ABOUT ME

 

I am a professor at the Federal University of Santa Maria, Brazil. I work with biological communities trying to disentangle the processes generating and maintain species diversity. Currently, I am involved in collaborative projects with plants, termites, small mammals, and other organisms. Most of this research is in the Amazonian forest or at the global/continental scale.

 

The research focus my lab have today certainly reflects my past academic journey. There are two experiences in particular that shaped my view of Ecology and science as a whole - my masters at the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and my Ph.D. at the University of Vermont (USA). In Amazonia, I developed my Masters in Entomology with a strong focus on data-driven research and heavy data-collection in the forest. In contrast, part of my Ph.D. was model-based, sometimes a complete modeling experience. That is, most of the time I was playing on a computer with statistics, R, math, etc. In my lab, I try to combine field data and theoretical ecological models to estimate population/community level parameters (eg. extinction rates) and predict population and community dynamics. Therefore, I have a strong focus both on theoretical and applied ecology.

 

My way of thinking science also reflects much of the advice I received from my Ph.D. advisor, Nick Gotelli, and my Ph.D. committee, especially my appreciation for efficient scientific communication and data sharing. Moreover, there are some contemporary ecologists that I use as references for best practices, such as Brian McGill and Jeremy Fox (check Dynamic Ecology blog).

 

I conduct my work mostly in the R program, which I use to analyze, simulate and integrate data. My students and I make all the data we collect and all main R functions available online (look for my GitHub and Figshare accounts) free for use and distribution. You can find functions to extract partial scores from a multiple regression, to construct a model of the ecological neutral theory, to nicely plot species distributions along environmental gradients, etc.

EDUCATION

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Macroecology

Ecology at broad geographic, temporal, taxonomic scales

2015 - 2017

Federal University of Goiás (Brazil)

Post-doctoral position in Ecological Modelling

Community ecology

Horizontal communities (Vellend 2015) at smaller scales

Metabolic Theory of Ecology

How metabolic rates (eg. in ectotherms vs. endotherms) determine rates of diversification, etc.

2011 - 2015

University of Vermont (United States)

Ph.D in Biology (Ecology)

2008 - 2010

National Institute for Amazonian Research (Brazil)

Masters in Entomology

Neutral Theory of Biodiversity

A dorsal spine to integrate evolution and classic ecological theory

STEM center

Federal University of Santa Maria

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