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Science Panel for the Amazon members H-M

Sandra Hacon

Sandra Hacon is a Brazilian biologist with a Ph.D. in Environmental geochemistry from Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil. She serves at Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil, and works on Environmental Health focused on Health Impact Assessment of large capital projects in Brazil, including environmental and health policy impacts on human health, caused by exposure to air pollution from forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon and by artisanal small-scale gold mining. Dr. Hacon is coordinator of the Climate and Health project established by Brazilian Research Network on Global Climate Change, Brazil’s representative in the work group of United Nations Environment Program to the Monitoring Program of the Stockholm Convention Implementation, and member of Fiocruz partnership with the Pan American Health Organization.

“We have the largest forest that plays fundamental roles for life on the planet. […] This set of attributes is fundamental to the structure and dynamics of the Amazon.”

Susanna Hecht

Susanna Hecht is an American Professor with affiliations to UCLA, Luskin School of Public Policy, and Graduate Institute for Development Studies, Geneva. Dr. Hecht was born in Utah, USA, and earned her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, on soils impacts of forest conversion to pasture in Amazonia. Dr. Hecht has worked in eastern Amazonia on livestock, non-timber forest products and Terra Preta soils and indigenous knowledge; on the expansion of soy in Brazil and Bolivia, on clandestine economies in Colombia, and a more general set of studies on Amazonian development, environmental history and humanized landscapes of the tropics. She has also worked on the forest transition, the dynamics of tropical urban/rural livelihoods and the political ecology of tropical land use change, and in central America and Mexico on remittances and forest resurgence.

“Such is the region, such is its history: Always turbulent, always insurgent”

Marcos Heil Costa

Marcos Heil Costa is a Brazilian engineer with extensive experience in climate, land use, carbon cycle, water and agriculture in Central Brazil and the Amazon. Dr. Heil Costa holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and is currently a Professor at the Federal University of Viçosa and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2011, Dr. Costa was appointed Coordinator on Climate Change at the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. He received the “Antônio Secundino de São José Award”, granted by the State of Minas Gerais in 2018, the “PH Rolfs Gold Medal for Merit in Research”, awarded by the Federal University of Viçosa in 2015, and the “Arthur Bernardes Award for Research Recognition”, granted by the Foundation Arthur Bernardes in 2014.

“Only through science people will understand the importance of the Amazon.”

Sebastian Heilpern

Sebastian Heilpern was born in Woodstock, NY, to two Argentine immigrants, grew up in Buenos Aires and moved to Brooklyn as a teenager. After completing his undergraduate degree in 2011, Dr. Heilpern worked as a Program Officer for the Wildlife Conservation Society and, since then, he has been consultant on issues related to freshwater conservation in the Amazon. In 2015 Sebastian received a M.S. from the University of Chicago, where he researched the role of large wood piles on ecosystem processes in the Manu River, in Southern Peru. In 2020, Dr. Heilpern completed his Ph.D. at Columbia in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, focusing on the intersection between changing fish biodiversity, fisheries and food security in the Amazon. Dr. Heilpern recently joined Cornell University as a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow, where he continues to integrate across ecology, fisheries, public health and sustainability research.

“The Amazon is Earth’s most diverse river basin, plays critical roles in global biogeochemical cycles, and is home to millions of people. But the region’s integrity is threatened by myriad factors.”

Martín von Hildebrand

Martín von Hildebrand is responsible for one of the most pragmatic examples worldwide of tropical forest conservation based on the strengthening of indigenous rights. Martín’s professional and academic background – including a Doctorate in Ethnology from the Sorbonne, Paris – has led him into Government positions, including Director of the Government office for Indigenous Affairs, Presidential advisor on indigenous matters, and Secretary of Borders. He played a key role in the recognition of indigenous territorial rights in the Colombian Amazon, in securing indigenous rights within the 1991 Political Constitution, and in Colombia’s ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples (ILO Convention 169). He is the founding Director of Gaia Amazonas; and the vision and coordinator behind the successful COAMA (Consolidation of the Amazon) programme. Martin has concentrated his last years work in setting the foundations of the Andes, Amazon, Atlantic Corridor Initiative, which aims to safeguard the ecosystem connectivity and the environmental services in the northern region of the Amazon as a concrete solution to tackle climate change.

“The Amazon is home to millenary cultures, whose relationship to nature has made this biome one of the key regions for regulating global climate and preserving biodiversity.”

