Dr. Ceballos has an undergraduate degree in Biology from the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) Campus Izatalapa, Mexico, a Master's degree in Ecology from the University of Wales under the supervision of ecologist John. L. Harper and a PhD in Ecology from the University of Arizona with Dr. James H. Brown.
He has been on sabbatical at Stanford University in collaboration with Professor Paul R. Ehrlich, one of the most outstanding ecologists of all time.

Since 1998 he became a type C Researcher, the highest ranking in the university hierarchy. He is also member of the Mexican Academy of Science and a type III Researcher in the National Researcher System (SNI). Dr. Ceballos's research program addresses an issue that he considers to be of urgent concern which is the conservation of species and ecosystems and the linkage between conservation and development. Throughout his career at UNAM he has made a great effort to link the advances achieved in basic research with solutions of environmental problems.

He has published 124 scientific articles, 39 dissemination articles, 187 book chapters and 31 books. He is the ecologist and conservationist with more published books in Mexico and with more articles in the best scientific journals. His work has appeared in magazines such as SCIENCE, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Plos One, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Ecological Applications and Biological Conservation, among others. His paper on Populations Extinction in Science earned him the Thompson-Reuters Recognition as the Mexican ecologist with the most cited article in the decade (2009).

His work has been recognized with multiple awards such as:

1) Honorific mention of the Rolex Award for Enterprise (1990);
2) “Distinguished Service Award in Academia” of the Society for Conservation Biology, USA (2004);
3) National Award for Ecological Merit from SEMARNAT, Mexico (2005);
4) Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, USA (2005);
5) Whitley Award for the Conservation of Nature, William Brake category, Whitley Fund for Nature, Great Britain (2006);
6) VW Award for Love to the Planet (2008);
7) Merriam Award of the American Society of Mammalogist, USA;
8) Special Distinction of the Bicentennial to Environmental Merit, State of Mexico, Mexico (2010).