Find out more about our diverse team of scientists from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and the UK determined to tackle the problem of invasive species in Latin America.

University of Aberdeen, UK

Xavier Lambin

Xavier Lambin is the Coordinator of the project and Lead investigator for the NERC-NEWTON grant award.

A Professor of Ecology with extensive experience in conducting ecological research relevant to policy, designing, implementing and successfully delivering ambitious projects and training student to a high standard.

David Burslem

David Burslem is a forest ecologist interested in the mechanisms that generate, maintain or degrade diversity.

Beyond the CONTAIN project he has worked on management of non-native invasive plants in the UK and in tropical forest settings, with a focus on the application of restoration methods for controlling species’ impacts.

Euan Phimister

Euan Phimister is a resource economist and is supporting the development of economic analysis of invasive species management policies within CONTAIN. Beyond the project his recent research has been focussed in interdisciplinary projects on natural resources and rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa, including understanding the interrelationships between access to energy, food production and the governance of common resources.

He is currently leading a UKRI-GCRF funded project on land and soil degradation in Ethiopia, which aims to improve how land conservation measures are designed so benefits to local communities are increased while safeguarding soil conservation.

Justin Travis

Justin Travis is a modeller with broad ecological and evolutionary interests. Justin is particularly interested in developing individual-based models that can be used to gain improved understanding of ecological systems that subsequently can be used to inform management.

Queen's University, UK

Paul Caplat

Paul Caplat is a lecturer in Global Change Biology at Queen's University Belfast (Northern Ireland), where he studies species dynamics in novel environments: bird range-shifts in response to temperature rise, bird and insect's response to tree encroachment or forest clearings, tree invasions and their consequences, resilience of pastoral systems.

He also holds an affiliate research position at Lund University (Sweden).

Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil

Alessandra Fidelis

Alessandra Fidelis is a biologist studying tropical grasslands and savannas. The main focus of Alessandra’s research is fire ecology, community ecology and biological invasions.

Alessandra is studying how to manage and control African invasive grasses in the Cerrado, using fire as a management tool.

Mário Cava

Mário Cava, B.S. Agronomy (Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Brazil),  Ph.D. Forest science (Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil), spent the last decade studying and developing strategies to restore tropical savannas at landscape-scale.

His current research focuses on investigating the effects of cattle production systems on the structure and diversity of Neotropical savannas to inform land uses that could potentially integrate meat production with biodiversity conservation.

Gabriella Damasceno

Gabriella Damasceno is a PhD student in Ecology and Biodiversity at Unesp in Brazil. She is an ecologist focused on plant invasions and plant communities of tropical savannas.

Her primary interest is to understand how invasive grasses can alter the state-and-transition dynamics of Cerrado, the Brazilian savanna. Additionally, she is also interested in statistical modelling and data science.

CONICET, Argentina

Laura Fasola

Laura Fasola is a biologist from Argentina focused on ecology and conservation of wildlife species, mostly from Patagonia. Being out in the field is one of the things she enjoys the most. Laura is part of the CONICET (the Argentinean Council of Scientific Research) and Aves Argentinas (the oldest Argentinean conservationist NGO and partner of Birldlife).

Laura works with an amazing group of brave conservationists committed to the work of protecting native wildlife (Programa Patagonia-Aves Argentinas). The increasing problem of invasive alien species has become a main issue for the native species that the group tries to protect in Southern Argentina, especially the Hooded Grebe. Therefore, the group have been involved in control and management programs of American mink, stocked trouts and gulls for the last decade.

Lía Montti

Lía Montti is a researcher at CONICET-Argentina. Her research focuses on tropical and subtropical forest ecology with emphasis in invasive plant species.

She also has a broad interest in natural history as well as in the ecological and social dimension of the biological invasion process.

Jaime Moyano

Jaime Moyano is an ecologist with a special interest in biological invasions and the possibility of predicting invasions in order to prevent their impacts. His research is focused on the mechanisms that help explain why some plants become invasive when introduced to a new region while others fail.

The main questions he tries to answer are: which traits favor non-native plants success at the different stages of invasions? What are the mechanisms that help explain species success outside their native range?