Marina Hirota

Marina Hirota is a Brazilian Assistant Professor of Meteorology at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Dr. Hirota has built up her academic career through a very interdisciplinary background with a Bachelor degree in Applied Mathematics, a M.Sc. in Computer Engineering, a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), and postdoc studies with theoretical ecologists. Such variety defined Dr. Hirota’s current research field in Earth System Sciences, more specifically, trying to understand the processes and interactions involved in biome shifts within tropical zones of the planet, using dynamical system concepts such as resilience, tipping points and hysteresis. Dr. Hirota is particularly focused on searching for multi-scale and synergistic mechanisms within the atmosphere and the biosphere to deepen, quantitatively and qualitatively, the scientific basis of tipping points in South American tropical ecosystems.

“Changes in vegetation cover of the Amazon forest have the potential to affect the climate of the entire Planet.”

Carina Hoorn

Carina Hoorn is a geologist/paleoecologist and associate professor at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). She holds an M.Sc. (1988) and Ph.D. (1994) from this university, and an M.Sc. (2003) in Science Communication from Imperial College London (UK). Her main research interest is the Cenozoic evolution of biota and sedimentary environments in mountains and peripheral regions. The regions she is most interested are Amazonia, the Andes, Tibet, the Himalayas and SE Asia.

“The Amazon is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots on the globe, with a history going back many millions of years. If we lose it, it will be gone forever.”

Denise Humphreys Bebbington

Denise Humphreys Bebbington, a US citizen, is Research Associate Professor in the Department of International Development, Community and Environment at Clark University in Massachusetts, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in development studies from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Her research has explored the political ecology of natural gas in Bolivia and the implications of the gas economy for both indigenous peoples and regional societies, and the dynamics of socio environmental conflict and mobilization linked to natural resource extraction and large-scale infrastructure investments. More recently she co-led a global scoping study on Extractive Industries, Infrastructure Development, Forest Loss and Forest Community Rights for the Climate and Land Use Alliance in Amazonia, Central America, Mexico and Indonesia.

“Current and coming threats to forests and forest-based populations are severe.”

Catarina C Jakovac

Catarina C. Jakovac is a Brazilian tropical forest ecologist with a Ph.D. in Production Ecology and Resource Conservation from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Dr. Jakovac is interested in secondary succession and ecological restoration, and her research focuses on understanding the drivers of variation in regrowth rates, diversity and species composition of secondary forests in the tropics, with special interest in the Amazon basin. Among the several factors that affect regrowth, Dr. Jakovac has focused more on the effects of land use history, soil properties and landscape composition. Aiming to have a broad understanding of the socio-ecological systems where secondary forests are included, she has also examined social aspects related to land use change and used remote sensing methods to retrieve land use history and understand patterns of regrowth at the landscape level.

“The Amazon provides vital services to society that cannot be recovered once lost.”

Christopher Jarrett

Dr. Christopher Jarrett is an American cultural anthropologist, currently working at the Field Museum. Dr. Jarrett holds a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at San Antonio (2019). His research focuses on Indigenous Amazonian livelihoods and sustainable supply chains based on native Amazonian species.

“The Amazon is home to the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It harbors an incredible diversity of life. We must support Indigenous peoples’ longstanding stewardship, integrate scientific findings into policy, and work together to ensure that the Amazon remains healthy and vibrant for generations to come.”

Clinton Jenkins

Clinton N. Jenkins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Environment and part of the Institute for Brazilian Studies of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University. Dr. Jenkins received a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee in 2002. His program focuses on the conservation of biological diversity and efforts to reduce the loss of tropical species and ecosystems. Dr. Jenkins specializes in combining spatial modelling of biodiversity with analysis of conservation policy, with the aim to direct conservation efforts toward specific places to save biodiversity most efficiently. Dr. Jenkins has substantial experience in applied conservation as he previously spent seven years at a Brazilian conservation non-profit. He also runs the BiodiversityMapping.org site for dissemination of data on global biodiversity.

“Tropical environments are exceptional, loaded with amazing plants, animals, and other wonders of the natural world that deserve a chance at survival into the future, for the benefit of all.”

Juan Carlos Jimenez

Juan Carlos Jimenez is a Spanish Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Physics & Thermodynamics, and a senior researcher at the Global Change Unit of the Image Processing Laboratory in University of Valencia, Spain. Dr. Jimenez’s research focuses on thermal infrared remote sensing using Earth Observation satellites, with particular emphasis on the development of algorithms for Land Surface Temperature retrieval. His recent research efforts are primarily focused on using remote sensing and reanalysis data to analyze temperature trends and drought patterns over the Amazon forest driven by climatic factors such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or sea surface temperature anomalies over other oceanic regions.

