New Subject Editor: Camila Ribas16 May 2018
My scientific career is motivated by understanding what drives biological diversification and how biodiversity is maintained, or lost, through time. Although started from an interest in genetics and evolution, my research has been approaching practical questions related to the conservation of biodiversity. This is due to my personal awareness that the threat to biodiversity can only be measured, and thus maybe ameliorated, if we understand the patterns and processes that underlie the complex system of which biodiversity is part. I have started my career investigating phylogenetic relationships among Neotropical birds using DNA sequences. As a result I became interested in Amazonia and its vastly unknown biodiversity. During my postdoc I turned to investigate the evolution of Amazonian birds and the relationships between their diversification and the history of the landscape. This interest in landscape history led me to approach Earth Scientists, starting fruitful collaborations that have changed the way I investigate Amazonian biogeography, from a very descriptive and superficial incorporation of Earth Sciences into studies of biotic diversification to a stage in which both disciplines (Biology and Geology) inform each other in proposing and testing hypotheses. After obtaining my current position as a researcher at INPA I have started a research group on Amazonian Biogeography. I am also involved on curatorial activities at Biological Collections, providing material and information about Amazonian biodiversity to support continued research. As a result of interdisciplinary collaborations I have participated on studies related to the evolution of climate and biodiversity in Amazonia and more specifically to the impacts of recent developmental projects on Amazonian fluvial systems and their associated biodiversity.