Speaker: Dr Dolors Armenteras, Associate Professor, Biology Department, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (South America)
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Tropical forests are highly threatened by the expansion of the agricultural frontier, use of fire and subsequent deforestation. NW Amazonia is the wettest part of the basin and the role of fire is still largely unknown. Forest fragmentation, a measure of forest degradation, is also attributed to fire occurrence in the tropics. Outside the Brazilian Legal Amazonia, the role of fire in increasing accessibility and forest fragmentation is less explored. Dr Armenteras will present 15 years of research in the tropics applying geography to biodiversity and conservation issues, particularly in the most north western part of the Amazon Basin in Colombia. She will show how the research in Colombia regarding deforestation has evolved from getting to know deforestation rates and drivers to a deeper knowledge on the role of fire as a driver of both forest degradation and deforestation and the complex interrelationships with forest fragmentation. She will share her experiences on how to support decision makers with some examples from her research laboratory to programs such as the REDD+ for Colombia.
Dr Dolors Armenteras is an associate professor at the Biology Department of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (South America) where she leads the Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Modelling group. She is a Fulbright NEXUS scholar. Her research interests include tropical deforestation, LULC, fire ecology, conservation biology, biodiversity, modelling and GIS. She has a contemporary understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem assessment in an international context and has participated in the development and managing of several science-based programs. She has experience working with internationally operating organizations and agencies and on the application of knowledge to support policy development, but her recent focus has been on improving the understanding of landscape processes associated with fire in NW Amazonia and providing tools to help in the decision making processes associated with mechanisms such as REDD.