Dra. Elvia Meléndez-Ackerman
Principal Investigator in the Environmental Science Department at UPR-RP
I am an ecologist by training but an interdisciplinary researcher by experience. I have a broad background in evolutionary ecology of species interactions, conservation, ecological responses to climate variability. In the area of conservation, I have worked with multidisciplinary teams to evaluate species or ecosystem responses to climate variability and interactions with invasive species in protected areas. In more recent 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. For over 10 years I have been also working on evaluating the social and ecological factors that influence the variability in the functionality of green spaces in the city. I have served as PI or co-PI of funded grants of state (Department of Natural Resources), federal agencies (NSF, USDA-NIFA, IITF, USFW) and NGOs (Ford, Ciudadanos del Karso) develop research and education/training programs. I am the mentor of the student ecology chapter AKKA SEEDS (affiliated to ESA) of my campus and an active collaborator of the following research networks and Centers: San Juan ULTRA Network (Executive committee – San Juan ULTRA), Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation (Research fellow – CATEC), Fundación Amigos del Yunque (Chair Board of Directors – Fundación Amigos de El Yunque).