CenTREAD sponsors graduate students from tropical nations to participate in a 3-month Visiting Graduate Fellows Program or as participants in the International Shortcourse in Agroecology. In addition, we host faculty and research sabbatical leaves at UCSC.

CenTREAD Sabbatical Visitors

CenTREAD Sabbatical Visitors. The Center for Tropical Research in Ecology, Agriculture, and Development (CenTREAD) is pleased to host extended visits by faculty and researchers on sabbatical.

zak z Dr. Zak Zahawi (zahawi <at> ots.ac.cr) will be visiting the Karen Holl lab for October and November 2008-2009. Zahawi is the Director of the Organization for Tropical Studies Las Cruces Biological Station in Southern Cosa Rica. Zahawi has over 10 years experience conducting research in tropical forest recovery and restoration in a number of countries, including Ecuador and Honduras, and more recently in southern Costa Rica. He is one of three PIs working on a long-term restoration study initiated in 2004 which has 15 replicate 1-hectare sites spread around a 100km2 area around the Las Cruces field station. Zahawi is also studying long-term forest dynamics in the Las Cruces forest fragment with co-PI Chris Peterson (University of Georgia). During his time at UCSC he is working on writing up publications on his collaborative research with Dr. Karen Holl.
Bruce Ferguson Dr. Bruce Ferguson (bgfecosur <at> gmail.com) is visiting in Karen Holl's lab during the 2008-09 academic year, while on sabbatical from the Agroecology Department at El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. Bruce earned his PhD (Biology, 2001) at the University of Michigan. His research documents biodiversity and forest regeneration on tropical agricultural and grazing land. More recently, he has developed an interest in sustainable tropical livestock production systems. He teaches a graduate course on ecological restoration. During his sabbatical he will be writing up research, designing a course on food systems and sitting in on a GIS course. He looks forward to interacting with the academic community at CenTREAD and Environmental Studies. .
Helda_Morales Dr. Helda Morales (hmorales <at> ecosur.mx) is spending her sabbatical year collaborating with Steve Gliessman. In the past 10 years she has been working as a professor at the Agroecology Department in El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Chiapas. She does research on natural biological control in agroecosystems, studying traditional pest management practices in the highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas and the interaction between agriculture and conservation areas. During her sabbatical at UCSC she wants to start an web based Agroecology program for kids around Latin America, develop a graduate course on food systems and design workshops on food systems for non-scientists.

 

CenTREAD Visiting Graduate Fellows Program

CenTREAD Visiting Graduate Fellows Program. The Center for Tropical Research in Ecology, Agriculture, and Development (CenTREAD) offers fellowships for 3 months post-graduate residence at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Graduate students, recent university graduates, and environmental professionals from tropical and subtropical nations who have not received degrees from and are not enrolled in US universities are eligible to apply. Fellows participate in graduate courses related to their interests, attend seminars, and work with UCSC research groups to develop collaborations with CenTREAD affiliates. To apply, contact an appropriate CenTREAD faculty member directly. UCSC faculty interested in sponsoring a visiting fellow, and interested applicants should contact Greg Gilbert or Karen Holl for application deadlines. Applications requirements are available here.

Astri Zulfa (achi_zulfa <at> yahoo.com)

Orangutans are endangered animals and also an umbrella species to other thing that live in their habitat. Presently, orangutans are only found in the wild in Sumatra and Borneo.  Astri (Achi) Zulfa, from Jakarta, Indonesia, received her B.S. from Universitas Nasional Jakarta. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied the nutritional composition of food consumed by Bornean orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii, at the Tuanan Field Station in Central Kalimantan.  She is currently a Master’s student with the Universitas Nasional Jakarta and is examining the Mechanical Properties and Nutritional Characteristics of Foods Consumed by Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii) at the Ketambe Research Station, Aceh Tenggara, NAD. From 2007 to 2008, Achi spent her time in the field collecting data on orangutan feeding behavior and collecting urine samples from orangutans for her Master’s thesis. 
During the Winter quarter 2009, Achi came to UCSC as a CenTREAD fellow and worked in Nathaniel Dominy’s laboratory.

