- B.S. Biology, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, 1983
- M.S.Marine Sciences (Fishery and Biological Oceanography), ICMyL, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, 1989
- Training: Leadership and Environment (LEAD International Program 4 Cohort), Rockefeller Foundation-LEAD Inc., 1997
- Ph.D. In progress, Marine Sciences, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados Unidad Mérida, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico
Dr. Villalobos Zapata is the director of the Centro de Ecología, Pesquería y Oceanografía del Golfo de México (Centro EPOMEX), and has been a professor and researcher at Centro EPOMEX since 1990. He is involved in several environmental studies that lead to the creation of natural protected areas, such as the Lagunas de Términos and Balam-Kin, the Biosphere Reserve of the "Petenes", and in management programs of these protected areas. He was in charge of the project "Landscape Ecology and Environmental Diagnosis of the Terminos Lagoon Natural Protected Area" (2001-2002).
Dr. Villalobos Zapata was a private consultant from 1987 to 1994, conducting studies of environmental impact of coastal touristic projects, roads, aquaculture, and oil industry (PEMEX) in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. He was also an evaluator of the Intracoastal Channel in Tamaulipas, and is a member of the Experts Group on Integrated Management of the Coastal Zones of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, promoted by the program of Coastal Resources of the Instituto de Ecología, A.C.