Skip to main content


Dr Maria Eugenia (Maru) Correa-Cano

Dr Maria Eugenia (Maru) Correa-Cano

Postdoctoral Research Associate

 Environment and Sustainability Institute Desk 10, First Floor, open pla


Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9FE, UK


I am a biologist and an ecologist working in an interface of application between Engineering and environmental conservation. My research has been focused on the effects of anthropogenic activities on biodiversity, with a focus on light and plastic pollution. I have worked as consultant for the IUCN's Global Species Program under the project Safeguarding Mesoamerica crop wild species. My research on Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) nexus has contributed to the understanding of linkages between nexus elements and the impacts of agricultural expansion on the environment and on for the local and regional economies. I am interested in the development of tools to quantify natural capital to measure and value nature, using a Life Cycle Assessment approach and systems thinking.


  • 2018 Teacher of English as a Second Language. Trinity College
  • 2016 PhD in Biological Sciences (University of Exeter)
  • 2006 M.Sc. in Biological Sciences (UNAM, Mexico)
  • 2002 B.Sc. in Biology (UNAM, Mexico)


2019-Present. Postdoctoral Research Associate, ESI, University of Exeter.

2019. Consultant. IUCN. Global Species Programme. Safeguarding Mesoamerican crop wild species.

2018. Consultant. SaveStars, Consulting S.L. Account of species (vertebrates) and spaces. (Protected Areas) with risk of nocturnal light pollution for a localized area 34km east of Madrid.

2017. Consultant. CONABIO, Mexico. Developing a Plant trait database for Mexican species

2011. English courses. Immersion for studying abroad.

2009-2010. Pronatura Mexico. Coordinator for the conservation of endangered species for the central and western Mexico

2007-2009 Pronatura Mexico. Coordinator of the national reforestation program.

2006-2007 Pronatura Mexico. Spatial analysis of agrobiodiversity for the ecoregional planning in central and western Mexico.

Back to top


Research interests

  • Water-Energy-Food-Environment nexus (WEFE nexus)
  • Lyfe Cycle Analysis and Material Flow Analysis
  • Plastic Pollution
  • Light Pollution
  • Ecological processes and anthropogenic disturbance
  • Biodiversity conservation, use and management

Research projects

  • Renewing biodiversity through a people-in-nature approach, RENEW
  • Global Forest Management to Reap Triple Benefits for Economy, Health and Climate (ENSURE, Environmental Sustainability & Resilience)
  • NEXus Thinking for sustainable AGricultural development in Andean countries (NEXT-AG). Newton RCUK-CONICYT Broadening Impact Call (NERC).
  • Exeter Multidisciplinary Plastics Research hub: EXEMPLAR. EPSRC.

Research networks

Exeter Food


Back to top


Journal articles

Naranjo L, Correa-Cano ME, Rey D, Chengot R, España F, Sactic M, Knox JW, Yan X, Viteri-Salazar O, Foster W, et al (2023). A scenario-specific nexus modelling toolkit to identify trade-offs in the promotion of sustainable irrigated agriculture in Ecuador, a Belt and Road country. Journal of Cleaner Production, 413
Correa-Cano ME, Salmoral G, Rey D, Knox JW, Graves A, Melo O, Foster W, Naranjo L, Zegarra E, Johnson C, et al (2022). A novel modelling toolkit for unpacking the Water-Energy-Food-Environment (WEFE) nexus of agricultural development. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 159, 112182-112182.
Burgess AJ, Correa Cano ME, Parkes B (2022). The deployment of intercropping and agroforestry as adaptation to climate change. Crop and Environment, 1(2), 145-160.
Goettsch B, Urquiza‐Haas T, Koleff P, Acevedo Gasman F, Aguilar‐Meléndez A, Alavez V, Alejandre‐Iturbide G, Aragón Cuevas F, Azurdia Pérez C, Carr JA, et al (2021). Extinction risk of Mesoamerican crop wild relatives. PLANTS, PEOPLE, PLANET, 3(6), 775-795. Abstract.
Kouloumpis V, Pell RS, Correa-Cano ME, Yan X (2020). Potential trade-offs between eliminating plastics and mitigating climate change: an LCA perspective on Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles in Cornwall. Science of the Total Environment, 727 Abstract.
Harrison XA, Donaldson L, Correa-Cano ME, Evans J, Fisher DN, Goodwin CED, Robinson BS, Hodgson DJ, Inger R (2018). A brief introduction to mixed effects modelling and multi-model inference in ecology. PeerJ, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.
Correa-Cano ME, Goettsch B, Duffy JP, Bennie J, Inger R, Gaston KJ (2018). Erosion of natural darkness in the geographic ranges of cacti. Sci Rep, 8(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Rodríguez P, Villalobos F, Sánchez-Barradas A, Correa-Cano ME (2017). Macroecology in Mexico: history, progress and perspectives. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 88, 52-64. Abstract.
Bennie J, Duffy JP, Davies TW, Correa-Cano ME, Gaston KJ (2015). Global trends in exposure to light pollution in natural terrestrial ecosystems. Remote Sensing, 7(3), 2715-2730. Abstract.
Gomez-Hinostrosa C, Hernandez HM, Terrazas T, Eugenia Correa-Cano M (2014). Studies on Mexican Cactaceae. V. Taxonomic notes on <i>Selenicereus tricae</i>. BRITTONIA, 66(1), 51-59.  Author URL.

Back to top

Office Hours:

Monday to Friday, 9:00 - 17:00

Back to top

Edit Profile