Jaboury Ghazoul is retiring from the ATBC council

The ATBC Council bids farewell to Jaboury Ghazoul, who completes 7 years of service as Councilor and President. We are so grateful for all that Jaboury has done to strengthen and lead ATBC. Marielos Peña Claros now takes the reins as President as Kaoru Kitajima becomes Past-President.  Stay tuned for election results in early January to find out who the new President-Elect will be!



Jaboury Ghazoul, President 2015

Honorary Fellow ATBC 2016: Dr. C.V. Savitri Gunatilleke



Dr. C.V. Savitri Gunatilleke, 2016 Honorary Fellow of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

In 1963, the Council of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation established the election of Honorary Fellows as ‘persons of long distinguished service to tropical biology’. This is the highest award given by the Association: to date more than 80 Honorary Fellows from over 15 countries have been elected by the Council. On behalf of The Honorary Fellow Nomination Committee, we present the 2016 Honorary Fellow: Dr. C.V. Savitri Gunatilleke.

Professor Gunatilleke entered the University of Ceylon, Colombo in 1965 before moving to the Peradeniya campus in 1967. She completed her undergraduate career in 1969 obtaining First Class Honors in the Special Degree in Botany—a rare feat at that time. In 1971 she was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship and obtained her M.Sc. in General Ecology and Ph.D. in Tropical Forest Ecology and Conservation from the University of Aberdeen. Her dissertation on the ecology and conservation of endemic tree species is widely considered a land-mark in quantitative ecological research in Sri Lanka. It also laid the foundation for an increased global awareness of the biogeographic and evolutionary significance of the Sri Lankan flora.

After completing her doctorate Dr. Gunatilleke joined the Department of Botany at the University of Peradeniya, where she progressed rapidly from Lecturer to Professor of Botany. Over the course of three decades her research program addressed fundamental questions in tropical forest ecology and conservation, and as a result of her efforts the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in the wet zone of Sri Lanka has become one of the foremost sites for tropical ecological research in Asia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The period spanning her career was marked by political turbulence in Sri Lanka that sometimes inhibited normal academic activity; notwithstanding those difficulties Professor Gunatilleke maintained her complete commitment to field-based teaching of botany and ecology and always placed her students’ interests at the forefront of her professional life. Her more recent research on conservation, management, and the reproductive ecology of tropical trees has inspired a new generation of South Asian ecologists. To date she has written over 40 peer-reviewed papers, 30 book chapters, and five books.

Professor Gunatilleke’s stellar research has been recognized multiple times by the Sri Lankan government, which awarded her Presidential Research Awards in 2000, 2001, and 2004–2006, as well as the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka’s Merit Award for Scientific Excellence in the field of Environment and Biodiversity in 2006. She is also a co-recipient of the prestigious UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation, the Silver Jubilee Award from Sweden’s International Foundation for Science, and the Woman of Achievement Award for Science from the Zonta 1 Club (Colombo, Sri Lanka). She retired from the University of Peradeniya in 2010 as a Senior Professor after having taught and inspired successive generations of botany students, including most of the current faculty of her department. The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation is honored to name Dr. C.V. Savitri Gunatilleke the 2016 Honorary Fellow.

Sandun Senarath

Professor, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka

David Burslem

Professor, University of Aberdeen, UK

Emilio M. Bruna

Editor-in-Chief, Biotropica

Jaboury Ghazoul

Chair, ATBC Honorary Fellow Selection Committee

Robin Chazdon

Executive Director, ATBC

ATBC’s commitment to science for policy

Regardless of the outcomes of recent political referenda, it is imperative that environmentally progressive policies that benefit all of humankind are not sacrificed for short term gains or undermined by misrepresentation or disregard of scientific knowledge. To this end, we affirm the urgent need to provide policy makers with clear and informed knowledge to develop sound policies for managing and protecting tropical ecosystems that benefit biological diversity, global health, socioeconomic development, and the sustainability of our shared planet. The ATBC is committed to fostering and communicating scientific understanding and conservation of tropical ecosystems for the benefit of humankind. International collaboration and mutual respect for our global partners is vital to this goal. We call on leaders across the world, including the President-Elect of the USA and Congress, to affirm recognition of the value of science-based environmental policies in both domestic and international spheres. We stand ready to share the breadth and depth of our member’s knowledge with all government agencies in a spirit of national and international collaboration and leadership.

