Dr Kelly Ortega

Research Officer

Dr Kelly Ortega is a biologist, specialising in ecological research and modelling to investigate the functioning and management of marine ecosystems. Kelly is a Research Officer at the Marine Sustainability Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town. She has a background in biology and fisheries science, and her research focusses on using ecosystem modelling to investigate the functioning of marine ecosystems and support ecosystem-based management. Her research interest also includes the influence of environmental variability and climate change on marine ecosystems, and the vulnerability and adaptive capacity of ecosystems to climate change. Kelly is a co-coordinator for the regional models of the Fisheries and Marine Ecosystems Model Intercomparison Project (FishMIP), which aims to better understand and project the impacts of climate change on fisheries and marine ecosystems. She is also the co-principal investigator for the Ecosystem-based adaptive capacity through community engagement (Eco-ACE).

Selected recent publications:

  1. Melbourne-Thomas, J., Tommasi, D., Gehlen, M., Murphy, E.J., Beckensteiner, J., Bravo, F., Eddy, T.D., Fischer, M., Fulton, E., Gogina, M., Hofmann, E., Ito, M., Mynott, S., Ortega-Cisneros, K., Osiecka, A.N., Payne, M.R., Saldívar-Lucio, R., Scherrer, K.J.N., 2023. Integrating human dimensions in decadal-scale prediction for marine social–ecological systems: lighting the grey zone. ICES Journal of Marine Science 80, 16–30. https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsac228
  2. Nyboer, E.A., Reid, A.J., Jeanson, A.L., Kelly, R., Mackay, M., House, J., Arnold, S.M., Simonin, P.W., Sedanza, M.G.C., Rice, E.D., Quiros, T.E.A.L., Pierucci, A., Ortega-Cisneros, K., Nakamura, J.N., Melli, V., Mbabazi, S., Martins, M.S.L., Ledesma, A.B.B., Obregón, C., Labatt, C.K., Kadykalo, A.N., Heldsinger, M., Green, M.E., Fuller, J.L., Franco-Meléndez, M., Burnett, M.J., Bolin, J.A., Andrade-Vera, S., Cooke, S.J., 2023. Goals, challenges, and next steps in transdisciplinary fisheries research: perspectives and experiences from early-career researchers. Review in Fish Biology and Fisheries. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-022-09719-6
  3. Strand, M., Ortega-Cisneros, K., Niner, HJ., Wahome, M., Bell, J., Currie, JC., Hamukuaya, H., La Bianca, G., Lancaster, AMSN., Maseka, N., McDonald, L., McQuaid, K., Samuel, MM., Winkler, A. 2022. Transdisciplinarity in transformative ocean governance research—reflections of early career researchers. ICES Journal of Marine Science 79(8), 2163-2177 https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsac165
  4. Ortega-Cisneros, K., Weigum, E., Chalmers, R., Grusd, S., Lombard, A., & Shannon, L. 2022. Supporting marine spatial planning with an ecosystem model of Algoa Bay, South Africa. African Journal of Marine Science, 44(2):189-204. https://doi.org/10.2989/1814232X.2022.2080268
  5. Ortega-Cisneros, K., Cochrane, K. L., Rivers, N., Sauer, W. H. H. 2021. Assessing South Africa’s Potential to Address Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in the Fisheries Sector. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8, 648. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.652955