WFA Regional Representatives

 

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Regional Rep Coordinators

Michael Cove, 2013-

Mike Cove

Michael began his wildlife education as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut and continued as a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri. His thesis research focused on habitat suitability and occupancy modeling of medium and large mammals in a Costa Rican biological corridor with an emphasis on Baird’s tapirs, mesopredators, and wild felids. While in Missouri, Michael served as the Missouri student representative and mentored several undergraduates in camera trapping research projects involving urban/suburban bobcats and other mesopredators. After an interim of continued research in Costa Rica, he is currently working toward his PhD at the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at NC State University. His dissertation research examines the ecology of co-occurring native and non-native predators and their impacts on endangered endemic species in the Florida Keys.  He is excited to maintain an active role in WFA and proud to serve as a representative to students in North Carolina and nationwide.

Sandra Ortiz, 2016-

Sandra Ortiz

After completing her B.S. degree in Zoology from UC Santa Barbara and studying abroad at the University of Western Australia, Cheyenne travelled extensively as a wildlife research technician. She assisted on a variety of projects including trapping Tammar wallabies in western Australia; trapping and tracking bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, grizzly bears, and Sonoran pronghorn all over the west; and rehabilitating marine mammals in California and primates in Thailand. Cheyenne completed her M.S. degree in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University in spring 2013. Her thesis research examined the spatial ecology and habitat use of a southern fringe population of Greater sage-grouse in Utah. Currently Cheyenne is working on a collaborative research project examining the impacts of sarcoptic mange on wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Her interests include spatial ecology, predator-prey dynamics, wildlife immobilization, and wildlife management.

Argentina & Chile

Nicolas Caruso, 2013-

Nicolas Caruso

 

 

 

Peru

Alvaro Garcia-Olaechea 2018-

Alvaro Garcia

Alvaro is a biology graduate from the National University of Piura, Peru and is now pursuing his MS in Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation at the Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Brazil. His research is focused on the ecology and conservation of medium to large mammals, and since 2015 he has co-led a project on pampas cats (Leopardus colocolo) in northwestern Peru. During this time Alvaro and his team documented for the first time the presence of this small cat in several localities, and have also collared two pampas cats. Alvaro is a co-founder of a Peruvian NGO called BioS (Cento de Investigación Biodiversidad Sostenible), an Associate Researcher at the Mammalogy Department of CORBIDI (Center of Ornithology and Biodiversity), and Research Manager of SBC (Spectacled Bear Conservation Society - Peru). With the support of SBC, he conducted his undergraduate thesis. A main objective of that research was to determine the activity patterns of medium to large mammals in the dry forest of northwestern Peru.

Brazil

Henrique Concone, 2014-

picture coming

 

Fernanda Cavalcanti de Azevedo, 2018-

Fernanda Acevedo

Fernanda is a bBiologist with Masters on Ecology, Conservation and Wildlife Management (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil) and PhD on Ecology (Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil).  She has been working on the ecology, conservation and management of wild mammals, focusing on Carnivores and their response to habitat disturbances. Currently, she coordinates the activities of a young team of Biologists and Veterinaries, based at Federal University of Goiás, the Cerrado Mammals Conservation Program / Programa de Conservação Mamíferos do Cerrado - PCMC, whose main projects are Triângulo Mineiro Puma Project and Ecology and Conservation of the Hoary Fox. The Puma Project has been raising information since 2009 on a puma's population ecology, relationships with prey, spatial organization and puma-human interactions. This is the first study using GPS radio collar technology to understand puma's behavior in Brazil.

 

 

Costa Rica

Ronit Amit, 2018 -

Kelsey Turner

Dr. Ronit Amit focuses her interdisciplinary research on promoting coexistence between people and wildlife, her emphasis is on the Human Dimensions of Wildlife. Her studies and practice aim for the integration of multi-stakeholder interests to avoid conflict and promote collaboration. She also teaches interdisciplinarity about environmental issues at the University of Costa Rica and coordinates the People and Fauna Program at the Association Confraternidad Guanacasteca in Costa Rica, a local NGO concerned with advocacy about socio-environmental justice. Main interests include jaguar and puma conservation and community-based wildlife management.