ATBC Executive Leadership


ATBC members receive awards from OTS Emerging Challenges in Tropical Science Program

Congratulations Drs Kuprewicz, Grossmann, and García-Robledo for receiving this important award!

The three recipients of the new OTS research fellowships awards in Emerging Challenges in Tropical Sciencee are:

Carlos García-Robledo, PhD, University of Connecticut, “Demographic Networks – a novel theoretical framework to estimate insect herbivore coextinctions under projected global warming.”

Erin K. Kuprewicz, PhD, University of Connecticut, “Plant-animal interactions in the Anthropocene: Using the Barva elevational gradient to understand and predict barriers to plant migrations under global warming.”

Katja S. Grossmann, PhD, University of California Los Angeles, “Ground-based remote sensing of Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence (SIF) at La Selva Biological Station.”

The projects will be conducted at  La Selva Research Station in Costa Rica, starting on October 2016. More about this award and research projects: http://www.ots.cr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1077&Itemid=763

From left to right: Drs Kuprewicz, Grossmann, and García-Robledo.

From left to right: Drs Kuprewicz, Grossmann, and García-Robledo.

ATBC2016 Bacardi & Gentry Award Winners

by Emilio Bruna

The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) recognizes the exceptional research of our students and early career scientists with awards for outstanding presentations at the ATBC’s annual meeting. The Luis F. Bacardi Award for Advances in Tropical Conservation is awarded to the individual receiving their Ph.D. no more than 5 years before the meeting date who gives the best oral presentation. This award was established in 2005 with an endowment from the Lubee Bat Conservancy, an international non-profit organization based in Gainesville, Florida, that was founded in 1989 by the late Luis F. Bacardi and is dedicated to protecting biological diversity through the conservation of fruit- and nectar-feeding bats.  The Alwyn Gentry Presentation Awards are in recognition of the outstanding oral and poster presentations by students at the ATBC’s annual meeting. Alwyn H. Gentry’s legacy to tropical biology was not limited to the study of the diversity and conservation of tropical plants—he was a caring and supportive mentor to students from all over the Americas.  These awards are therefore in remembrance and recognition of the contributions of this singular scientist, colleague, mentor, and friend.

On behalf of the ATBC we would like to thank the early-career scientists that presented their work at the 2016 ATBC Meeting in Montpellier, extend our gratitude to the many meeting delegates who served as judges, and congratulate the following recipients for their outstanding presentations.

Kyle Harms and Julieta Benítez-Malvido

Gentry and Bacardi Award Co-Chairs


Emilio M. Bruna

Editor-in-Chief, Biotropica

The 2016 Luis F. Bacardi Award for Advances in Tropical Conservation



Multi-species modelling using camera traps: challenges and opportunities


1Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology, NW1 4RY, London, UK
2Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology, NW1 4RY, London, UK
3Zoological Society of London, Institute of Zoology, NW1
4RY, London, UK 4 Imperial College London, Department of Life Science, SL5 7PY, Ascot, UK
5Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, 88400, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
6Imperial College London, Department of Life Science, SL5 7PY, Ascot, UK

