Director & Professor
Tropical Conservation & Development Program
347 Grinter Hall
Tel: 273-4706

Research Interests

Tropical ecology and conservation, seed dispersal mutualisms, ecological niche modeling, and applications of GIS for biodiversity research and conservation.

Geographic Expertise

Ecuador, Costa Rica, Brazil

Curriculum Vitae


Loiselle holds a joint appointment as the Director of the Tropical Conservation in the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She joined the Center in 2011 following an 18 month detail as Director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. From 1990 to 2010, Loiselle was a Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and was Director of the International Center for Tropical Ecology from 1997–2003. Loiselle’s research focuses on understanding the importance of biodiversity in tropical systems, especially the ecological role of animals as seed dispersers, and the potential consequences of global change on distribution of plants and animals. She is also investigating the evolutionary ecology of lek-mating systems in birds and how the spatial ecology of females influences mate choice decisions and male reproductive strategies. In recent years, much of Loiselle’s field research has been conducted in the Ecuadorian Amazon, although other research sites include Atlantic forests of Brazil, Andes of Colombia, and tropical wet forests of Australia. Her research has been primarily supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society. Program development grants have been received from a number of sources including the National Science Foundation, Christensen Fund, Compton Foundation, Conservation Food and Health Organization and US Fish and Wildlife Service. Loiselle received her MS in Biology at the University of Illinois-Champaign and her Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Loiselle advises students interested in tropical conservation and development, especially topics in the following areas: (1) Understanding the consequences of global change for biodiversity conservation, (2) Evaluating the ecological impacts of biodiversity loss on ecological services, (3) Developing spatial models to inform conservation planning, and (4) Advancing environmental sustainability science through development of collaborative research and education networks.