Martín Núñez

Martín Núñez research interests include biological invasions, conservation, mycorrhizal ecology and forestry. He has worked in different parts of the Americas focused mostly on non-native plant species, their interactions with the local flora and fauna, and the problems they generate.

He is now also working on different aspects of plant–soil biota interactions from basic and applied perspectives. 

Priscila A. Powell

Priscila A. Powell is in forest dynamics related to global environmental change processes.

Currently, she is working on invasive species management in subtropical forests of Argentina, integrating ecological and economical to propose plausible options for native ecosystem restoration. 

Kini Ignacio Roesler

Kini Ignacio Roesler was interested on birds and conservation since he was very young and that marked his future. Now, Kini is a biologist and a researcher at CONICET, and Director of the Conservation department of Aves Argentinas, a Birdlife International partner.

After being involved in several projects in the tropics and subtropics, Kini started studying one of the most endangered species of Argentina ‘the Hooded Grebe’ in Patagonia and working towards its conservation. The hooded Grebe Project has grown and now Kini is involved in a number of other conservation projects with other endangered and range-restricted species including the Austral Rail, Magellanic Plover, Torrent duck and Wolffsohn’s Vizcachia in the Patagonian Region.

Universidad de Concepción, Chile

Aníbal Pauchard

Aníbal Pauchard, Ph.D in Forestry Ecology from the University of Montana, United States. Currently is a Professor in the Faculty of Forestry Sciencies in the University of Concepción.

He is the founder and director of the LIB, a joint intitiative from UdeC and the Ecology and Biodiversity Insititute. His research approach is biological invasions’s ecology and its impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functions.

Bárbara Langdon

Bárbara Langdon is a Forestry engineer, PhD In Forestry Sciences from the University of Concepción. Currently she is a Postdoctoral researcher at the Biological Invasion Laboratory (LIB) at the University of Concepción. Her research line focuses on invasive tree species.

Through the study of processes and patterns behind the invasion, from a local to a regional scale, she looks for better ways to manage these species, prioritizing those species of greater invasive potential or larger negative impacts.

Cristóbal Pizarro

Cristóbal Pizarro is an Interdisciplinary scientist and assistant professor at the Universidad de Concepción in Chile.

He is the Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Studies of the Anthropocene.

Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile

Ignacio Rodríguez Jorquera

Ignacio Rodríguez Jorquera is a conservationist with 20 + years of experience in wildlife conservation projects. As a scientist, he is combining the use of molecular biology and genomics, with ecotoxicology and wildlife conservation tools in order to understand environmental pollution effects on biodiversity.

His previous work includes projects in wetlands such as Batuco Wetland (Chile), Payne's Prairie (USA) and Everglades. Currently, he is the Executive Director of the Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (CEHUM- Río Cruces Wetland Center).

Jorge A. Tomasevic

Jorge A. Tomasevic is interested on bird conservation, especially how they respond to human impacts to their habitats.

Jorge’s goal is to understand the ecological basis of these differences and how can we make management recommendations to effectively combine development and biodiversity conservation.

Magdalena F. Huerta

Magdalena F. Huerta, BA Geography, Universidad de Chile. MSc Applied Ecology, Universidad Austral de Chile. Magdalena currently works as a research assistant at Centro de Humedales Río Cruces (CEHUM), Universidad Austral de Chile, in the study and control of yellow-jacket wasp invasion and its impacts in local livelihoods.

Her research interests centre in biogeography and population ecology with a specific focus on understanding the processes that underlie distribution and population dynamics of species, including biological invasions. She is also interested in conservation and wildlife management issues.

Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, Chile

Eduardo Raffo

Eduardo Raffo is a veterinarian graduated from the University of Chile (Santiago) in 2006, working since 2007 at Los Ríos Región (southern Chile). In 2018, he obtained the Doctor on Veterinary Medicine degree from the Austral University (Valdivia).

Working at the Agriculture and Livestock Service (Agricultural ministry) since 2007, he has dedicated his professional life to the study and control livestock zoonotic diseases (mainly bovine tuberculosis). Since 2014 he is responsible for the wildlife administration under the Agriculture and Livestock Service at the regional level, with the central goal of reducing the agriculture / wildlife conflicts, study and control of invasive species such as the American Mink.