|Fragoso, José Manuel V.|
|Posted 16 December 2010|
José Manuel V. Fragoso
Stanford University Biology
About Joe Fragoso's studies
Despite important advances in international commitments to biodiversity conservation and protected area creation, economic, social and policy drivers continue to rapidly convert tropical ecosystems in an unplanned, unregulated manner. I am interested in identifying natural- and social science-based approaches to the maintenance of ecosystem function in landscapes inhabited and utilized by humans as a means of altering policies that drive biodiversity loss. Since I first began research and conservation efforts in the tropics, my research trajectory has moved from a focus on the ecology of tropical ungulates to increasingly broader research projects incorporating seed dispersal dynamics, indirect interactions between ungulates and insects, plant community ecology, direct and indirect impacts of humans on food webs and ecological communities and the sociology and economics of human societies in the tropics.
North Rupununi, Central Guyana (© Tropicalbio.org)
I now use a complex systems approach to understand interactions, feedbacks and uncertainty in coupled systems, and maintain two core research programs: 1. Scale-dependent interactions and feedbacks in food webs involving large ungulates (including consequences of defaunation and other system impacts by humans); and 2. Significance of human cultural practices and policy contexts for biodiversity dynamics in coupled natural-human systems. My interest in integrating ecological, cultural, political and economic perspectives in conservation efforts in Brazil led to the development of a large-scale interdisciplinary research initiative funded by the US National Science Foundation. This project uses hunting and vertebrate population dynamics as a model system through which to understand the feedbacks between indigenous cultures undergoing socio-economic transitions and their natural environment. Relying on the tools of ecological, social, geographic and mathematical sciences, this research explicitly seeks to both describe ecological dynamics and inform conservation, development and human rights policy at local, national and international levels. The project has recently expanded through a collaboration with the Guyanese NGO Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development, and the securing of funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation focused on capacity building and research initiatives with indigenous peoples and the Guyanese government in preparation for REDD and the management of ecosystem services.
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