Science Panel for the Amazon members M-Z
Gabriela Nardoto is a Brazilian biologist with a Ph.D. in Applied Ecology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She is a professor at the University of Brasilia, and the coordinator of the Environmental Isotope Studies, an integrative research group that uses stable isotopes as a central tool in ecological and forensics studies in Brazil. She is the president of RENIF (Rede Nacional de Isotopos Forenses), an integrative network between civil society and law enforcement looking for the implementation of isotope methods against missing persons, wildlife crimes, and food frauds in Brazil, among others. Gabriela is also an associate editor for Journal of Ecology and PeerJ.
“Despite the numerous studies cataloging the rapid rate of deforestation and forest degradation, the accompanying release of carbon, and the net carbon balance of the region, carbon dynamics are not the only one component of the Amazon’s manifold interactions with climate.”
Eduardo Neves is a Brazilian historian and archaeologist with a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Indiana University, United States. He is Professor of Brazilian Archaeology at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at University of São Paulo, Brazil. He has supervised or is currently supervising over 50 Masters theses and PhD dissertations on Amazonian archaeology. Dr. Neves has more than 30 years of research in the Amazon, with projects in areas such as the Upper Rio Negro river, the Atlantic coast of Amapá, Manaus, Tefé, Upper Madeira river, Middle Guaporé river, Eastern Acre, as well as in Llanos de Mojos, Bolivia. He has designed the program for the undergraduate course in Archaeology of the State University of Amazonas, and has been awarded the Research Prize of the Shanghai Archaeological Forum in 2019.
“The world needs to understand and respect the life that pulses in the Amazon.”
Valeria Ochoa-Herrera is an Ecuadorian scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Arizona. She is currently a Dean of the School of Engineering, Science and Technology at Universidad del Rosario and a Member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Science.
“We need to act now to protect and preserve the Amazon.”
Gustavo Oliveira is a Brazilian philosopher and geographer with a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California, Berkeley, United States. He is an assistant professor of global and international studies at the University of California, Irvine. He has also served as visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Swarthmore College, United States, and visiting assistant professor of economic geography at Peking University, China. Working with ethnographic methods on global political ecology and geopolitics, Oliveira’s research has addressed the expansion of soy production and biofuels in South America, Chinese investments in Brazilian agribusiness and infrastructure, and the blind spots of eco-modernism that sacrifice the Brazilian Cerrado in failed efforts to spare land in the Amazon.
“The destruction of the Amazon would certainly push the world past a tipping point for runaway climate change, condemning human civilization to a catastrophic future.”
Rafael S. Oliveira is a Brazilian biologist with a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California – Berkeley, United States, and is currently a professor of Ecology at University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. His research is focused on understanding how multiple dimensions of biodiversity, particularly the functional dimension, modulates ecosystem functioning and resilience of tropical forests and savannas. He has more than 20 years of research experience on the functional ecology of Amazonian vegetation, aiming to understand the properties of the system that confer resilience to multiple disturbances.
“Nowhere else on Earth one can find so much abundance of life, diversity of life-forms and unique human life-styles as in the Amazon. It is perhaps the most extraordinary biological existing realm.”
Jean Ometto is a Senior Researcher at the Brazilian Institute of Space Research and Coordinator of the Earth System Science Center (CCST / INPE), CNPq Fellow and Postgraduate Professor at CCST / INPE and at NEPAM (UNICAMP). Appointed as IPCC contributor to WG-II – Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (for AR5 and AR6 cycles) and to the IPCC Task Force on GHG Emissions Inventories; Coordinate Lead Author on IPBES on Regional Assessment; Former Brazilian representative of the Executive Board of the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and Regional Director of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI); Member of the American Geophysical Union’s Committee on International Participation (AGU-CIP); Member of the Coordination of the FAPESP Program of Research on Global Climate Change; Member of the Belmont Forum Steering Committee; Vice-Chair of the Brazilian Research Network on Global Climate Change (CLIMA Network); Member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Carbon Project (GCP).
Fernando Ozorio de Almeida
Fernando Ozorio de Almeida is a Brazilian archeologist who holds a Ph.D. in Archeology from the University of São Paulo. He is currently a professor in the Department of Archeology at the State University of Rio de Janeiro. With fellow Amazonians, he helped found the AmazonArch, the largest database ever created for Amazon sites.
