Researcher biography

Sandra is a marine data scientist with an interest in marine spatial planning and ecosystem modelling. Her work particularly focuses on designing and assessing the costs and benefits of marine protected areas from an ecological and economic perspective, as well as the development of tools that aid stakeholder engagement. 

Sandra is currently working as a Research Assistant with Professor Anthony Richardson and Associate Professor Daniel Dunn on several projects, including writing R packages and Shiny apps to facilitate time-efficient and reproducible marine spatial planning, as well as investigating the potential of including multiple uses in marine conservation planning. 

She holds a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth and a MSc in Bioinformatics from the University of Leipzig, where her thesis investigated the impact of larval export from marine protected areas on fisheries.


Buenafe, K.C.V., Dunn, D.C., Everett, J.D., Brito-Morales, I., Schoeman, D.S., Hanson, J.O., Dabalà, A., Neubert, S., Cannicci, S., Kaschner, K., & Richardson, A.J. (2023). A metric-based framework for climate-smart conservation planning. Ecological Applications e2852.

Dabalà, A., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Dunn, D.C., Everett, J.D., Lovelock, C.E., Hanson, J.O., Buenafe, K.C.V., Neubert, S., & Richardson, A.J. (2023). Priority areas to protect mangroves and maximise ecosystem services. Nature Communications 14(5863).