Plenary speakers


Alfonso Alonso

Smithsonian Institution. USA.

Alfonso Alonso is the Managing Director of Field Programs at Smithsonian Institution Conservation Biology Institute. He is an expert and important consultant in biodiversity studies, and monitors the design, implementation and execution of strategies for vegetation and invertebrate sampling protocols. Alonso is the author of over 50 scientific papers in conservation biology and biodiversity monitoring. Alonso focuses on integrating conservation needs with development priorities to sustain biodiversity. Furthermore, he implements assessing and monitoring programs to minimize impacts on biodiversity during the execution of oil and gas mega-infrastructure projects. Other research areas include North, Central and South America, Africa and Asia.


Miguel Araujo

National Museum of Natural Sciences. SPAIN.

Miguel Araujo is a Research Professor of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the National Museum of Natural Sciences in Madrid. He is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Natural History Museum of Denmark, the University of Évora, and the Imperial College London. He held faculty or research positions at the Imperial College London, the University of Oxford, the CNRS, and the Natural History Museum in London. He is the author of over 180 publications in journals and books and was identified as “highly cited” scientist by Thomson Reuters (2014). In recognition of his work, Prof. Araújo won a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2014). He also received the IBS (International Biogeography Society) MacArthur & Wilson Award (2013).


Anthony Barnosky

UC Berkeley. USA.

Anthony D. Barnosky has been on the faculty of the University of California-Berkeley since 1990, where he currently holds the posts of Professor of Integrative Biology, Curator of Fossil Mammals in the Museum of Paleontology, and Research Paleoecologist in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Author of numerous scientific publications, op eds, blog posts, and books, he has spent three decades conducting research related to past planetary changes, and what they mean for forecasting the transformations to come on Planet Earth in the next few decades. His latest books, Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth (University of California Press, 2014) and End Game: Tipping Point for Planet Earth? (HarperCollins UK, 2015, coauthored with E.A. Hadly) examine the state of the planet today and how we can guide it towards a future we want, rather than one that inadvertently happens to us.

Ana Barros

Ana Barros

Duke University. USA.

Her primary research interests are in Hydrology, Hydrometeorology and Environmental Physics with a focus on water-cycle processes in the coupled land-atmosphere-biosphere system particularly in regions of complex terrain, the study of multi-scale interface phenomena in complex environments across the Earth Sciences, remote sensing of the environment (precipitation, clouds, soil moisture, and vegetation), climate predictability, extreme events and risk assessment of natural hazards. Prof. Barros served in the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council, and in several committees of the Water Science and Technology Board and the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate including the Climate Research Committee, and she was a member of the US National Committee for the International Hydrology Program (IHP) of the UNESCO.


Bradley Cardinale

University of Michigan. USA.

Bradley Cardinale is an Associate Professor of Natural Resources; And Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Michigan. He is committed to understand the causes and consequences of changing biodiversity in the modern era. Bradley Cardinale uses theory, experiments, and observational studies to gain an understanding of how human alteration of the environment impacts the biotic diversity of communities and, in turn, how this loss can affect fluxes of energy and matter that are fundamental to all biological processes. Other research areas include Biodiversity & Ecosystem Process, Community Assembly and Restoration Ecology.


David Cooper

Colorado State University. USA. (not confirmed)

David Cooper is the Senior Research Scientist and professor of the Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University. He has worked on ecosystems characterized by a perennial, seasonal or periodic abundance of water, including peatland (fens and bogs), streams/rivers and their floodplains, marshes, springs, wet meadows, and salt flats. Cooper is a specialist in mountain wetland ecology and hydrology and he has ongoing and recent projects in the Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, Cascades, Coast Range, Andes, and Carpathian Mountains (Poland and Slovakia). He has study sites range from the wettest to the driest climate regions, from the arctic to the tropics, from lowland to mountain tops, and wilderness to urban landscapes.


Rodolfo Dirzo

Stanford University. USA. (not confirmed)

Rodolfo Dirzo is the Director Center for Latin American Studies, Stanford University. USA. He is a Tropical forest ecologist who studies conservation, species interactions, evolutionary ecology of herbivore defense and sustainable development. He has specialized in the ecology of tropical ecosystems. In particular, he studies plant-animal interactions from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Recently, he has been focusing his work on the consequences of anthropogenic impact (deforestation, fragmentation, defaunation) on tropical ecosystems. His commitment is to teach and educate on the relevance of biological conservation. He has worked with community ecology, genetic diversity, population ecology in tropical and temperate ecosystems. Other research areas include defaunation (loss of megafauna) in savannah ecosystems and the risks of disease for local human communities.