“SPA has presented an incredible opportunity to both congregate different approaches to the better understanding of Amazonia, as well as conecting these multiple efforts to a large audience, in an undestandable language.”
María Belén Paéz
María Belén Paéz is an Ecuadorian ecologist with a master’s degree from Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, Spain and specialist in Climate Change and Forests from Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Ecuador. She is currently President and Coordinator of the Climate Financement and Forests Area of Fundación Pachamama. Belén also serves as general secretary of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, which aims to protect 35 million hectares on the border between Ecuador and Peru in collaboration with Amazonian Indigenous federations. For the last 25 years Belén has led the implementation of programs based on forest economies, ecotourism, renewable energies, the protection and conservation of fragile ecosystems, legal actions in defense of collective rights and the rights of nature, climate justice and programs dedicated to improving maternal and child health. Belén was awarded in 2021 within the list of The 100 Latinos Most Committed to Climate Action, communication, science and sustainable policies.
“The Amazon is Sacred. It is the Territory of Life for all beings”
Claide de Paula Moraes
Dr. Moraes is a Brazilian archaeologist with a Ph.D. from Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará.
“O conhecimento tradicional exemplifica a possibilidade de convivência “pacífica” entre os humanos e a Amazônia, cientistas, governantes e a sociedade precisam entender isso, o SPA da passos neste caminho.”
Daniela Peluso is an American cultural anthropologist, with a PhD from Columbia University. She is currently an Emeritus Fellow at the University of Kent (United Kingdom). Daniela has dedicated the last four decades to Amazonian research and is committed to Indigenous and local communities, federations and grassroots movements that strive toward social and environmental justice, sustainability and wellbeing. Her research focuses on Indigenous urbanization, informal economies, corruption, gender, personhood and finance.
“As Amazonia is increasingly engaged with the global economy, there is increased interest and concern relating to the place of humans and non-humans in the environment and the sustainable future of Indigenous peoples and the areas in which they dwell.”
Stefan Peters is a German Political-Scientist who is currently Academic Director of the Instituto Colombo-Alemán para la Paz (CAPAZ) in Bogotá. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Kassel University. His main research areas include Peace and Conflict Studies, Development Studies and Latin American Studies focusing on Extractivism and Rentism, Social Inequalities as well as Memory Studies and Transitional Justice.
“Detener la deforestación en la Amazonía requiere salir del extractivismo y para esto hay que tomar decisiones políticas contundentes tanto en los países amazónicos como en los países dependientes de sus recursos naturales.”
Oliver Phillips is a British Professor in Tropical Ecology at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. Oliver’s research goal is to understand the dynamics of Earth’s tropical forests, how these respond to our changing climate, and how they feedback on our planet. With colleagues, he leads long-term monitoring tracking Amazon forest trees, carbon and biodiversity for 30 years. This work spans 400 sites (the RAINFOR project), has catalyzed similar approaches elsewhere, and connects researchers worldwide via ForestPlots.net.
“La Amazonía es el mayor tesoro de la Tierra. Como científicos, debemos trabajar juntos para entenderla, y como personas unirnos para protegerla.”
Natalia Piland is a Peruvian-American doctoral candidate from the University of Chicago. Her doctoral research focuses on avian diversity along urban-rural gradients of Latin America (Field Museum of Natural History & University of Chicago). Natalia is interested in the ways in which humans interact with nature and the ways in which scientists interact with society. Current research includes naming practices in ornithology, urban resident attitudes towards birds, access in scientific practice, and reviews of participatory science experiences in Iberoamerica and the tropics. Natalia has been a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Mansueto Urban Institute Doctoral Writing Fellow, and a Smithsonian James Smithson Fellow.
“The SPA report will bring together multiple visions for a sustainable Amazon, showcasing the work and experiences of a large group of people committed to the region’s integrity.”
Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez is a native of the Peruvian Amazon, growing up in a remote village alongside the Ucayali River. He received his Ph.D, degree in Forestry from the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, United States. Dr. Pinedo-Vasquez does research on issues related to the impact of resource management and land use on the sustainable provision of ecosystem services and goods. Recently, he has been working on smallholder’s responses to the emerging challenges and opportunities produced by urbanization, climate change, and other socio-environmental shifts in Amazonia and other tropical regions.