“It is time to react and show to the world what is really happening over Amazonia from a scientific perspective. The SPA Report will undoubtedly have a key role for this action.”

Carmen Josse

Carmen Josse is an Ecuadorian scientist with a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences with specialization in vegetation ecology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Dr. Josse is the Scientific Director of EcoCiencia Foundation since 2016, and Executive Director since March 2020. Dr. Josse also participates in the development of products of the Amazon Network of Geo-referenced Socio-Environmental Information (RAISG) and coordinates a 5-year Amazon regional project on climate change in which RAISG, Woods Hole Research Center, Environmental Defense Fund, and COICA are consortium partners. She was Regional Ecologist for Latin America and the Caribbean at NatureServe from 2001 to 2016, and developer of methods and products of classification, mapping and evaluation of ecosystems throughout Latin America to support conservation planning with NatureServe. Dr. Josse also has a wide experience with geo-referenced tools for evaluating ecosystem integrity, quantitative threat analysis, and monitoring.

“If we don’t protect Amazonian Indigenous peoples’ traditional ways, their territories and with it the Amazon forest, we stand to lose invaluable ecosystem services far beyond the Amazon borders.”

David Kaimowitz

David Kaimowitz is an American scientist who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently the Chief Program Officer at International Land & Forest Tenure Facility.

“The SPA has pulled together the world’s greatest experts on the Amazon to propose solutions based on evidence to some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

Michelle Kalamandeen

Michelle Kalamandeen is a Guyanese postdoctoral researcher in Remote Sensing at the University of Cambridge (UK) and Laurentian University (Canada). She received her PhD in Geography (Ecology and Global Change) from the University of Leeds and her MSc from University of Oxford. Dr. Kalamandeen was a lead scientist on the Government of Guyana’s delegation to UNCCC COP 21 due to her knowledge and work in the Amazon, especially with local and indigenous communities. Michelle was the former Protected Areas Manager of Guyana Marine Conservation Society and former Coordinating Secretary on UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve National Committee. Dr. Kalamandeen has been an executive board member of the Guyana Human Rights Association since 2009.

“Oftentimes, we take things like regular rain and clean air for granted.”

Jürgen Kesselmeier

Jürgen Kesselmeier is a retired German scientist, former Senior Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Germany, and Botany Professor at the Botanical Institute, University of Mainz, Germany. He holds a Ph.D. in natural sciences from the University of Cologne. Dr. Kesselmeier’s research focuses on atmosphere-biosphere interactions, biogenic trace gases, botany, plant physiology, and tropical forests, with investigations covering terrestrial as well as marine biota as sources or sinks of climatically relevant atmospheric compounds. Dr. Kesselmeier counts with more than 170 scientific publications, and has been the Launching and Chief Editor of Biogeosciences Journal and Editor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journals, as well as appointed German Project Coordinator of the “Amazonian Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO)” project in 2017.

“The Amazon is one of the last jewels on this planet with high biodiversity and undetected secrets, we all may need such a biodiversity to survive on this planet.”

David Lapola

David Lapola is a Brazilian research scientist from the Center for Meteorological and Climatic Research Applied to Agriculture at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. His scientific background includes a B.Sc. in Ecology (São Paulo State University), a M.Sc. in Meteorology (Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research) and a Ph.D. in Earth System Modeling (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology). Dr. Lapola is interested in researching the impacts of climate change on the Amazon forest and its human populations in urban and rural areas. In that line of research, he coordinates the AmazonFACE – Free-Air CO2 fertilization effect experiment in the Amazon forest. Dr. Lapola is also interested in processes of adaptation to climate change, namely ecosystem-based adaptation, as well as a cultural approximation of Brazil’s population with its forests, through science.

“We need to save the Amazon so the future generations can be amazed with the beauty of the forest and its myriad lifeforms as I was the first time I saw it.”

Carlos Larrea

Carlos Larrea is an Ecuadorian scientist with a PhD in Social and Political Thought from York University and a post-doctoral degree from Harvard University. He is currently professor at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar and was a technical adviser of the Yasuni- ITT Initiative in Ecuador, and a consultant for institutions such as UNDP, UNICEF, PAHO, ILO, UICN, World Bank and IDB. He has published about 15 books and 100 articles, and his current research interests are sustainability and human development in Ecuador and Latin America.

