Current group members


Liz Nichols - Assistant Professor

Liz is a community ecologist who studies biodiversity response to anthropogenic global change drivers, at scales from the individual to the biome. In particular, she is interested in understanding the influence of landscape structure on biodiversity, species interactions, ecosystem service production, and environmental sustainability. She works mainly in Brazil and the US but also with partners in the UK, Spain, and New Zealand. 


Patricia Ruggeiro - Doctoral student

Pat is pursuing a PhD at the University of São Paulo's Department of Ecology. Her research focuses on the efficiency of payment for ecosystem service (PES) programs in the state of São Paulo, Brazil.  She combines techniques borrowed from economics (e.g synthetic control methods and propensity scores) and the social sciences with remote sensing to quantify the conservation success of PES programs. Her CV is available here (Portuguese).


Viviana Alarcón - Project Manager

Viviana is based at the University of São Paulo, where her research focuses on quantifying extinction thresholds in ecosystem services in novel tropical landscapes.  In her spare time, she keeps tabs on everything from field data collection, specimen curation, to project finances. 


Tyler Huntington - Undergraduate student

Tyler is based at Swarthmore College, where he explores the trait and biogeographic correlates of 'winners' and 'losers' in working tropical landscapes undergoing biotic homogenization.

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João Augusto F. Leonel - International Intern

João is an undergraduate student at the Veterinary Medicine School of the University of São Paulo Pirassununga (FZEA/USP), where he improves techniques for the molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in small animals. He has been awarded an USP Innovation grant to spend a semester with us, exploring the commercial implications of ivermectin use on dung beetle  regulation gastrointestinal parasites of livestock. Parabéns e bemvindo João!


Nick Patel - Undergraduate student

Nick is based at Swarthmore College, where he is working on mapping dung beetle-parasite regulation services across working landscapes in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Lab Alumns