“The SPA report is an important venue for showing that Amazonian people are conserving and doing a sustainable use of forests, not only destroying.”
Paulo Pompeu is a Brazilian biologist with a Ph.D. in Environment Sanitation and Water Resources from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He is a full-time professor at Federal University of Lavras, Brazil, and has served as an environmental consultant at Acqua Consultoria. His research interests are in fish ecology, river restoration, and impacts of power plants. His projects involve most Brazilian watersheds, including different regions in the Brazilian Amazon, and have focused on the impacts of different human activities on biodiversity and in ecosystem’s functioning. He was awarded by the Brazilian Society of Zoology for the best publication in the area of Zoology in 2018/2019.
“All biomes on the planet matter. However, the Amazon has disproportionately large cultural and environmental value. The planet, Brazil and local traditional communities depend on its preservation.”
Alex Pryor is an Argentinian entrepreneur with a B.Sc. from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, United States. He is the Co-founder of Guayaki Yerba Mate, an organization based on the model of fair trade, sustainable agriculture and earth-friendly practices. Guayakí’s vision holds that yerba mate culture will power a Market Driven Regeneration™ business model to regenerate ecosystems and create vibrant communities.
“The interdependence of ecosystems, cultures and economic systems between the Amazon Forest and the Atlantic Forest is of urgent attention. Actions to guarantee the healthy future of both ecosystems must take place.”
Dr. Raoni Rajão is a Brazilian Social Scientists who holds a PhD in Organization, Work and Technology from Lancaster University. Raoni is a professor of Social Studies of Science at the Department of Production Engineering at UFMG – Federal University of Minas Gerais.
“The Amazon environmental services are important for the world but essential for Brazil’s agriculture and water supply.”
Adriana Ramos is a Brazilian Environmental Policy Specialist with a degree from State University of New York (SUNY). She coordinates the Policy and Law Program of the Instituto Socioambiental, Brazil, and has been working on advocacy to improve social and environmental legislation and policies related to indigenous peoples’ rights, tropical forests and other ecosystems in Brazil for over 25 years. She served as one of the representatives of NGOs in the Guidance Committee of the Amazon Fund, coordinator of the Brazilian NGOs Forum working group on forests, member of the National Environmental Council of Brazil and member of the Brazilian NGO Association board of directors. She is also member of the Board of Directors Instituto Centro Vida, Instituto Internacional de Educação do Brasil and Instituto Democracia e Sustentabilidade.
“The Amazon matters for the hundreds of peoples living there and for humanity as a whole. It is urgent to reinforce its importance to avoid the destruction that governments are allowing to happen.”
Ying Fan Reinfelder
Ying Fan-Reinfelder is an American scientist with a Ph.D. from the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering of Utah State University, United States. She is a professor at Rutgers University, United States, and studies how hydrologic processes modulate global water, energy, and biogeochemical cycles, especially how water shapes plant ecology/evolution. She served on the National Academy of Science Committee on Future Water Resource Needs for the Nation, on the editorial board of the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences, Inc., and is currently serving on NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee and the editorial board of the journal Hydrological Processes.
“The Amazonia is a window of the deep biotic history of the planet, it is a treasure trove of Nature’s inventions through eons of trial and error, it is a natural museum of most splendid life forms on Earth.
Natalia Restrepo-Coupe is a Canadian Micrometeorologist who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.
Camila Ribas is a Brazilian scientist with a Ph.D. in Genetics and Evolutionary Biology from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She was a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, United States, investigating comparative phylogeography of Amazonian birds. She is currently a researcher at the National Institute for Amazonian Research, Brazil, establishing past relationships between biotic and abiotic evolution by combining genomic data with the geologic and climatic history of Amazonia. This knowledge is applied for assessing and mitigating the effects of deforestation and infrastructure development on Amazonian biodiversity and on the Amazonian peoples that both sustain and depend on this biodiversity.
“Current situation in Brazil requires every effort to avoid large scale destruction of the environment and vulnerable minorities.”