The camera trap is now a familiar tool for wildlife biologists across the globe, operating in all terrestrial environments and catching a wide variety of warm-blooded species. Until recently, though, most camera surveys have routinely discarded wildlife. “By-catch” species, typically those that do not have stripes or spots, may be “thrown back” either at the image cataloguing or analysis stage. New statistical tools, however, increasingly allow for robust inferences to be made about such species. In this talk, I consider a ban on discards. I will discuss the opportunities, and challenges, of hierarchical multi-species modelling of whole communities, with reference to a large dataset collected on the island of Borneo. We deployed cameras and live traps over the course of 3 years in a clustered design, to assess mammalian community structure across a gradient of land-use intensity (primary forest, logged forest and oil palm plantations). This allowed us to simultaneously monitor ~60 species of large and small mammal across the gradient, and begin to explore how the coarse- and fine-scale structure of terrestrial mammal communities is altered by changes in land-use. At the coarse community scale, we found a remarkable overall resilience to selective logging, but fine-scale dissection of the community highlighted particular groups (e.g. frugivores) and particular species (e.g. the banded civet, Hemigalus derbyanus) which do not respond favourably. Oil palm, on the other hand, exhibited a severely depauperate mammal community, with only a handful of species (some carnivores, and invasives) prospering. Hierarchical multi-species modelling was analytically and computationallyintensive, but ultimately allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of community responses

2016 Alwyn Gentry Award for Best Poster Presentation

adriane esquivel muelbert


Large-scale Neotropical genera distributions predict drought-induced mortality of trees


1 University of Leeds, School of Geography, LS2 9JT, Leeds, United Kingdom
2 The University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences, EH9 3FE, Edinburgh, United Kindom
3 Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Biodiversity Dynamics from species to systems, 2333, Leiden, The Netherlands
4 Australian National University, School of Biology, ACT 2601, Acton, Australia

Background: Droughts are an increasing threat for tropical rain forests, with impacts to forest biodiversity and ecosystem services, including carbon storage. Within the tropics tree species richness is positively associated with precipitation, which is likely to be a consequence of water-stress constraining important physiological processes of most taxa. If so, macroecological distributions of tropical taxa would provide valuable insights about the potential impacts of droughts on Neotropical diversity. Methods: We combine data from 531 inventory plots of closed canopy forest across the Western Neotropics to investigate how water-deficit influences the distribution of tropical tree genera. For that, we firstly calculated genera ‘water deficit affiliation’ (WDA), which represents the mean of taxa distributions along the water-deficit gradient weighted by their abundance. Secondly, we tested the ability of WDA to predict drought-induced mortality at one natural and four experimental droughts across the Neotropics. Results: Drought tolerant genera tend to be disproportionally widespread across the precipitation gradient, reaching even the wettest climates sampled. However, most genera are restricted to wet areas. Macroecological distributions did predict drought resistance, with wet-affiliated genera tending to show higher drought-induced mortality regardless of their life history stage and after accounting for the influence of phylogeny. Discussion: The large-scale distributional patterns of genera with respect to climate have predictive value for their vulnerability to water-stress. It is the first time this question has been assessed at a macroecological scale for the tropics. Our results suggests that the anticipated increase in extreme dry events for this region may threaten biodiversity, given that the majority of Neotropical taxa are wet-affiliated and that most of these have relatively small ranges. Overall, this study establishes a baseline for exploring how floristic composition of tropical forests may shift in response to current and future environmental changes in this region.

This project is part of the T-FORCES Project and uses RAINFOR data available hereMore information about Adriane’s project can be found here; publications are available here. You can also follow Adriane on twitter,

2016 Alwyn Gentry Award for Best Poster Presentation



Community patterns of wood density along an Andes-to-Amazon gradient


1 Wake Forest University, Biology, 27106, NC, USA
2 Wake Forest University, Biology – Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, 27106, NC, USA
3 Oxford University, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, OX1, Oxford, UK
4 Oxford University, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, OX1, Oxford, UK
5 Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco, Biology, CUZ, Cusco, Peru

Background: Major changes in forest diversity, plant species composition and functional diversity occur along environmental gradients, and the Andes-to-Amazon gradient is Earth’s longest and highest biodiversity forest gradient. Wood density is an important functional trait related to wood properties and carbon accumulation. The few studies of this trait across altitudinal gradients have shown a decrease with increasing elevation, though this trend is still unclear in the tropics. We (1) tested the effects of elevation on interspecific variation and stand-level wood density across 3.5 km altitudinal gradient and (2) looked at the intraspecific variation across the gradient. Methods: More than 891 tree core samples were taken for 314 taxa at 59 sites across a 3.5 km altitudinal transect running from Andean tree line to Amazonian lowlands in Peru. We used data from 16 1-ha permanents plots (ABERG network) across the gradient to test the effects of elevation in wood density weighted by number of individuals (NI) and basal area (BA). Results: Results showed a positive relationship of wood density with elevation and this trend is even stronger when wood density was weighted by NI, BA. We observed an abrupt transition in wood density at ~1500 m in the cloud base zone. The intraspecific relationship between elevation and wood density differ greatly among species, with taxa showing increasing, decreasing, and no response to elevation. Discussion and/or conclusion: Turnover in species composition had a direct effect on stand-level wood density and showed a strong relationship with elevation. These results for Andean and Amazonian systems have implications in forest biomass calculations and in general understanding of ecosystem function.

