Christina Callicot

PhD student (2nd yr) in Anthropology; BA in Women’s Studies at Univ Colorado Boulder

Christina is interested in indigenous peoples and their environmental, cultural and human rights.

For her dissertation research, Christina will combine her interests in shamanism, ethnobotany, and music. Given the importance of plants and music in shamanic practice, Christina wants to understand how music, healing and ecology are related. Christina hypothesizes that the “shaman’s ability to embrace change through tradition offers one way to encourage conservation-based decision making at the household and community level”. Christina has research experience in western Amazonia and plans to conduct her dissertation research in Peru. Christina is a 2013-2014 TCD Graduate Assistant with matching support in 2014-2015 through Department of Anthropology.


Farah Carrasco Rueda

PhD student (1st yr) in SNRE; BS (Biology) & MS (Forest Resource Conservation) at La Molina Agrarian University

Farah is interested in examining wildlife response to anthropogenic impacts and the efficacy of mitigation projects. She recently served as a research assistant on a project that examined whether natural canopy bridges can mitigate gas pipeline developments for arboreal mammals, especially primates, in a tropical rain forest of Peru. This project was a partnership between Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability of the Smithsonian Institution Conservation Biology Institute and REPSOL Exploración Peru. Farah’s MS research examined bat diversity in a fragmented Peruvian landscape undergoing rapid deforestation. Farah’s dissertation research will likely investigate the efficacy of mitigation efforts for wildlife in her native country of Peru. Farah is funded for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 by LASPAU-Fulbright and SNRE; she will receive a graduate assistantship from TCD in 2015-2016.


Matthew Hallett

PhD (1st yr) in SNRE; B.A. (Biology) at College of Charleston and M.En. (Environmental Science) and M.A. (Zoology) at Miami University

Matt is interested in the human dimensions of wildlife conservation, especially as it relates to jaguars. Matt has extensive research experience in Guyana working with local communities on a research project intending to document and monitor the abundance of large mammals in tropical rain forests using remotely triggered cameras. During this time, Matt also initiated the training of naturalists and local scientists in Amerindian communities. Prior to Guyana, Matt spent time in the old world tropics where he consulted with communities regarding wildlife conflict, conducted research on community-based conservation and development projects and assisted with capacity building and training of local counterparts in research and management in South Africa and Borneo. Matt intends to build on his work in Guyana for his dissertation research. TCD is providing funding in 2014-2015 with a match by SNRE in 2013-2014.


Alexandra Sprague

MDP student (1st yr) in Center for Latin American/African Studies; BS (Biology) and BA (Anthropology) at the University of Massachusetts

Alex is interested in community-based conservation and innovative sustainable development initiatives, as well as methods in program monitoring and evaluation. She has extensive experience in Mongolia as part of a semester abroad program and later as a Fulbright scholar. In Mongolia she studied rural community-based conservation programs and helped design and build portable gardens for nomadic herders with the goal of trying to improve herders’ quality of life by generating income and improving nutrition. She has also volunteered in Amazonia Peru on biodiversity conservation projects and spent her past year in China teaching kids. She plans to pursue a career working with communities in Latin America. Alex is funded for 2013-2014 by TCD/MDP with a match by Center for Latin American Studies for 2014-2015.