João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco
João Paulo Ribeiro Capobianco is a Brazilian biologist who holds a Ph.D. from the University of São Paulo. He has served as the National Secretary for Biodiversity and Forests of the Ministry of the Environment of Brazil and Deputy Minister of the Environment of Brazil. He also served as Coordinator of the Permanent Federal Government Working Group on Deforestation in the Amazon, president of the Brazilian Council for Genetic Resources and the Brazilian Commission on Forests, and deputy president of the National Council of the Environment. Capobianco was a visiting professor at Columbia University (2008-09), where he integrated the CEES – Center for Environment, Economy, and Society. He also worked as an associate researcher at Ipam – Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia. Capobianco is currently vice president of the IDS, director of Métra – Planejamento Socioambiental Estratégico Ltda.
Luciana Rizzo is a Brazilian physicist who holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics from the Federal University of Sao Paulo. She is currently a professor at the Federal Univ. of São Paulo (Unifesp). She is experienced in atmospheric aerosols, investigating the biosphere-atmosphere interactions and the impacts of urban and biomass burning emissions to the climate and human health. Her current research activities include a data analysis on the variability of carbon fluxes between the forest and the atmosphere, using artificial intelligence tools.
“O SPA mostrou o quanto já conhecemos sobre a Amazônia. Agora é hora de cuidar para que a floresta, sua biodiversidade e seu povo possam co-existir em harmonia.”
Bruna Rocha is a Brazilian archaeologist with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from University College London, United Kingdom. She is a lecturer and researcher at Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará, Brazil, studying the long-term history of the peoples of the Tapajós River, particularly along its middle and upper reaches, a region at the centre of a number of conflicts as industrial society encroaches upon traditionally occupied territories. Dr. Rocha has applied archaeology to support indigenous land claims within this context and more recently has begun to work along the Iriri River basin to help debunk the idea of a pristine forest that has underlain attempts to exclude traditional riverine communities from strict nature reserves.
“Halting the Amazon’s destruction is […] a moral imperative vis-à-vis Amazonian forest peoples, who have for millennia enhanced its biodiversity and built complex knowledge systems relating to it.”
Humberto Rocha is a Brazilian engineer and hydroclimatologist with a D.Sc. in Meteorology from University of Sao Paulo (USP), Brazil. He has been professor at the USP’s Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences for more than 25 years and conducts research on hydroclimatology and ecoclimatology, with emphasis in the water and carbon cycles of land ecosystems and their dependence on the climate variability and change. He coordinates the Lab of Climate and Biosphere that consolidated historically nine field experimental sites with flux tower and hydrological measures in native areas and croplands in Amazonia, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes. He is keen to know how physical and non-physical ecosystem services help humans being happy on Earth.
“The Amazon is an outstanding sanctuary of known and unknown force sources for human life.”
Carolina Rodríguez Alzza
Carolina Rodríguez Alzza is a Peruvian linguist and anthropologist, instructor in the Department of Anthropology at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Carolina is a researcher at Grupo de Antropología Amazónica (GAA-PUCP), and her work focuses on Amazon area and indigenous people/languages. Carolina develops collaborative projects with Iskonawa people on documentation and revitalization of language and culture.
“The linguistic diversity of the Amazon is a path to understand the multiple ways in which societies discursively construct their life.”
César Rodríguez-Garavito is a Colombian environmental justice and human rights scholar and practitioner, with a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States. He is Co-Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at New York University School of Law and the Editor-in-Chief of Open Global Rights. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford (USA), Brown (USA), NYU (USA), University of Melbourne (Australia), European University Institute (Italy), University of Pretoria (South Africa) and the Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil). He has conducted research and worked with indigenous peoples, rural communities and civil society organizations in the Amazon region of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador for over a decade. Dr. Rodríguez-Garavito has been an Adjunct Judge of the Constitutional Court of Colombia and an expert witness of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
“Releasing the SPA Report is crucial because time is running out to save the Amazon and avert the worst scenarios of global warming.”
Martha Rosero-Peña is a Colombian researcher from the University of Florida, and also specialist in race and Ethnicity. Her dissertation is about social-ecological resilience assessment with Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant forest societies emphasizing ontology role during crisis. Martha also holds an undergraduate degree in Animal Science and a M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Dr. Rosero-Peña’s has previously worked on the Chocó biogeographic region, and the Amazon with WWF; Institute of Ethnobiology; Tropenbos Colombia; Colombian National Education Service.