Follow the links to learn more about William’s research and publications (here & here). You can visit the Silman Lab webpage.

2016 Alwyn Gentry Award for Best Oral Presentation

Mar Cartro Sabate


Identifying sources of lead in Amazonian wildlife by lead isotope analysis


1 Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain
2 Dept. Sanitat i Anatomia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Spain
3 Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08010, Barcelona, Spain
4 International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2518 AX, The Hague, The Netherlands

The first barrels of oil extracted from the northern Peruvian Amazon were obtained in the early 1970s. Hydrocarbon concessions have been spread across the territory, and 70% of the Peruvian tropical rainforests have been leased at some point between 1970- 2009. Although there is a dearth of scientific studies, a number of governmental studies have been shown a bothering presence of heavy metals and hydrocarbons in the physical environment and human communities in the area. According to the indigenous inhabitants of the oil concession, game species frequently visit oil spills to ingest oil-polluted soil. Our hypothesis is that game species frequent these sites attracted by salts that usually accompanied oil spills. Some heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons usually found in these dumping sites are persistent and toxic and may climb through the food chain affecting the whole ecosystem and the local human populations that rely on subsistence hunting. We have already collected visual evidences of this phenomenon through a camera trap program. This paper presents our results on the assimilation and bioaccumulation of oil contaminants by game species in the study area. We have conducted heavy metals analysis of soil samples and of game animal livers collected in the study area, as well as in control areas that have never been affected by hydrocarbon activities. A lead isotopic fingerprint analysis shows that control livers samples share the same sole source of lead, that we assume to be lead naturally present in soils. Livers samples from the oil concession also have another source of lead: oil spills are a relevant contributor of lead in the livers of game species inside the oil concession. Taking into account that up to 30% of the world’s rainforests overlap with hydrocarbon reserves our results may be very relevant to evaluate the impacts of the oil industry on wildlife and public health for the whole Amazon and beyond.


Read @Biotropica on you iPhone or iPad…our new app is live!

The Biotropica app is now live! If you want to read Biotropica on your iphone or ipad you can download the free app from the apple store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/biotropica/id1061943111?mt=8

Nominations sought for the ATBC Honorary Fellow Awards (2016)

The ATBC Honorary Fellows Award is given annually to one or two recipients who are persons that have provided long distinguished service to tropical biology. This includes persons who have been an inspiration and role model for younger scientists and students.

We invite nominations from any ATBC member. We especially encourage nominations of women and developing country scientists.

If you would like to nominate someone, please submit a letter of nomination, including a description of the achievements of the nominated person, and an explanation of why she/he deserves the award. Please also include a name and contact details of the nominated person, any relevant web links, and a CV if available.

The deadline for submission of nominations is Friday 5th February.

The Honorary Awards committee, comprising Jaboury Ghazoul (Past-President), Kaoru Kitajima (President), Marielos Peña-Claros (President-Elect), and Bettina Engelbrecht (Councillor), will finalise a short list of candidates, with the final decision being approved by the ATBC Council by end of February. The Awards will be made at the ATBC Annual Meeting in Montpellier (June 2016).

If you would like to nominate someone, please submit a letter of nomination to Jaboury Ghazoul (jaboury.ghazoul@env.ethz.ch). The letter should include a description of the achievements of the nominated person, and an explanation of why she/he deserves the award. Please also include a name and contact details of the nominated person, any relevant web links, and a CV if available.