“The preservation of Amazon biological and cultural diversity in necessary for the survival of humankind and our civilization. Saving the Amazon rainforest is still possible, and must be done for the sake of the planet”

Daniel Larrea

Daniel Larrea is a Bolivian researcher, with a Ph.D. in Tropical Ecology from the Los Andes University, Venezuela. Dr. Larrea is the Coordinator of the Sustainable Management Program at the Asociación Boliviana para la Investigación y Conservación de Ecosistemas Andino Amazónicos (ACEAA Amazon Conservation), Interim Professor at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) and Associate Researcher at the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia (Bolivian National Herbarium) (LPB). Daniel has also worked for the Contraloría General de la República and at Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN). He has published more than thirty scientific articles and at least fifteen technical reports related to the ecology of plant communities and management of key natural resources in Bolivia.

“The Amazon forests are the biggest socio-environmental, water, and carbon refuge of the world.”

Alexander Lees

Alexander Lees is a British ornithologist with a PhD from the University of East Anglia. Alexander is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and a research associate of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, USA. He has been working on Amazonian conservation issues for 18 years, starting with his PhD in the UK before moving to Brazil for five years to work at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, where he became one of the co-investigators of the Rede Amazônia Sustentável.

“The Amazon is the largest and most biodiverse tropical forest providing regulating ecosystem services at the planetary scale, it is truly too big to fail.”

Zulema Lehm

Zulema Lehm is a Bolivian sociologist, with a Master’s degree in Amazonian Studies from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences – Ecuadorian Branch (FLACSO). Zulema has more than thirty years of work with indigenous communities in the Bolivian Amazon, articulating research with the design and support of strategic actions implementation for territorial management, conservation and a gender approach. Zulema is a facilitator of gender policies and action plans for National WCS Programmes in Bolivia and Peru, and also contributes to WCS’ Andes Amazonia Orinoquia Program with the systematization of the working experiences with local communities while providing support, in social aspects, to the technical teams of the national programs working in the field.

“The Amazon is the most incredible tropical region in the world, home of hundreds of ndigenous Peoples, thousands of biological species and the most important supplier of freshwater in the world.”

Andres Lescano

Andres G. (Willy) Lescano is a Peruvian researcher with a Ph.D. in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. Dr. Lescano has studied emerging diseases in the Americas for nearly three decades. He is now focused on the impact of climate and anthropogenic change, with an important emphasis in the Amazon Basin. In 2015 Dr. Lescano founded Emerge, Cayetano University’s Emerging Diseases and Climate Change Unit, and in 2020 his work expanded into Clima, the Latin American Center of Excellence for Climate Change and Health, that he leads. Clima hosts the Latin American center of the Lancet Countdown for Climate Change and is a critical regional platform to address the challenge of climate change by conducting research, science dissemination and advocacy. Dr. Lescano and Clima work with governments, academia and international agencies to build regional capacity.

“Saving the Amazon is critical to our survival as a species.”

Lucia Lohmann

Lúcia Lohmann is a Brazilian scientist with a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, USA. Lúcia is a faculty member of the Department of Botany at the University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil, and the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC). Her research is highly integrative, combining data from systematics, ecology, evolution, geology, paleontology, and climatology to understand the drivers of biological diversity, especially in the Amazon. Between 2012-2019, she was the Brazilian coordinator of the project “Assembly and evolution of the Amazonia biota and its environment: An integrative approach,” which aimed to understand how the Amazon basin was assembled over the last 30 million years.

“Apart from the intrinsic value of the Amazon and its people, the Amazon basin is also a major source of biodiversity and ecosystem services, being vital to human wellbeing.”

Marcia Macedo

Marcia Macedo is an ecosystem ecologist studying the environmental and societal trade-offs among forest conservation, food production, and climate stability in tropical regions. She combines satellite data, field observations, and modeling to understand how land use and management influence tropical forest and freshwater ecosystems. Marcia’s current research focuses on land-use dynamics in the Amazon and Cerrado, where she explores the limits to agricultural expansion and intensification in a changing climate. She is particularly interested in improving science communication to decision-makers and the public. Marcia is an Associate Scientist and Director of the Water Program at the Woods Hole Research Center.

“The Amazon is a key part of the solution to the climate crisis. It sustains regional rainfall, supports local livelihoods, and is an incredible engine of biological diversity.”