“Environmental policy design should pay attention to old-dated preconceived ideas about the Amazon and its inhabitants. It still plays a central role in deforestation and biocultural loss.”
Eduardo Roxo is a Brazilian Biologist who has a Master in Ecology from Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil) on the use of urban waste to recover degraded slopes in the Atlantic Forest. He is a senior consultant on integrated biotic and socioeconomic studies on engineering projects for major infrastructure and urbanization plans, and Founding Partner of Verdevolta, which has implemented Forest Rehabilitation Programs on more than 400 hectares in São Paulo. Additionally, Eduardo is Founding Partner of Atina Ativos Naturais Ltda, leading its commercial team in the São Paulo factory and R&D in Pouso Alegre. He is responsible for sustainable management of candeia in rural properties of Minas Gerais, in over 20,000 hectares. He is also a consultant with Rizoma Regenerative Agriculture for integration of forestry and agricultural systems and partner of Edro, a service company in agroforestry production chains.
“Saving the Amazon involves the integration of forest and agricultural systems, using strong and local food supply chains to address environmental goals.”
Boris Sakschewski is a German Postdoc at Earth System Analysis Research Department in the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany. He received his Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Potsdam. Dr. Sakschewski´s research focuses on improving the functional biodiversity in the dynamic global vegetation model (LPJmL) by investigating the role of tree trait diversity for atmospheric moisture transport across South America.
“Saving the Amazon is simply about to have or never have again true large-scale undisturbed terrestrial wilderness on our planet.”
Henrique dos Santos Pereira
Henrique dos Santos Pereira is a Brazilian scientist with a Ph.D. degree in Ecology from Pennsylvania State University, United States. Henrique is a professor of agricultural ecology at Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), Brazil, and Executive Secretary of the National Association for Research and Graduate in Environment and Society (ANPPAS), where he was previously President. He is also national representative of the Network for Environmental studies of Portuguese-speaking countries (REALP), Associated Researcher at National Institute for Research in Amazon (INPA), and member of the coordination board of UFAM graduation program in environmental sciences and sustainability. He was the superintendent of the Brazilian Environmental Agency (IBAMA, Amazonas State) and scientific advisor for the Commission Pastoral Land (CPT, Amazonas State).
“Saving the Amazon matters because its integrity is essential for the wellbeing and development of its peoples and their future generations.”
Marianne Schmink is an American Anthropologist, Professor Emerita and Distinguished Teaching Scholar of Latin American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Florida (UF). She served as Director of UF’s interdisciplinary Tropical Conservation and Development (TCD) research and training program from 1988-2010. She directed a 13-year USAID funded community research and extension program in western Amazonia (1990-2003). She co-authored (with Charles H. Wood) “Contested Frontiers in Amazonia” (Columbia University Press, 1992, published in Portuguese in 2012 by the Editora of the Federal University of Pará, Brazil, as “Conflitos Sociais e a Formação da Amazônia”. She co-authored with Mâncio Lima Cordeiro, “Rio Branco: A Cidade da Florestania” (2008, UFPa/UFAC), in addition to three edited books and over fifty articles, book chapters, and reports.
“The report can bring together existing data and knowledge to support proposals for more sustainable policies and practices for the Amazon and its indigenous and traditional communities.”
Glenn H. Shepard Jr. is an American ethnobotanist, medical anthropologist, and filmmaker,who holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a tenured researcher in the Human Sciences Division at the Goeldi Museum in Belém, Brazil and a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Myrtle Shock is an American archaeologist who holds a Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara.
“My hope is that understanding past human relationships with plants, especially fruit, nut, and palm trees, through archaeology, can lead to economically viable management practices that maintain vegetation cover, however the realization of this will depend upon the contributions of scientists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.”
Miles Silman is an American Tropical Ecologist with a Ph.D. from Wake Forest University. He is the Andrew Sabin Professor of Conservation Biology at Wake Forest University, and director of the WF Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability. He is a tropical ecologist who has spent the last 30 years working in the Amazon Basin and Andes to understand the diversity of the natural world, how it functions, and how to conserve it. His current projects also include the relationship between humans and nature to conserve large areas of managed and wild land.
“The Amazon is Earth’s most riotous expression of life and functioning ecosystems, now threatened. What happens in the Amazon doesn’t stay in the Amazon, but rather echoes around the world.”
