Marcela Marquez

PhD student (5th year) in School of Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. (Environmental Sciences) & M.S. (Ecology and Evolution) at Universidad de Chile

Marcela is interested in human dimensions of wildlife conservation, ethnoecology and outreach and science education. Her dissertation research places her in the wine- growing region of Chile where she is examining collaborative efforts among private land-owners to protect biodiversity in this global conservation priority area. In her work, Marcela investigates that attitudinal and behavioral decision factors that relate to wine producers adopting conservation practices. She is also exploring the effectiveness of educational interventions to promote conservation practices. Her partners in Chile include the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB-Chile).  At UF, she is one of the student leaders in the Southern Cone Working Group. She looks forward to returning to Chile after completion of her PhD degree where she will continue her interdisciplinary work and promote collaboration between researchers, policymakers and practitioners to create solutions to pressing problems facing the region.

Marcela is funded by TCD for Fall 2016. Her first four years were funded by the Chilean government CONICYT fellowship.


Nyago Moses

Student (1st year) in School for Forest Resources & Conservation; B.S. (Wood Science and Technology) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Moses will join UF from his current position as a Project Coordinator of the Murchison-Semliki REDD+ pilot project in Uganda. His research for the Master’s degree will focus on understanding the social-economic impacts of REDD+ projects in Africa. Moses’ work is motivated by developing conservation interventions that satisfy both ecological and social goals. He brings considerable experience to UF through his work on collaborative forest management, REDD+ projects, engagement with different stakeholders including local communities, and participation in international meetings, such as the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) in Durban,

Moses is jointly funded by a Beinecke African Conservation Scholarship from Wildlife Conservation Society, School for Forest Resources & Conservation and the TCD program.


Benjamin Lowe

Student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. (Environmental Studies) at Wheaton College

Ben is interested in working with local communities to develop sustainable production of natural resources.

Ben’s research experiences are diverse with work in Chicago area, Gulf of Mexico and Tanzania. He has spent much of the past 10 years in the non- profit sector as a writer, educator, and advocate. He was on the Board of Trustees, and later elected as the Chair of the Board for the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. He hopes to conduct his thesis research on how climate change has impacted local fisheries in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania and what measures communities are adopting to adapt to these changes in fishery resources.

Ben is funded by a Foreign Language Scholarship from the Center for African Studies and is jointly funded by TCD program and School for Natural Resources & Environment in year two if a second year FLAS is not available.


Carolina Jordão

PhD student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. (Environmental Managements) & M.S. (Environmental Engineering) at University of São Paulo

Carolina has been working in environmental management for the past 10 years, including work with Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV). At ICV, she has worked with diverse set of stakeholders in the Amazon frontier of Mato Grosso State in Brazil.  Her work and training has focused on building social and human capital among local leaders to promote municipal governance. She has worked with UF’s Amazon Conservation Leadership Institute team as both a student in two specialization courses and to develop similar courses for ICV. For her dissertation research, she is particularly interested in evaluating the impact of capacity building programs and the process of change in the Amazon.

Carolina is jointly funded by TCD program and School for Natural Resources & Environment for the first 3 years of her PhD program.


Ana Luiza Espada

PhD student (1st year) in School for Forest Resources & Conservation; B.S. at Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz -ESALQ) & M.S. at Federal University of Para

For the past seven years Ana Luiza has worked in the Amazon on community forest management in Amazonia with Instituto. She leads IFT’s Community and Family Forest Program, which works to improve livelihoods of families living in Amazonian forests. For her dissertation research, Ana Luiza will examine diverse community forest management initiatives within protected areas, such as extractive reserves and sustainable development reserves.

Ana Luiza is jointly funded by TCD program and School for Forest Resources & Conservation for the first 3 years of her PhD program.