Yadvinder Malhi

Yadvinder Malhi is a British climate scientist, with a PhD in Meteorology from University of Reading (United Kingdom). He is currently Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford. Malhi’s work focuses on on the function and sustainability of the biosphere, and its interactions with drivers of global change in the Anthropocene. Much of his work focuses on tropical forests, and he has been working with research teams in Amazonia (especially Brazil, Peru and Bolivia) since 1995, both in the lowland forests and in the Andes. Over the last ten years he has also conduced extensive research in Africa and Asia, and he is founder of the Global Ecosystems Monitoring (GEM) network.

“The Amazon is crown jewel of the biosphere: in terms of biological activity, species richness and planetary influence it is the most glorious and vital of Earth’s miraculous treasures.”


Jose Marengo

Jose Marengo is a Peruvian scientist with a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, United States. He did a post-doctorate at NASA and Columbia University, and at the Florida State University in climate modelling. He is a senior member of the Scientific Committee of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change and of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and was one of authors of IPCC 2007, awarded with the Peace Nobel Prize 2007. He has over 200 publications, is a member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and he is currently General Coordinator of Research and Development at the National Center for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters (CEMADEN).

“SPA report will provide scientific information on the importance of the Amazon in local and regional climate, and will create interest on the importance of the environmental services that the Amazon provides.”

Daniel Marra

Daniel Magnabosco Marra is a Brazilian scientist who combines field data, climate variables and remote sensing to investigate forest dynamics and functioning at the landscape scale. Daniel’s research focuses on understanding how the structure and diversity of forests respond to natural disturbances, with special interest on interactions between extreme winds and precipitation with trees. He collaborates in large Amazon projects including the Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO), INCT Madeiras da Amazônia and Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE-Tropics). Daniel has a Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the University of Leipzig. Apart from a researcher at the Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany, he is a professor of Tropical Forest Sciences at the National Institute for Amazonian Research, Brazil.

David McGrath

David McGrath is an American scientist with a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, United States, where he wrote a thesis on the role of itinerant river traders in the Amazon regional economy. From 1992 on he has taught in two interdisciplinary graduate programs: Center for Advanced Amazon Studies of the Federal University of Pará, Brazil, and the Graduate Program on Society, Nature and Development of the Federal University of the West of Pará. His work has focused on the community-based management of floodplain fisheries, fisheries co-management policy and Amazon development issues. He has also helped to create and/or worked in a number of research and policy-oriented NGOs: IMAZON, Woods Hole Research Center, Amazon Environmental Research Institute, Earth Innovation Institute and Sapopema.

“Social and environmental impacts of not saving the Amazon would be huge for Amazonians and for humans everywhere. This report can help to raise awareness of what is at stake.”

John Melack

John Melack is an American limnologist with a Ph.D. in Zoology from Duke University, United States. He is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is actively involved in studies of Amazon floodplains. His research also includes studies of the Pantanal of South America, lakes in the Sierra Nevada of California, coastal watersheds and near-shore kelp ecosystems in Santa Barbara Channel, and lakes in eastern Africa. John is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union, and has been a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, Blaustein Visiting Professor at Stanford University, and Gleddon Fellow at the University of Western Australia.

“As an ecologically diverse environment, the Amazon is critical to the functioning of the biosphere that links land, atmosphere and water.”

Silvia de Melo Futada

Silvia de Melo Futada is a Brazilian biologist, who plays for a thriving socio-environmental world with justice, freedom and diversity: for 20 years she has been actively working to reach this goal, defending environmental and human constitutional rights. Silvia holds a M.S. in Ecology from Unicamp, São Paulo, Brazil, and has worked at governmental and civil society sectors, as technician, researcher and head both in Natural Resources Office at Espirito Santo Environmental State Institute and in Protected Areas Monitoring Program at Instituto Socioambiental, beyond other occupations.

Gustavo Melo

Gustavo Melo is a Brazilian geologist who is currently a professor at Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto.

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm

Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm is a Venezuelan hydrologist and water resources engineer with a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the faculty at Northeastern University, the University of Miami, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland. He also spent 5 years as a civil servant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC. He is a Professor at the George Mason University, Lead Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

“The Amazon Basin plays a critical role in global water and biogeochemical cycles, and therefore is a major system contributing to regulate climate worldwide.”

Guido Miranda

Guido Miranda Chumacero is a Bolivian biologist with a degree from Universidad Mayor de San Andres (UMSA), Bolivia. From the beginning of his career, he was a research associate at Limnology Unit – Institute of Ecology of UMSA. He carried out his first research on the biology and ecology of cave fish in Torotoro National Park and thermal water fish in Potosi. He has worked on ornamental fish projects in several Amazonian rivers. Since 2007, he has been part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Bolivia team, coordinating wildlife management projects with indigenous communities in northern La Paz and developing research work on fish, fisheries and spectacled caiman management and conservation. He has several publications on wildlife management and Bolivian ichthyofauna.