Celso Silva Junior
Celso H. L. Silva Junior is a Brazilian environmental engineer and remote sensing scientist. He is currently doing his Ph.D. at the National Institute for Space Research-INPE. He is studying tropical forest degradation and its contributions to carbon emissions.
“O relatório do Painel Científico para a Amazônia (SPA) é sem dúvidas um marco para a Amazônia. O relatório traz um minucioso e sem precedente levantamento do estado da Amazônia baseado na Ciência. Além de diagnosticar os problemas ambientais da região, o estudo aponta recomendações para garantir o desenvolvimento sustentável da região.”
Plinio Sist is a French biologist and the director of the Research Unit Forests and Societies at Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (Cirad), gathering 40 researchers and 30 master and PhD students. He is also the coordinator of the Tropical and subtropical silviculture unit of Division 1 at International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO). He is a tropical forest ecologist with more than 25-years experience in South America (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Costa-Rica) and SouthEast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia). He obtained a PhD in 1989 in tropical Biology at the University of Paris VI. He introduced and tested Reduced-Impact Logging in Indonesia in the early 90’s in East Kalimantan. His main interest is to understand the impact of forest resource harvesting on the ecology of tropical forests in order to recommend sustainable forest management practices. He has more than 150 publications and conference presentations on this issue.
“Saving the Amazon matters because it is the biggest tropical forest in the world and plays a crucial role in climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.”
Charlotte Smith holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Lancaster University.
“The Amazon is critical to climate change mitigation and protecting it must be a global priority.”
Carlos Souza Jr.
Carlos Souza Jr. is a Brazilian geographer. He completed his undergraduate degree in Geology, in Brazil, at the Pará State Federal University, a M.Sc. in Soil Science at Penn State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Dr. Souza Jr. is an associate researcher at Imazon, focusing on remote sensing for mapping and monitoring forests, land use and land cover change, and spatial modeling. In 2010, he received the Skoll Award on Social Entrepreneurship in recognition for the development and operationalization of SAD, the first independent forest monitoring system in Brazil. He also co-founded Terras, a startup which develops geospatial apps for social-environmental risk analysis, monitoring, and traceability of rural properties. In 2017, he received the Conservation Fellowship from the Mulago Foundation for his work with Terras.
“The Amazon represents life and culture abundance for all. We have to urgently release the SPA report to raise awareness on the threats to the Amazon, and the viable solutions to develop and conserve it.”
Gabriella Tabet is a Brazilian Biologist and Master’s student at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Her interests are focused on how hosts are grouped by their functional traits and their role in the transmission cycle of zoonotic parasites, in the light of ecological networks.
Hans ter Steege
Hans ter Steege is a Dutch ecologist with a PhD from the Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands. Ter Steege is the Group Leader at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and had built up large network of collaborating colleagues in the Amazon and outside: The Amazon Tree Diversity Network. With this network, ter Steege and his colleagues study patterns and processes of species composition, relative abundance patterns, and functional behavior of the Amazon forest, and its evolution.
“Tropical forests are a treasure trove of biological inventions, such as medicines but also construction; evolution has a fast pace in the tropics and over millions of years has allowed many species to find adaptations for problems that are new to us.”
Henyo Trindade Barretto Filho
Henyo Trindade Barretto Filho is a Brazilian anthropologist. He has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of São Paulo and has worked as professor and researcher in the Department of Social Sciences of the Federal University of Amazonas and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Brasilia, his present occupation. Dr. Trindade Barretto Filho was, for ten years, Program Manager in the International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB), a Brasília-based NGO, where he coordinated scholarships and course programs. There he was also involved in projects targeting institutional strengthening and empowerment of community leaders to defend their rights and to promote sustainable socio environmental development, as well as fostering conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon and Cerrado.
“No Amazon, no life on earth whatsoever. The SPA report will be a relevant and substantive contribution to halt ecocide and genocide.”
Laurent Troost is a Belgian Architect based in Manaus, founder of Laurent Troost Architectures. He has won several international competitions and awards, such as the Dezeen Award or the IAI Most Creativity Award. Laurent has also been the Urban Planning Director for the Municipality of Manaus from 2013 until 2020 and is currently a consultant for the World Bank Group.
“The SPA provided one of the largest gathering of scientific analysis and proposals in order to act strategically in the Amazon, which urgently needs action now, not tomorrow!”
