Community » Specialty Advisors  

Lúcia Alencar

Lúcia Alencar conducts research on biodiversity and the importance of sustainable forest development in the floodplain forest of the Central Amazon. Some of her work includes working toward a better understanding of fruit production (as related to the food web and fishery stock maintenance); tree phenology; tree CO2 assimilation; and seed dispersion by fish and water.

Adrian Forsyth

Adrian Forsyth is the President and co-founder of the Amazon Conservation Association, a non-profit organization working to conserve the biological diversity of the Amazon Basin through development of new scientific understanding, sustainable resource management, and rational land-use policy for Amazonian ecosystems. Adrain holds a PhD from Harvard in tropical ecology and has 20 years of conservation experience in the Amazon region. He has worked as Vice President of Conservation International and is currently a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution and Director of Biodiversity Science for the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation.

Michael Keller

Michael Keller studies the effects of land use change and agricultural intensification in Central and South America on the function of ecosystems and the control of atmospheric chemistry and composition. His research ranges from the biological controls of trace gas emissions at the organismal level to the estimation and modeling of regional and global trace gas and carbon budgets. Over the past two decades, he has lived and worked in Brazil, Panama, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico as well as in the United States. He currently serves as lead scientist for the NASA sponsored LBA-ECO component of the Brazilian led Large Scale Biosphere Atmosphere in Amazonia (LBA) and the Co-Chair of the LBA International Science Steering Committee. LBA-Ecology is designed around the question "How do tropical forest conversion, regrowth, and selective logging influence carbon storage, nutrient dynamics, trace gas fluxes and the prospect for sustainable land use in the Amazon region?" In order to answer this question together with his colleagues in LBA-ECO, he combines in situ measurements with regional models and remotely sensed observations of biological and social systems in the Amazonian environment. For more information on LBA, consult and

William Laurance

William Laurance is a research scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute who is interested in assessing the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, and fire, on tropical ecosytems. He also studies the effects of global-change phenomena on tropical ecosystems, and forest-conservation policy. He has worked extensively in the Brazilian Amazon and tropical Australia, and also has conducted field studies in New Guinea, Southeast Asia, and Central America. He received his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of California, Berkeley.

John Melack

A Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at the University of California - Santa Barbara, John Melack has a research program in limnology, biogeochemistry, aquatic ecology and remote sensing with active studies in the Amazon of Brazil, and coastal wetlands and streams and alpine and saline lakes in California. He has published over 180 scientific papers, edited two books and a special issue of Limnology and Oceanography, written 12 book reviews and prepared 30 technical, workshop or committee reports. He has represented the limnological community on NASA's Science Steering Committee for the Earth Observing System. He served on the National Academy of Sciences committee that prepared The Mono Basin Ecosystem-Effects of Changing Lake Level, and on three NSF working groups that assessed the status and future of research on large lakes, community ecology of lakes, and stream processes. Currently, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Geophysical and Environmental Data and the Board of Directors of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.

Adriana Moreira

Adriana Moreira is a Senior Environmental Specialist for the World Bank in Brazil, working most recently on the Pilot Program to Conserve the Brazilian Rain Forest. This program is a joint undertaking of the Brazilian government, Brazil's civil society, and the international community that seeks to find ways to conserve the tropical rain forests of the Amazon and Brazil's Atlantic coast. For the program, to "conserve" means both to protect the forests and to promote sustainable development in these regions - to meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations.

The Brazilian rain forests offer significant environmental benefits to Brazil and to the world. The forests harbor a rich diversity of plants and animals, store carbon that if released would contribute to the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, regulate water cycles, and preserve the region's humid climate.

Brazil also has a legitimate interest in using this natural resource for the economic opportunities it represents to the people who live in the forests and to Brazil as a nation.

Thus the goal of the program is to maximize the environmental benefits of the forests in a way that is consistent with the development goals of Brazil and its people . The Program is a unique example of countries working together effectively to solve an international problem involving the global environment.

Daniel Nepstad

Daniel Nepstad, a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center, works to assess the ecological impacts of land use in the Brazilian Amazon and developing strategies for reversing these impacts through restoration of forest cover and agricultural productivity on degraded land. His research includes analyzing the importance of deep-rooting in Amazonian forests and the changes in deep-soil processes, such as carbon storage and water uptake, that accompany different land uses. Prior to joining the Center, Dr. Nepstad worked with the National Wildlife Federation's international program in Washington, DC. His doctorate in forest ecology is from Yale University. He is a 1994 Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment.

George Powell

George Powell is a senior scientist at the World Wildlife Fund - US, with a long history of rainforest research in the Amazon and elsewhere. Current research foci include the effects of human activity on the Amazon forest and inhabitants, as well as the forest's influence on regional and global climate.