards effective conservation requires understanding mechanisms for achieving im ... Full text Open Access Cite

Social Synergies, Tradeoffs, and Equity in Marine Conservation Impacts

Journal Article · October 17, 2019 © 2019 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved. Biodiversity conservation interventions often aim to benefit both nature and people; however, the social impacts of these interventions remain poorly understood. We reviewed recent literature on the social imp ... Full text Link to item Cite

Coastal and marine quality and tourists' stated intention to return to Barbados

Journal Article Water (Switzerland) · June 1, 2019 Seawater quality is critical for island and coastal communities dependent on coastal tourism. Improper management of coastal development and inland watersheds can decrease seawater quality and adversely impact marine life, human health, and economic growth ... Full text Cite

Visitors’ willingness to pay marine conservation fees in Barbados

Journal Article Tourism Management · April 1, 2019 Human development and dense populations along coastal zones impact the health of coastal and marine ecosystems, which is detrimental to the economic sustainability of tourism. Visitors to Barbados are primarily attracted to the country's coastal and marine ... Full text Cite

Making the most of data-poor fisheries: Low cost mapping of small island fisheries to inform policy

Journal Article Marine Policy · March 1, 2019 Data scarcity in small-scale fisheries hinders the effective management of marine resources. This is particularly true within small island developing states that often have limited capacity for monitoring activities that could inform policy decisions. This ... Full text Cite

Can nature deliver on the sustainable development goals?

Journal Article The Lancet. Planetary health · March 2019 Full text Cite

Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: A review and prospectus

Journal Article Ecology and Society · October 1, 2018 An integrated understanding of both social and ecological aspects of environmental issues is essential to address pressing sustainability challenges. An integrated social-ecological systems perspective is purported to provide a better understanding of the ... Full text Cite

Using machine learning to advance synthesis and use of conservation and environmental evidence

Journal Article Conservation Biology · August 2018 Article impact statement: Machine learning optimizes processes of systematic evidence synthesis and improves its utility for evidence‐based conservation. ... Full text Cite

Social fit of coral reef governance varies among individuals

Journal Article Conservation Letters · May 1, 2018 Improved natural resource governance is critical for the effective conservation of ecosystems, and the well-being of societies that depend on them. Understanding the social fit of institutional arrangements in different contexts can help guide the design o ... Full text Cite

A novel framework for analyzing conservation impacts: evaluation, theory, and marine protected areas.

Journal Article Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences · July 2017 Environmental conservation initiatives, including marine protected areas (MPAs), have proliferated in recent decades. Designed to conserve marine biodiversity, many MPAs also seek to foster sustainable development. As is the case for many other environment ... Full text Open Access Cite

Marine Socio-Environmental Covariates: queryable global layers of environmental and anthropogenic variables for marine ecosystem studies.

Journal Article Ecology · July 2017 Biophysical conditions, including climate, environmental stress, and habitat availability, are key drivers of many ecological processes (e.g., community assembly and productivity) and associated ecosystem services (e.g., carbon sequestration and fishery pr ... Full text Cite

An appeal for a code of conduct for marine conservation

Journal Article Marine Policy · July 1, 2017 Marine conservation actions are promoted to conserve natural values and support human wellbeing. Yet the quality of governance processes and the social consequences of some marine conservation initiatives have been the subject of critique and even human ri ... Full text Cite

Capacity shortfalls hinder the performance of marine protected areas globally.

Journal Article Nature · March 2017 Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly being used globally to conserve marine resources. However, whether many MPAs are being effectively and equitably managed, and how MPA management influences substantive outcomes remain unknown. We developed a g ... Full text Open Access Cite

Visitor preferences and willingness to pay for coastal attributes in Barbados

Journal Article Ocean and Coastal Management · December 1, 2016 Coastal and marine resources in Barbados supply a wide range of goods and services including seafood, numerous recreation opportunities, wildlife habitat, and coastal protection. These resources also serve as the foundation of the Barbados tourism product ... Full text Cite

Integrating impact evaluation in the design and implementation of monitoring marine protected areas.

Journal Article Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences · November 2015 Quasi-experimental impact evaluation approaches, which enable scholars to disentangle effects of conservation interventions from broader changes in the environment, are gaining momentum in the conservation sector. However, rigorous impact evaluation using ... Full text Cite

Parrotfish size as a useful indicator of fishing effects in a small Caribbean island

Journal Article Coral Reefs · September 8, 2015 There is an urgent need to develop simple indicators of fishing effects for the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Caribbean. In this study, we compare the ability of three simple metrics (average individual fish weight, fish den ... Full text Cite

Recreational diver preferences for reef fish attributes: Economic implications of future change

Journal Article Ecological Economics · March 1, 2015 This study sought to quantify the potential effects of changes in Caribbean reef fish populations on recreational divers' consumer surplus. Over five hundred tourist SCUBA divers were interviewed at seven sites across three Caribbean countries representing ... Full text Cite

Willingness to pay to avoid high encounter levels at dive sites in the caribbean

Journal Article Tourism in Marine Environments · August 1, 2013 This research estimates willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid high numbers of encounters with other divers at dive sites in Barbados and Tobago. A survey of scuba divers from 2007 to 2010 examined demographics, experience, satisfaction with conditions (e.g., c ... Full text Cite