Fernando Trujillo is a Colombian Marine Biologist with a Doctorate in Zoology at University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He is a corresponding Member of the Colombian Academy of Sciences and has recognized experience in aquatic ecology with emphasis on aquatic vertebrates, endangered species, wildlife trafficking, agreements and fisheries management, toxic waste in aquatic systems and wetlands. Additionally, he has experience in Management Plans for Protected Areas, Endangered Species, wildlife monitoring and environmental impact assessments. Dr. Trujillo was awarded the Emily Shane distinction for conservation projects by the Marine Mammal Society and nominated by Rolex for the International Conservation Award and by the BBC for a life dedicated to the conservation of endangered species. Dr. Trujillo is Associate Professor at the National University for the Doctorate in Amazon Studies and has led more than 40 expeditions in South America, Asia and Antarctica.
“Saving the Amazon is urgent for climatic stability, safeguarding the great natural heritage (biodiversity), maintaining 16% of the planet’s fresh water and preservation of indigenous ethnic groups.”
Carmen Ulloa Ulloa
Carmen Ulloa Ulloa is an Ecuadorian botanist, Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA. She earned her B.Sc. in Biology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, and her Ph.D. at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. Dr. Ulloa specializes in neotropical flora, especially high Andean plants. She is an editor of the Flora Mesoamericana project and member of Ecuador’s National Academy of Sciences. Recently, she coordinated a major collaboration to produce a list of all the vascular plants of the Americas.
“The Andes-Amazon region is our natural heritage.”
Judson F. Valentim is a Brazilian researcher at Embrapa Acre. He has a Ph.D. in Agronomy (1987) from the University of Florida. He was a Visiting Researcher at Harvard University in the Sustainability Science Program and Associate Researcher at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (2013-2014). He has experience in managing research and development groups and institutions, as General Director of Embrapa Acre (1995-1999, 2008-2013, 2019-). His research focuses on sustainable intensification and integration of agriculture and livestock production systems in the Brazilian Amazon. He also participates in international research groups focusing on linking science with policy action for sustainable development in the Brazilian Amazon.
“The Amazon, holding one of the largest stocks of natural resources and vital provisions while most of its population lives with the lowest Human Development Indexes in Brazil, risks reaching a tipping point.”
Mariana Varese is a Peruvian scientist and the Director of Amazon Landscapes at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and coordinator of the Citizen Science for the Amazon Network. A natural resources economist with over 20 years of conservation experience in the Amazon and Latin America and the Caribbean, Mariana holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. She has ample experience in community-based conservation, landscape and multi-scale conservation approaches and in evidence-based participatory planning and adaptive management. Her current areas of interest are open and collaborative knowledge networks, citizen science, common goods and the effective use of evidence in decision making.
“The SPA report is needed to rapidly change our collective vision about the Amazon, its peoples and its future as a center of knowledge, innovation and well-being that inspires humanity to live sustainably.”
Silva M Vidal O.
Silvia Margarita Vidal Ontivero is a Venezuelan anthropologist who obtained her Ph.D. in Biology from the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, IVIC. She has more than 20 years research experience in the Northwest Amazon (Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia) and other regions with Arawak groups and their Carib, Tukanos, and Makú neighbors, non-indigenous populations, etc. She also has a wide experience in public policy management (educational, cultural, and social). Since 2006, she is Professor in the Doctoral program of Anthropology at the Instituto de Investigaciones Bioantropológicas y Arqueológicas, Facultad de Odontología, at the Universidad de Los Andes (ULA) in Mérida, Venezuela. Since 2015, she is Academic Advisor and director of PROMAT, an audiovisual production agency.
“There is an urgent need to launch the SPA Report because we are in a critical moment for the planet and humanity, including the impact of climate change, fires and resource exploitation in the Amazon.”
Martin von Hildebrand
Dr. Martín von Hildebrand is a Colombian ethnologist and anthropologist who has led efforts to secure indigenous territorial rights and the protection of the Colombian Amazon tropical forest. He has been awarded the Right Livelihood Award, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and The Order of the Golden Ark in recognition of his work with Fundacion Gaia Amazonas and the COAMA program.