Achi Zulfa
There she analyzed urine samples collected from wild Bornean and Sumtran orangutans to assess protein dynamics during periods of varying fruit abundance. While in Dr. Dominy’s laboratory, Achi learned methods to prepare samples for stable isotope analyses and ran her samples on a ThermoElectron (Finnigan) Delta+XP continuous flow mass spectrometer fitted to an Elemental Analyzer in the UCSC Stable Isotope Laboratory. In addition, she examined urine samples for concentrations of nitrogen metabolites, specifically urinary urea and creatinine, to compare protein dynamics in wild Bornean and Sumatran orangutans during periods of varying fruit availability. She will compare her results to data collected by her colleagues, Sri Haryati, and Dr. Erin Vogel (UCSC). Achi returned to Jakarta in April 2009 to continue with her Master’s thesis course work. She plans to continue her research on the nutritional ecology of wild orangutans and continue to work towards helping conserve this highly endangered species.

Sri Haryati (shee_haryati <at> yahoo.co.id)

Sri Haryati, from Jakarta, Indonesia, received her B.S. from Universitas Nasional Jakarta. For her bachelor’s degree, she studied food preferences of wild orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) in a peat swamp forest at the Tuanan Research Station, Central Kalimantan. She has also worked on several studies examining the habitat quality of wild orangutans in several different forests throughout Kalimantan and Java. She is currently a Master’s student with the Universitas Nasional Jakarta and is examining the Mechanical Properties and Nutritional Characteristics of Foods Consumed by Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii) at the Suaq Balimbing Research Station, South Aceh NAD, Sumatra. She will compare her results to data collected by her colleagues, Astri Zulfa, and Dr. Erin Vogel (UCSC). During the Winter quarter 2009, Sri came to UCSC as a CenTREAD fellow and worked in Nathaniel Dominy’s laboratory. There she analyzed urine samples collected from wild Bornean and Sumtran orangutans to assess protein dynamics during periods of varying fruit abundance.  

Sri
While in Dr. Dominy’s laboratory, Sri learned methods to prepare samples for stable isotope analyses and ran her samples on a ThermoElectron (Finnigan) Delta+XP continuous flow mass spectrometer fitted to an Elemental Analyzer in the UCSC Stable Isotope Laboratory. In addition, she examined urine samples for concentrations of nitrogen metabolites, specifically urinary urea and creatinine, to compare protein dynamics in wild Bornean and Sumatran orangutans during periods of varying fruit availability. Sri also learned and conducted DNA extractions from fecal samples collected from wild capuchin monkeys. Sri returned to Jakarta in April 2009 to continue with her Master’s thesis course work. She will combine her results obtained while at UCSC with ecological and behavioral data from the orangutans at her field site.

Roberto Tinoco (rtinoco <at> honduras.com) is a biologist from Honduras who did his masters in an international food security and natural resource management program at the Hohenheim University’s “Tropenzentrum”, Germany. Roberto has worked surveying natural resources at different scales together with mestizo and indigenous communities from Mesoamerica and Southeast Asia. Currently he serves as a part time teacher for the course “environment and development theory” at the “Postgrado Latinoamericano de Trabajo Social” within the new postgraduate system in the Honduran National University.
Roberto participated in Dr. Holl’s restoration ecology lab and Dr. Gliessman’s agroecology lab where he held discussions and received feedback for his research proposal “Overcoming Structural Landscape Dichotomies”. Roberto is interested in approaching land fragmentation and assesses restoration potential from an agroecological perspective, in areas of complex geomorphologic features, long established human settlements and increasing water shortages in Central America. Roberto did also visit several seminars and courses from the Department of Environmental Science and related, where he gathered further ethical, social, and political arguments to strengthen his work.