Kenneth Feeley

Florida International University. USA.

Kenneth J. Feeley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, Florida, USA. He received his PhD in Biology from Duke University in 2005 in recognition of his investigations into the effects of logging and habitat loss on tropical forests. He has worked as a researcher for Wake Forest University and Harvard University's Center for Tropical Forest Science before joining the faculty at FIU in 2009. Feeley’s current research is focused on revealing and predicting the complex responses of tropical forests to global climate change with a particular emphasis on the potential shifts in species’ geographic ranges. Feeley’s work combines large-scale empirical analyses and modeling with field-based observations and experiments. Other research áreas include high-elevation tropical cloudforests of the Peruvian Andes.


Philip M. Fearnside

National Institute for Research in the Amazon. Brazil.

Philip M. Fearnside is a Researcher of the Ecology Department in the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. Fearnside has a PhD in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Michigan. He is committed to make the environmental services of Amazonian forests a basis for sustainable development for the rural population of the region. He has authored over 350 publications on these and related problems of environment and development. Honors include Brazil's National Ecology Prize, the UN Global 500 award, the Conrad Wessel prize, the Chico Mendes prize and membership in the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. In 2006 he was identified by Thompson-ISI as the second most cited scientist in the world on issues of global warming.

Catherine Graham

Catherine Graham

Stony Brook University. USA. (not confirmed)

Catherine Graham is an Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the Stony Brook University. She investigate the effect of spatial and temporal arrangement of habitats on ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes and the use of this information to inform conservation and management policy. At a landscape scale, she examine how landscape- and local-level factors influence patterns of habitat use by animals, with particular interest in bridging the gap between landscape and behavioral ecology. At a regional scale, she integrate existing data sources such as museum informatics, remote-sensing data, and phylogenetic hypotheses in order to examine patterns of species’ distributions. Graham was named in the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers in the Environment/Ecology category.


Paul Hebert

University of Guelph. CANADA. (not confirmed)

Paul Hebert is the Director of the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph. CANADA. He received his PhD in Population Genetics from University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and hold a Canada Research Chair in Molecular Biodiversity. Besides, he has served as a member and chair of the NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada), Ecology and Evolution Grant selection Committee.
Hebert is the author of many scientific papers in the area of the DNA barcoding system. He has worked on arctic ecology and tropical ecology. Dr. Hebert has published a total of 352 publications until 2012. Other research areas include evolution, crustacean biodiversity and Phylogeography of Freshwater Invertebrates.


Walter Jetz

Yale University. USA.

Walter Jetz is an Associate Professor and investigator of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Yale University. USA. He is broadly interested in global biodiversity science. His research is interdisciplinary and combines elements of biogeography, community ecology, landscape ecology, macroecology, global change ecology, evolutionary and comparative biology, biodiversity informatics and conservation. His commitment is to integrate across scales of geographical, phylogenetic and ecological organization. He has worked in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University and also as an Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at University of California San Diego. Other research areas include terrestrial vertebrates, in particular birds, and plants.


Lucas Joppa

Microsoft Research. USA.

Lucas Joppa is the Head of Conservation, Computational Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Microsoft Research. USA. He is a scientist in the Computational Ecology and Environmental Sciences Group at Microsoft Research where he heads the Conservation Science Research Unit. Joppa is the scientific lead for Microsoft's partnership with the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species where he serve on the IUCN Red List Committee and chair the Red List Informatics Working Group. He leads the Technology for Nature Unit, an initiative between Microsoft Research, the Zoological Society of London, and departments at University College London, with a mission to rapidly scale up the global conservation response through technology innovations.


Bette Loiselle

University of Florida. USA.

Bette Loiselle is the Director of Tropical Conservation and Development Program Center for Latin American Studies and professor at the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation of the University of Florida, USA. She received her PhD in Zoology and Botany from University of Wisconsin. She has worked with Tropical Ecology/Conservation Biology, Ecology of seed dispersal from plant and animal perspectives, population dynamics of birds, spatial structure and social organization of leks and consequences for reproductive skew and population structure in manakins. Loiselle has won the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award of the University of Missouri in 2005. Other research areas include Ecology and evolution, Biogeography and Sexual selection in an exploded lekking species.