“Only those who love the Amazon will defend it from any threat, and only those who fall in love with its beautiful biodiversity will love it.”

Encarni Montoya

Encarni Montoya is a Spanish biologist, with a PhD from Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, and postdoctoral experience in Spain and the UK. She was Lecturer at the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool, and is currently a tenured researcher at Geosciences Barcelona. She studies the dynamics of neotropical vegetation in the longterm and their responses to environmental drives such as climate, natural hazards or human activity, and uses biological remains including pollen preserved in sediments.

“The Amazon is a global reservoir of sociocultural, economic and ecological richness and diversity. The ecosystem services it provides are of paramount importance not only to the local inhabitants, but worldwide.”

Mariana Montoya

Mariana Montoya is a Peruvian Geographer who holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Texas – Austin. She is currently the Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Peru.

Edel Nazare de Moraes Tenorio

Edel Moraes lives in the São João Agroextractive Settlement, on Marajó Island (Pará, Brazil). She is an extractive leader of the National Council of Extractive Populations, acting nationally and internationally in favor of respect for traditional community rights. She completed her master’s degree at the Federal University of Brasília and is currently a member of the Cauim Research Group – Studies and Dialogical Practices in the Context of Traditional Peoples and Territories.

Monica Moraes

Monica Moraes is a Bolivian botanist with a Ph.D. from the Aarhus University, Denmark, and is currently a full-time professor and researcher at the Universidad Mayor de San Andres, working at the Herbario Nacional de Bolivia. Monica participates in several study projects focused on Bolivian tropical flora, and is a specialist in Bolivian palm trees. Monica has won the 2006 Jubilee Award from the International Foundation for Science, is a member of the Bolivian Academy of Science, and has over 100 publications, including some in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.

“It is essential to be alerted to the supreme need to preserve the Amazon under adequate systems of use and even protection.”

María Moreno de los Ríos

María Moreno de los Ríos is a Spanish-Ecuadorian environmental biologist with a MSc. in Ibero-American International Relations (with her thesis on the international protection of the Indigenous Peoples in Isolation in the Yasuní Biophere Reserve) and a MSc. in International Development Cooperation (UPV-HEGOA Institute). She has more than 15 years of experience in international development work, with emphasis on socio-environmental and gender issues. She has worked with multi- and bilateral agencies (UNDP, IUCN, AECID) and leading NGOs in South America (Fundación Pachamama). Actually, she is Hivos Senior Programme Manager for the Amazon, coordinating the All Eyes on the Amazon Programme. In IUCN she led the Amazon Green List and the IAPA project. María is part of the Core Group of the Network of Women in Conservation LAC, member of the Steering Committee of the Leadership Program for Women in Conservation of Colorado State University, and member of the LAC Women Major Group, expert in the IUCN CEESP, among others.

“You fall in love with the Amazon because of its nature and its people, those who struggle with so much effort to conserve natural resources, their cultures and their territories, and who are a great source of inspiration for the planet.”

Paulo Moutinho

Paulo Moutinho is a Brazilian ecologist with a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. He is co-founder and former Executive Director of the Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM), Brazil, where he currently works as a senior scientist. He has worked in the Amazon for 20 years, and he is co-author of the compensated reduction of deforestation, a concept that contributed to the development of the mechanism known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. He participated actively in the establishment of the Amazon Fund and the Brazilian National Policy for Climate Change, and served as an Adjunct Associate Scientist at The Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC).

“The Amazon is the last largest tropical forest on the planet capable of protecting innumerable vulnerable peoples, mai.ntains 20% of the planetary biodiversity and keeps the regional and global climate in balance.”

Maria Murmis

Maria R. Murmis is an Argentinean research associate at UASB Quito and an independent consultant specializing in the sustainability dimensions of international cooperation and the bio-economy. Maria holds an MSc in Energy and Resources from the University of California Berkeley. She works on the supply-side of global climate policy and alternative development paths for biodiversity hotspot countries, with a focus on Ecuador and its Amazon region.

“The Amazon the quintessential representation of the planet. Its immense biodiversity, complexity, abundance of resources and life sustaining cycles and processes, human diversity and cultural richness, beauty and substance for spirituality display in archetypical amounts all the wealth and opportunity for life and wellbeing that the Earth has to offer. What could be more important?”