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I am an experienced researcher with the training, skills and drive needed to develop and implement various aspects of the proposed research. I am an ecologist by training but an interdisciplinary researcher by experience. I have a broad background in evolutionary-ecology, conservation, ecological responses to climate variability. In the last 10 years my research has expanded to address sustainability and adaptive capacity issues within the context of urban social-ecological systems. How feedbacks between social and ecological factors influence human wellbeing is a current research interest. In that capacity, I have worked on collaborative teams implementing survey research that combines social and ecological data collection. I have served as PI or co-PI of funded grants of state (Department of Natural Resources), federal agencies (NSF, USDA, USFW) and NGOs (Ford, Ciudadanos del Karso). I have worked as a Co-PI on several collaborative proposals including the NSF-funded project leading to the creation of San Juan ULTRA (Urban Long-Term Research Areas). This experience involved the collaboration of highly interdisciplinary teams (planning, public health, ecology, sociology, architecture) across multiple institutions (academic and non- academic. They have provided me with the necessary communication and research planning skills which are critical to the proposed research. I have been very successful at recruiting student volunteers for data collection and all my funded research has yielded peer-reviewed publications.
Currently the lab runs the following funded projects:
Unmanned Aircraft Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource
Management USDA-NIFA E. Melendez-Ackerman (PI), M. Yu and A. Torres (co-PI) $150,000 funded Sept 2018-Aug 2020
Developing the infrastructure for ‘The Puerto Rico Wood Products Team’ E. Meléndez-Ackerman (PI), Jess Zimmerman and L. Santiago (CoPIs). USDA Woods Innovation Grants. $250,000 August 2019-August 2021
Population Status, Habitat Requirements and Reproductive Biology of The Endangered Gonocalyx Concolor DRNA-USFW ($37,168.00), Oct 8 2019-Aug 2020.
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