Mr Javier Cuetos Bueno

Mr Javier Cuetos Bueno

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



I am a PhD student doing research on small-scale tropical fisheries with Dr. Anthony Knights. I am also a fisheries scientists at The Nature Conservancy, leading its fisheries strategy across Micronesia.

I have been doing coral-reef ecology and fisheries research in across the tropical Pacific since 2009, prior to TNC under the umbrella of Pacific Marine Resources Institute and as a post-graduate researcher at the University of Guam Marine Laboratory. I have worked alongside regional researchers and stakeholders and have developed a solid understanding of the issues currently confronting marine resources and societies across the tropical Pacific, while also exploring science-based management solutions for these issues.

Examples of research work include: (i) estimations of historical trends in fisheries landings, (ii) modeling fishing impacts on fish assemblages and their ecosystem functionality, (iii) assessing the impacts of regional/global socioeconomic factors on small-scale fisheries, and (iv) development of electronic fisheries-dependent monitoring methodologies. Drawing from my multidisciplinary background, I approach these themes from a combined ecological/socioeconomic perspective, providing for scientifically-sound and defendable practical solutions to current conservation issues.

I graduated with a Master Degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2011 in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, and a Bachelor’s Degree from UC San Diego/University of Barcelona in 2009 Environmental Sciences.


Master Degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (2011)

Bachelor’s Degree from UC San Diego/University of Barcelona in Environmental Science (2009)



Research interests


Coral-reef ecology

Marine Conservation




Houk, P., Lemer, S., Hernandez-Ortiz, D., Cuetos-Bueno, J. In Review. Phylogenies predict compensatory density dependence in coral-reef fisheries.


Rhodes, K. L., Baremore, I. E., Taylor, B. M., Cuetos‐Bueno, J., & Hernandez-Ortiz, D. (2020). Aligning fisheries management with life history in two commercially important groupers in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.


Pardee, C., Taylor, B. M., Felise, S., Ochavillo, D., & Cuetos-Bueno, J. (2020). Growth and maturation of three commercially important coral reef species from American Samoa. Fisheries Science


Cuetos-Bueno J, Hernandez-Ortiz D, and Houk P. (2019) “Coevolution of ‘race-to-fish’ dynamics and declining size structures in an expanding commercial coral-reef fishery”. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries


Cuetos-Bueno J, Hernandez-Ortiz D, Graham C, Houk P (2018) “Human and environmental gradients predict catch, effort, and species composition in a large Micronesian coral-reef fishery”. PLoS ONE


Cuetos-Bueno J. and Houk P. (2018) “Disentangling economic, social, and environmental drivers of coral-reef fish trade in Micronesia”. Fisheries Research


Houk P., Cuetos-Bueno J., Tibbatts B., and Gutierrez J. (2018) “Variable density dependence and the restructuring of coral-reef fisheries across 25 years of exploitation”. Scientific Reports


Rhodes, K. L., Hernandez-Ortiz, D. X., Cuetos-Bueno, J., Ioanis, M., Washington, W., & Ladore, R. (2018). A 10-year comparison of the Pohnpei, Micronesia, commercial inshore fishery reveals an increasingly unsustainable fishery. Fisheries Research


Cuetos-Bueno J. and Hernandez-Ortiz D. (2017) “Length-weight relationships of six species of coral reef-fish from Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia”. Journal of Applied Ichthyology.


Houk P., Cuetos-Bueno J., Kerr A. and McCann K. (2017) “Linking fishing pressure with ecosystem thresholds and food web stability on coral reefs”. Ecological Monographs


Houk P., Tilfas R., Luckymis M., Nedlic O., Ned B., Cuetos-Bueno J., McLean M. (2017) “An applied framework to assess exploitation and guide management of coral-reef fisheries”. Ecosphere


McLean M., Cuetos-Bueno J., Nedlic O., Luckymiss M., Houk P. (2016). Local Stressors, Resilience, and Shifting Baselines on Coral Reefs. PLOS ONE


Rhodes K., Taylor B.M., Hernandez-Ortiz D. and Cuetos-Bueno J. (2016) Age-based reproductive life history of the Highfin grouper, Epinephelusmaculatus, in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. Journal of Fish Biology.


Cuetos–Bueno J., Houk P. (2014) Re–estimation and synthesis of coral–reef fishery landings in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands since the 1950s suggest the decline of a common resource. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries


Houk, P., Rhodes, K., Mcilwain, J., Cuetos–Bueno, J., Lindfield, S. (2012). Comparative assessment of commercial coral reef fisheries across Micronesia: the need for improved management. Coral Reefs