Rodrigo Medellin

National Autonomous University of Mexico. MEXICO.

Rodrigo Medellin is a researcher at the Department of Biodiversity and Ecology in the Institute of Ecology of the National University of Mexico. Medellin is the Director of the Bat Conservation Program of Mexico (PCMM), and also an academic coordinator of the Chajul Station, Lacandon Jungle. He has published over 50 papers in international refereed journals, written or edited 40 books and book chapters, and more than 20 outreach publications. Medellin has organized several national and international conferences and has held various positions in professional societies conservation and study of mammals. His research interests focus on the ecology and conservation of mammals, particularly the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on the ecosystem of the tropical rainforest, ecology and conservation needs of Mexican bats, and the management and wildlife conservation wild.

Pia Parolin

Pia Parolin

University of Hamburg. Germany.

Pia Parolin is a biologist and tropical ecologist, Vice-President of the Society for Tropical Ecology (gtö) and Chair of the Conservation Committee of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). Her scientific work is focussed on the Amazon river and its floodplains and other tropical forest and wetland regions, on questions involving ecology and biological conservation. Her work was based at the Max-Planck-Institute for Limnology / Evolutionary Biology in Plön (Germany) and the National Institute of Amazonian Research - INPA in Manaus (Brazil), and is currently based at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research - INRA (France).


Townsend Peterson

Kansas University. USA.

Townsend Peterson is the University Distinguished Professor Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Biodiversity Institute. Kansas University. USA. Peterson is the author of more than 40 papers in ecology, Phylogenetics and filoviruses. His commitment is to focus on aspects of the geography of biodiversity with a focus on tropical ornithology and systematics. He has worked on the alpha taxonomy of birds, as well as on the phylogeny of recently radiated clades of birds. He has also worked on geographic and ecology of species' distributions, invasive species biology, and disease transmission systems. He focuses on numerous disease systems, including Chagas Disease, malaria, dengue, leischmaniasis, and ebola/Marburg. In general, his work is collaborative in nature, and usually involves geographers, computer scientists, and biologists.


Stuart Pimm

Duke University. USA.

Stuart Pimm is the Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. He studies present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. Pimm received his BSc degree from Oxford University in 1971 and his Ph.D from New Mexico State University in 1974. Pimm wrote the acclaimed assessment of the human impact to the planet: The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth in 2001. His international honors include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), the Society for Conservation Biology’s Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award (2006), and the William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement in 2007 from Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.


Simon Queenborough

Yale School of Forestry. USA.

Simon Queenborough is the Mrs. John (Elizabeth W.) Musser Director of Tropical Resources Institute, Lecturer and Research Scientist. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. USA. Dr. Queenborough is a botanical ecologist whose work focuses on how individuals, species and communities (including humans) interact over ecological and evolutionary time. He has worked in the Department of Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University. His commitment is to understand mechanisms of diversity, breeding systems and resource allocation, and quantitative methods in population dynamics. He has worked during long periods in the field in Latin America and Europe, carrying out long-term research on plant population dynamics in old-growth tropical forests and managed farming communities. 

Corine V

Corine Vriesendorp

Field Museum of Natural History. USA.

Corine is the Director of the Andes-Amazon program at The Field Museum, and leads the Museum's work on conservation and quality of life of local people. She has been an integral part of the rapid inventory team since 2003, a program that has led to the discovery of more than 150 species new to science, and helped governments protect more than 9.4 million hectares of forest in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. An avid field biologist and plant ecologist, Dr. Vriesendorp participates in the inventories as a member of the botany team. Her interests and research bridge the continuum from basic to applied science. She began her career studying mahogany in Bolivia, researching the impact of logging practices on mahogany populations, and creating recommendations for better management practices.


Kenneth Young

University of Texas at Austin. USA.

Kenneth Young is a Professor and investigator of the Department of Geography and the Environment University of Texas at Austin. USA. He has spent extended periods in tropical countries, including Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. Young teaches a wide range of courses in physical geography and human-environment interactions, including Biogeography, Climate Change, Comparative Ecosystems, Landscape Ecology, and the Natural Environment. He regularly teaches a topics graduate seminar in Biodiversity Conservation. Young has worked in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. He does this by linking biogeography and landscape ecology to questions of ecosystem dynamics and aspects of global environmental and socioeconomic change. Other research areas include climate change, high Andean landscapes and the tropical forests and floodplains of the western Amazon.