He is an Associate Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), a professional photographer associate with the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a National Geographic Explorer. Dr. Aburto obtained his PhD at the Center of Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at SIO, and was awarded the Jean Fort Award by the University of California, San Diego, for his significant contribution to an issue of public concern through his doctoral research. Dr. Aburto is a Katerhyn Fuller Fellow, WWF-Science Program in 2010, was awarded the Conservation of Nature prize by the Mexican Ministry of the Environment – CONANP in 2014, and received a Hellman Fellowship, for a Junior Faculty Research Project in 2015. His research and photographs have focused on marine reserves and commercially exploited marine species and their fisheries in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and the U.S. His photographs have been part of several conservation projects worldwide and have won international photography contests.