Results of the ATBC election are in!

Congratulations to our new officers:

President Elect

Dr. Marielos Peña-Claros

Associate Professor

Wageningen University, the Netherlands

Councilors (2016-2019)

Dr. Cristina Martínez-Garza, 

Professor, State University of Morelos, México

Dr. Rebecca Ostertag

Professor, University of –Hawaii at Hilo, USA

Dr. Patricia Wright

Distinguished Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, New York, USA

Dr. Rakan A. Zahawi

Director, Las Cruces Biological Station & Wilson Botanical Garden, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica

MARIELOS PEÑA-CLAROS. Associate Professor Wageningen University, the Netherlands (2015-present). Education: B.Sc. University of São Paulo, Brazil 1990; MSc. University of Florida, USA 1996; Ph.D. Utrecht University the Netherlands 2001. Past positions: Assistant Professor Wageningen University, the Netherlands (2010-2014); Associate Researcher Wageningen University, the Netherlands (2006-2009); Lecturer Technical University Van Hall Larenstein (2007); Executive Director Bolivian Forest Research Institute, Bolivia (2003-2006); Director Research Unit Bolivian Forest Management Project, Bolivia (2002-2003); Subdirector Research Unit Bolivian Forest Management Project, Bolivia (2001-2002);  Senior Researcher Forest Management of the Bolivian Amazon Program, Bolivia (1996-2001); Project Coordinator Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza, Bolivia (1992-1993); Project Assistant, Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza, Bolivia (1991-1992); Lecturer Autonomous University Gabriel Rene Moreno, Bolivia (1991). Students supervision: 11 PhD thesis, 25 MSc thesis, 5 MSc internships, 8 BSc thesis. Position of trust: Board Director of the Bolivian Forest Research Institute (elected for three terms, 2011- 2017); Advisory Committee to the Van Hall Larenstein Bachelor program Tropical Forestry, the Netherlands (2009-present); Council of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (2005 – 2006); Board Director of the Bolivian Council for Forest Certification, Bolivia (1997-2000, 2004-2006). Editorial work: Associate Editor of Biotropica (2010 to present); Subject Editor of Biotropica (2008-2009); Member of the Editorial Board of the Revista de la Sociedad Boliviana de Botánica (2012-present). Publications: 59 scientific articles, 12 book chapters or books, 18 miscellaneous publications.

Personal statement: Over the years I have worked on a variety of research topics, mainly focussing on ecological aspects of tropical forests that are either being managed for timber or non-timber forest products or that had been impacted by human activities. In my research I use a variety of theoretical concepts (e.g., functional approach) and tools (e.g., large-scale experiments); work at several temporal, spatial and organizational scales; and actively work with researchers from different disciplines (e.g., social scientists). I have three main research lines: 1) management of forest resources and sustainable harvesting levels, 2) forest recovery after natural and human disturbances, which is crucial to understand forest resilience to global change, 3) forests in multifunctional landscapes, and the effects of land use change on the provision of ecosystem services. With my research I aim to design best management practices based on evidence-based, sound, ecological knowledge.

Given the strategic foci of the ATBC, I believe that it is critical that ecological research results are translated into the best management practices for extraction of resources (e.g., timber) or recovery of degraded ecosystems. Such practices should take into account socio-economic considerations, and therefore, we should promote interdisciplinary research and/or should engage in a more direct dialogue with field practitioners and decision makers. Additionally, I think that we should encourage greater participation of researchers from different geographical regions and research fields that are currently under represented in the association. Finally, I think that is crucial to provide opportunities for young researchers to get trained, mentored, or advised by senior members of the association, as they will have a large role in defining the future of tropical ecosystems in terms of conservation and sustainable management.

CRISTINA MARTÍNEZ-GARZA.  Professor, State University of Morelos, Mexico (since 2004); Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003. Fellowship from the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (1997-2002); National University of Mexico (B.S. 1996). Professional Societies: ATBC, Mexican Society of Ecology (SCME) and Mexican Society of Botany (SBM). Associated editor: Tropical Ecology (since 2013) and Botanical Sciences (since 2015).