Robert Wallace is a British zoologist and Doctor in Evolutionary Psychology and Behavioral Ecology. He has worked in the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 1999 as director of the Madidi-Tambopata Great Landscape Conservation Program and Landscape Conservation Expert of the Amazon Program. His work within WCS included the leadership of the Identidad Madidi scientific expedition, between 2015 and 2017. which received a National Prize for Science and Technology and the Chuquiago Marka award. He has led research on the jaguar, Andean bear, condor, giant otter, and various primates and ungulates from Bolivia. He is the author and co-author of nearly 200 publications on Bolivian wildlife, and has supervised more than 40 Bolivian undergraduate and graduate theses.
“The SPA will encourage the regional and global responsibility for the protection of the Amazon.”
Jennifer Watling is a British archaeologist specializing in the integration of plant microfossil analysis (phytoliths and starch grains) to understand plant resource use, cultivation and management practices, and past landscape transformations in pre-Columbian Amazonia. She has mainly worked in Southwestern Amazonia, publishing on topics such as the environmental impact of the enigmatic ‘geoglyph’ sites of Acre, and the history of plant resource use at the more than 6,000-year-old Teotonio and Monte Castelo archaeological sites in the Upper Madeira. She also collaborates on projects looking at long-term vegetation dynamics in the Montanha and Mangabal ribeirinho territory, Upper Tapajós, and on the ethnoarchaeology of plant and soil management among the Kuikuro people of the Xingu Indigenous Territory. Her eventual goal is to combine archaeological and palaeoecological data with indigenous and traditional knowledge to advance current conservation and geopolitical debates in the Amazon.
“The Amazon and its traditional occupants are under threat due to the insatiable expansion of economic interests that leave permanent damage on its ecosystems for short-term financial profit.”
Gasodá Wawaeitxapôh Suruí
Gasodá Wawaeitxapôh Suruí is a Brazilian indigenous scientist and turismologist of the Paiter people and is pursuing his Ph.D. in Geography from the Federal University of Rondônia (UFRO), Brazil. He is the coordinator of the Indigenous Cultural Center Paiter Wagôh Pakob, an initiative aimed to promote appreciation, preservation and strengthening of the culture, values and traditional knowledge of the Paiter People in the Indigenous Territory Sete de Setembro. He is a researcher at the Study and Research Group on Amazonian Livelihoods and Cultures and at the Research Group on Human Geography, Nature and Territoriality of UFRO. Gasodá has participated in one episode of the program My World, My Computer, telling how technology helped to insert his people on the map of environmental sustainability and indigenous tourism.
“We need to act quickly. If we act, we still have time to avoid harmful impacts to the environment and to climate change.”
Carlos Eduardo F Young
Carlos Eduardo Frickmann Young is a Brazilian Professor at the Institute of Economics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). He is the Coordinator of the Environmental Economics Research Group (GEMA-IE/UFRJ), and collaborating Professor of the Graduate Programs in Environmental Sciences at the State University of Mato Grosso (PPGCA/UNEMAT) & the Federal University of Amazonas (PPGCASA/UFAM). Carlos Eduardo is currently a researcher at the Instituto de Ciência e Tecnologia em Políticas Públicas, Estratégias e Desenvolvimento (INCT/PPED). He is also a member of the Scientific Council, Brazilian Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (BPBES); Science Panel for the Amazon; and Board Member of the Fundação Amazonas Sustentável.
“The transition to a green economy creates a unique opportunity to redefine development in the Amazon, with competitiveness combining local knowledge and resources with efficiency and innovation.”
Galo Zapata-Ríos is an Ecuadorian scientist who holds a B.S.c in Biological Sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, a M.Sc. degree in Environmental Studies from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from University of Florida. Dr. Zapata-Ríos is the science director for Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ecuador Program. He has been involved in several research and conservation initiatives in Ecuador, including the creation of reserve networks, community-based wildlife management, facilitation of human-wildlife coexistence, wildlife monitoring at the landscape scale, and the preparation of conservation action plans for endangered species. Dr. Zapata-Rios has more than 40 publications in prestigious scientific journals.
“The SPA report should draw attention to the uniqueness of the Amazon, the threats the region is facing and the potential strategies that must be implemented to guarantee its long-term conservation.”
Stanford Zent is an American Anthropologist who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is currently a Researcher at the Center of Anthropology at the The Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research.