Cristina Nuñez Godoy

PhD student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.A. (Business Administration) from National University of Salta and M.S. from SNRE in University of Florida

Cristina is interested in conducting research that intersects biodiversity conservation and economic development. Prior to starting her MS at UF, she explored the sustainable commercialization of Brazil nut in the Brazilian Amazon, and, more generally, the development of markets for non-timber products. For her Master’s research, she explored how economic tools can be used to enhance livelihoods through wildlife certification programs to promote cashmere production in the Patagonian region of Argentina. She will continue her PhD at UF and switch her focus to examining payment for environmental service programs in the Chaco of Argentina. Cristina is co-funded by the TCD program, SNRE, and the Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation.


Camila Rodrigues

Student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. at Universidad Estadual Paulista

Camila is interested in building capacity for community development and sustainable natural resources management. She has worked for several years in Instituto Centro da Vida (ICV), a local Brazilian NGO where she led a rural development project. As part of this project, Camila helped the community adopy agroforestry production systems, initiate climate smart agricultural techniques, restore degraded forests and help farmers connect to the local market. Camila will apply her professional skills to study how public policies might be effectively designed to reduce deforestation in rural settlements while reducing poverty. She hopes to return to ICV after UF to continue to work on development and conservation issues.

Camila is jointly funded by School for Natural Resources & Environment (Spring 2015, Spring 2016) and the TCD program (2015-2016 academic year).


Claudia Andrea Baudoin

PhD student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. at University of São Paulo (ESALQ) in Brazil & AgroParisTech in Paris, France & M.S. (Agricultural Engineering) at AgroParisTech in Paris, France.

Andrea is interested in conducting research that contributes to the understanding of natural resource management under Indigenous Autonomy scenarios in Bolivia. She has research experience with Universities, NGOs and International institutions on family farming production and commercialization systems and public policies in different countries and at different scales. More specifically, she has worked with Agronomists and Veterinarians without Borders (AVSF) in Bolivia and Ecuador coordinating applied research on production, commercialization and public policies for family.

Andrea is jointly funded by TCD program & School for Natural Resources & Environment (2015-2018).


Percy Peralta

PhD student (1st year) in Interdisciplinary Ecology, School for Natural Resources & Environment; B.S. (Agricultural Science) at Universidad Agraria La Molina & M.S. (Interdisciplinary Ecology, SNRE) at University of Florida

Percy is interested in examining natural resource and forest governance issues in Peru, his native country. He recognizes that conflicts over natural resources have increased in the last decades, often resulting in violent clashes among stakeholders. His previous experiences living and working with the Asháninka solidified his interest in conservation and resource management issues and his passion for supporting the rights of indigenous peoples that live in the Peruvian Amazon. As a senior consultant for Conservation International working on a GEF-World Bank project, he conducted research that helped fulfill legal requirements for the establishment of the Otishi National Park and both Asháninka and Machiguenga Indigenous Reserves. Percy also was Executive Director of the Association Cutivireni, where he collaborated with partners at local, national, and international levels on programs related to social development, resource management and environmental conservation. His long-term goals are to work with NGO or governmental agency in support of the conservation of natural resources and the rights of indigenous peoples.

Percy is jointly funded by TCD program (2016-2017) & School for Natural Resources & Environment (2015-2016, 2017-2018).


Ada Bersoza Hernandez

PhD student (1st year) in Environmental Engineering; B.S. (Biology) at Brown University

After two years studying at a local University in Mexico, her native country, Ada transferred to Brown University where she immersed herself in ecology and environmental sciences. Her undergraduate thesis examined the effects of climate change on altitudinal and latitudinal range limits of trees. Studying at Brown also exposed her to the environmental and natural resource issues that face coastal ecosystems. At UF, Ada intends to focus her research on natural resource conflicts in Mexico.  Her dissertation research will be directed towards oyster reef ecosystems. Oysters’ reefs provide critical services for communities, such as food, coastal protection, and water filtration, but are under stress from a variety of causes. She hopes her work can provide insights on how to better manage these ecosystems.

Ada is jointly funded by Environmental Engineering (2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2018-2019) & TCD program (2017- 2018).


Farah Carrasco Rueda

PhD student (3rd year) in SNRE; B.S. (Biology) & M.S. (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 (from FY2014 funds).