Personal Statement. I believe that stopping deforestation is not enough anymore; we need to actively increase forested areas through restoration in human-modified landscapes. Currently I am in charge of two large, long-term experimental restoration projects established nine years ago at the rainforest of Los Tuxtlas, state of Veracruz (the north limit of the rainforest in America) and at the dry forest of the state of Morelos, in Mexico funded by the NSF-USA and National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico. In both places, economic activities still take place whereas plans and animals move in the landscape using the islands we created.  I have participated also in the establishment of restoration plantings in the dry forest of the states of Puebla, Jalisco and Morelos, Mexico using restoration plantings as experiments. These experiments include restoration treatments with different degrees of intervention: minimal, as exclusion of chronic disturbance, intermediate as direct seeding and maximal as reintroduction of tree species as seedlings from the mature forest. I teach population ecology, restoration ecology and different topics of conservation. I have directed 11 bachelor theses and 4 master theses, mostly of women students. Currently, I have 10 undergraduate and 4 graduate students under my direction. I have seen how students grow in knowledge and security when they attend ATBC meetings. As a council member, I would like to promote the participation not only of graduate students but also undergraduate students and to encourage research connecting conservation and restoration in human-modified landscapes through the coexistence of economic activities and forest fragments.

ReBECCA Ostertag. Professor, University of –Hawaii at Hilo, USA (2012-present); Associate Professor, University of Hawaii at Hilo, USA (2006-2012); Affiliate Graduate Faculty, Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program and Dept. of Botany, University of Hawaii at Mānoa; USA (2004-present), Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii at Hilo, USA (2001-2006); Post-doc Associate, University of California, Berkeley and International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Puerto Rico (1998-2001); Ph.D., University of Florida, USA (1998). Professional Societies: American Geophysical Union, Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Organization for Tropical Studies, Ecological Society of America, Sigma Xi, Society for Ecological Restoration. I have been fortunate to conduct research in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Hawaii. I am a forest ecologist who examines questions relating to biological invasions, nutrient cycling, and restoration.  My research has a strong field component and involves integration of natural history, community structure, and ecosystem dynamics.

Personal Statement: I feel a strong commitment to tropical biology that started the first time I stepped into a tropical forest as an undergraduate. I have lived and conducted all of my research in the tropics for most of the last two decades, and I want to see ATBC be recognized as a world leader in tropical conservation and education.  ATBC will always be a group of wonderful, dedicated scientists, but as a council member I will push for broader international membership, more opportunities for students, and advocacy for wise forest use and conservation in the public policy arena.

RAKAN A. (ZAK) ZAHAWI. Director, Las Cruces Biological Station & Wilson Botanical Garden, Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rica (2006-present); Adjunct Faculty Duke University (2004-present); Research Associate University of California, Santa Cruz (2008-present); Ph.D. University of Illinois (2003); B.S. University of Texas (1992). Society Memberships: ATBC (1997-present), Ecological Society of America (2003-present), Society for Ecological Restoration (1995-present). Service: Co-Chair ATBC 50th Congress, San José, Costa Rica (2013); Supervisory Committee 2nd US – Costa Rican debt for Nature swap (2010-present); Amistosa Biological Corridor Advisory Committee (2010-2015); Ad hoc NSF panels; reviewer for >25 journals. Research interests: Forest regeneration in degraded tropical habitats, forest dynamics in fragmented landscapes, seed dispersal ecology, restoration ecology, conservation biology. Field research conducted in Costa Rica, Honduras, and Ecuador.