RobertoTinoco
Rafael Aízprua (rafael<at>floratropicalpanama.com) from Panama joined Greg Gilbert’s lab in spring quarter 2007. Rafa worked on analysis of the phylogeny and taxonomic relationships of the plant species found in four, naturally-regenerated forest plots in the humid tropical forest of Panama, and the relationship between spatial distribution of plants and environmental conditions. The information from these forest plots will serve as the basis to study the dispersal gradient of fungal pathogens. He also participated in Greg’s forest mapping effort on the UCSC campus.
David Morales-Hidalgo (dmorales@neotropica.org) from Costa Rica visitedKaren Holl's lab during October 2006. David recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Goettingen, Germany, in the field of forest inventories and remote sensing. He has done extensive work studying tree cover assessment in Central and South America. In his dissertation he focused on developing metrics to analyze tree cover spatial position, which he is applying to help understand the effect of surrounding tree cover on forest recovery in Dr. Holl's 16 restoration sites in southern Costa Rica. During his brief visit to UCSC he digitized the land-use types surrounding these restoration sites, and in the coming months he will work with Dr. Holl's lab on various analyses. He has recently started in a position as Project Manager with the Fundación Neotropica in Costa Rica, and in this position he hopes to collaborate with a number of CenTREAD scientists at UCSC on large-scale forest conservation and rsetoration projects in Costa Rica.
Fernando Villanea (balerum<at>yahoo.com) Fernando Villanea (fervillanea@gmail.com) from Costa Rica, received his B.S. from the University of Costa Rica; his research focuses on the conservation and population genetics of Costa Rican primates, among other mammals.
During the Fall quarter 2006, Fernando worked in Nathaniel Dominy’s laboratory to study variation in encephalization genes across primate species and populations in order to better understand the functional significance of such variation. Fernando hopes that data from these and other ecologically significant genes -together with genetic variation data from the Animal Conservation Genetics laboratory in UCR- will contribute to a more complete understanding of a species’ evolutionary history. He expects that such a panoramic view of a species or a particular population will inform future conservation
policies within Costa Rica. In his time at UCSC, Fernando worked in David Houssler’s wet lab and was an active participant in a species coevolution class, a species interaction symposium, and a variety of lectures and journal clubs in several departments. Beginning in Fall 2008, he will begin his Ph.D. studies at Washington State University.
Alexandre Bonesso Sampaio, a doctorate student at the University of Brasilia, is studying the natural regeneration of tree species and restoration in the Dry Forests converted to pastures, in the Brazilian Cerrado biome. As part of his dissertation, he determined priority and feasible areas to restore these forests based on their potential distribution in the Paranã river valley and tested multiple techniques that could be use in restoration efforts to this endangered ecosystem. His project is part of a program of Embrapa – Brazilian Agency for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Research - with the support of local and international NGOs to study and promote the restoration and conservation of the Dry Forests in Central Brazil. He spent the fall quarter of 2005 at UCSC primarily working with Dr. Karen Holl to write dissertation papers but also interacting with students and other faculty members. In addition he participated of lab meetings, attended lectures and a restoration ecology class, helped in field works in the Sacramento river valley and in the Mammoth region, California. Back to Brazil and finishing his dissertation, he starts to work for the Brazilian Agency for Environment – IBAMA.
Daniel Barrantes was a Master's degree student at the University of Costa Rica. He spent the Spring quarter of 2005 participating in courses in Environmental Studies at UCSC and working with Dr. Deborah Letourneau’s laboratory on ecological impacts of genetically modified crops.  
Daniel Vieira, a doctoral student at the University of Brasília, is investigating the mechanisms of dry forest recovery from disturbance, in order to help conserve and restore the dry forests of Central Brazil. He and other researchers in Brasília are working with the federal government and international NGOs on the possibility of buying land to create reserves for the endangered dry forest ecosystem. He spent fall quarter 2004 at UCSC primarily working with Dr. Karen Holl to write up the results of his research, which resulted in the completion of two papers for publication in international journals. In addition, he studied conservation biology, interacted with graduate students and faculty at UCSC, and visited restoration field sites in California.

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CenTREAD-sponsored participants in the International Shortcourse on Agroecology 2003
at the University of California, Santa Cruz

Roberta Castillo, Universidad de Quintana Roo, Chetumal, Quintana Roo 77019, Mexico
robcasti@correo.uqroo.mx

Roberta is trained as a biologist, and currently works as a professor at the University of Quintana Roo in Chetumal, Quintana Roo. Her own research focuses on the importance and potential of alternative crops for the tropics, especially the region of the southern Yucatan Peninsula. One of her specific research projects is the domestication of the Pitaya, an epiphytic cactus that produces large sweet fruits that are prized in local farmers markets. Her goal in the course was to develop background in agroecology and to develop future collaborations with UCSC.

Enrique Mota, Universidad del Caribe, Cancun, Quintana Roo 77500, Mexico
mota@unicaribe.edu.mx
Originally trained as a lawyer at the University of Puebla, Enrique received a masters degree in Rural Development from the Colegio de Postgraduados in Montecillos, Mexico. He currently teaches at the Universidad del Caribe in Cancun, Quintana Roo. He teaches courses and does research in the area of ecotourism. His goal in the course was to understand how to integrate human management of the environment with the goals of conservation. He was also very interested in developing ecological criteria for sustainable development in his region of the Yucatan.

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