Sofia Castello y Tickell

Department of Zoology,

University of Oxford. 



Image removed.I am interested in how people understand, depict and protect the marine environment, as well as the workings of the ocean and the creatures within it.

My MSc research focused on the human costs of enforcing and complying with Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). I have previously worked on research projects with sea stars and urchins in the Galapagos Islands, eels in the Thames Estuary, and clams in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. 


I am studying the social and ecological dimensions of human-made reefs in Quintana Roo, Mexico.


2017-present: DPhil Student, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford (Balliol College).

2015-2016: MSc Biodiversity, Conservation & Management, Department of Geography & the Environment, University of Oxford (Somerville College).

Dissertation: “Human costs of enforcement and compliance in no-take MPAs”

2014-2015: Marine & Freshwater Intern, UK & Europe Division, Zoological Society of London.

2013-2014: Research & Teaching Assistant, Witman Lab, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University.

2008-2012: AB Biology & Photojournalism, Brown University. 


My DPhil is supervised by Professor EJ Milner-Gulland (University of Oxford) and funded by CONACYT and a Foley-Béjar scholarship from Balliol College. I have also received funding from Somerville College.


SMASH16 Fellow, 2016.

Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society, Brown University, 2012.

AT&T New Media Fellow, Brown University, 2012.

Betsy Lehman ‘77 Award for Excellence in Journalism, Brown University, 2012.


Royal Geographical Society (Postgraduate Fellow)

Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society

Marine Biological Association

Fisheries Society of the British Isles


Castello y Tickell, S., Barker, J., 2015. 10-year Report on Marine Mammal Sightings in the Tidal Thames. Zoological Society of London.

Cusack, JJ, Bradfer‐Lawrence, T, Baynham‐Herd, Z, Sofia Castelló y Tickell, et al. Measuring the intensity of conflicts in conservation. Conservation Letters. 2020;e12783.

  • Castello y Tickell, S., Witman, J.D., Lamb, R.W., and Smith, F. Effect of Nidorellia armata grazing in the Galápagos Marine Reserve. (Poster presented at 2014 Benthic Ecology Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida).


  • The Amazing Life Cycle of the European Eel (
    • Winner of “Best Short Film” at the SCINEMA International Film Festival
    • Selected for screening at the Beneath the Waves Film Festival, Ekofilm Festival, and Factual Animation Film Fuss