Personal Statement: As a tropical ecologist with more than a decade living, teaching, conducting research, and promoting conservation initiatives in Central America, I believe I am well-situated to be an effective ATBC councilor. In my research I have evaluated theoretical ecological concepts centered on forest recovery in degraded habitats where I have quantified both the obstacles to recovery, and developed cost-effective strategies to facilitate or accelerate succession once sites are abandoned. Research has been both observational and experimental, and I have established large- and small-scale projects with fellow collaborators and students from multiple institutions. In my current position as Director of a large field research station in southern Costa Rica, I interact with a wide range of researchers from the Americas as well as from Europe; many universities also make use of the field station and reserve for teaching purposes. Accordingly, I have an expansive international network of contacts that I could tap into to help advance key aspects of the new strategic foci adopted by ATBC in the last meeting. I can also promote broader participation in ATBC by researchers and students – especially those from underrepresented countries in Latin America. Lastly, I have worked in community engagement and capacity building, and have engaged in ambitious fundraising efforts to further conservation initiatives at multiple levels, all of which are key goals for ATBC. As a councilor, I believe that as I could help further the mission of ATBC and increase the reach and breadth of the organization, particularly for the Neotropics.

PATRICIA C. WRIGHT.  Distinguished Professor, Department of Anthropology, Stony Brook University (1995 to present); Distinguished Service Professor, State University of New York (2014 to present); Visiting Research Professor, Department of Ecology and Systematics, University of Helsinki, Finland (2006-2010); Director of the “Fall Semester in Madagascar” Study Abroad program (1993-2016) and “Summer Study Abroad in Madagascar” (2010-2016); Member of the Conservation Trust, National Geographic Society (2001-2010);  Member of Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society (2000-2009); Executive Director, Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments, Stony Brook University (1992 to present); Faculty, Doctoral Program in Ecology and Evolution, Interdepartmental Program in Anthropological Sciences, Stony Brook University (1992 to present);  Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, SUNY Stony Brook (1991-1995); Interim Director of the Duke University Primate Center, Duke University (1990); International Coordinator, Ranomafana National Park Project (1987-1998); Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Anthropology & Anatomy, Duke University (1987-1990);  Visiting Research Associate, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology (1986-1988); Research Associate, Duke University Primate Center (1983 to present). Chevalier National Medal of Honor (1995), Officier National Medal of Honor (2005) and Commandeur Medal of Honor (2014) from the Madagascar Government. MacArthur Fellow (1989-1994), Hauptman-Woodward Pioneer in Science Medal (2007), Indianapolis Prize for Animal Conservation (2014). Founder and Executive Director of Centre ValBio Research Station in Ranomafana, Madagascar (1991-2016). Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments, Stony Brook University (1993-2016). Media output includes IMAX 3D film “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” narrated by Morgan Freeman (2014) “Forests of our Ancestors Madagascar” (2009),”High Moon over the Amazon: my quest to understand the monkeys of the night” (2013), For the” Love of Lemurs: My life in the wilds of Madagascar” (2014).

Personal statement: Personal Statement. I have over 35 years experience in research on tropical rain forests, mostly in South America, Borneo and Madagascar.  During my graduate research I worked on the behavioral ecology of owl monkeys and titi monkeys at Cocha Cashu Research Station, Peru, and La Golondrina Ranch, Paraguay.  As a post-doc I studied tarsiers in Borneo. My research now focuses more on understanding the ecological processes including predation, seed dispersal and primate communities in rainforest in Madagascar. I founded and direct the Centre ValBio Research Station in Ranomafana National Park. This station integrates biodiversity studies, conservation biology, sustainable development, modern laboratories including molecular biology, GIS and infectious diseases.  In addition, I have been organizing two field program for 20-25 undergraduates a year for 25 years, in Madagascar and I have mentored over 26 graduate students in tropical biology. I am enthusiastic and long-standing member of the ATBC.  As a Councilor I will help to expand the ATBC to scientists in Madagascar and the African tropics which to date have been unrepresented in the Association.

2015 Global Landscapes Forum: Robin Chazdon – Keynote Speaker

Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Robin Chazdon, spoke at the high-level plenary session from the second day of the Global Landscapes Forum 2015, in Paris, France, December 6th, alongside COP21.

Robin Chazdon explored the challenges and opportunities for the restoration of forest landscapes.  Watch her presentation here and lets partner with Nature!
Global Landscapes Forum, Paris, France
#GLFCOP21 #ThinkLandscape

From: http://www.landscapes.org/robin-chazdon-keynote-glf-2015/

ATBC 2016 : New deadline for symposium submission!


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