 

 

 

Guatemala

Rony Garcia-Anleu 2019-

RonyGarcia

Rony is our newest representative and lives in Santa Elena, Petén, Guatemala. Rony received his BS (1998) and MS (2012) in biology and wildlife management from the country’s biggest and oldest university – San Carlos University in Guatemala City. He has more than 19 years of experience in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR), working with a wide range of species, including scarlet macaws, jaguars, white-lipped peccaries, tapirs, and Central American river turtles. Since 2002 Rony has been in charge of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS ́) Biological Research Department, gaining experience, conducting camera-trap research on wild felids, and strengthening and expanding alliances with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ranching and MBR ranchers in order to develop and promote jaguar-friendly farms. Rony launched and directs the MBR Monitoring Roundtable in conjunction with CONAP (Guatemala’s National Protected Areas Council) and other partners, including national and international NGOs.

 

Paraguay

Diego Gilberto Baez 2018-

photo coming

 

 

 

Venezuela

Maria Puerto 2016-

Maria Puerto

Maria Fernanda Puerto was raised in Maracaibo city, Zulia state and received her Bachelor´s degree in Biology from Universidad del Zulia in 2013. She started working with jaguars in 2007. For years, she worked on a number of projects that targeted endangered national animal species (birds, aquatic and terrestrial mammals and reptiles) which led her to pursue her passion in the study of felines. She finished her Master´s at the Ecology Center of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC). Starting 2011 she worked on a research project with the objectives of learning the ecology, population parameters and conservation status of the jaguar (Panthera onca) and their prey species in the Southern part of the Maracaibo Lake basin, especially in the National Park “Ciénagas de Juan Manuel”. She used non-invasive trap cameras and a capture-recapture model to provide information that has been used to determine population densities, thus allowing us to provide the first information on this cat in the western side of the country. For the last two years I have been an active researcher/collaborator in a project that is being conducted at Hato Piñero, which is considered an important ranch in the Venezuelan Llanos that has served for many years as a Wildlife Reserve.

 

Mexico

Sandra Ortiz 2014-

Sandra Ortiz

Sandra received her veterinary degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry (FMVZ) in Mexico City in 2006. She undertook a one-year internship in zoo animal medicine and husbandry at national zoos and worked in clinics and private hospitals intermittently. In 2008 she did a research internship with EcoHealth Alliance (formerly Wildlife Trust) and worked as field scientist and communications manager of the San Francisco based non-profit Rainforest2Reef and Amigos de Calakmul in Mexico. From 2008 - to present she has worked as a field veterinarian for the “Jaguar and Puma Conservation Project, Calakmul Biosphere Reserve (CBR)” out of the institute of Ecology at UNAM as well as other jaguar research projects in the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico. She completed her Master of Animal Health Science at UNAM and her research project was focused on determining the prevalence of exposure to canine distemper virus in jaguars, pumas, and domestic dogs in the vicinity of the CBR. Sandra has presented lectures and conducted workshops on disease ecology, conflict with carnivores and domestic animals and anesthesia and chemical immobilization of captive and free-ranging wildlife and has served as advisor of rehabilitation and release projects involving carnivores in Mexico. Since 2014 she has served as Council member and representative of Mexico for the Wild Felid Research and Management Association (WFA) and is currently Vice President, Latin America. She is a founding member of the National Alliance for Jaguar Conservation in Mexico (Alianza Nacional para la Conservación del Jaguar, ANCJ) and currently works as sales manager and product advisor at Wildlife Pharmaceuticals México. 

 

Southeastern USA

 

Michael Cove, 2013 -

Mike Cove

Michael began his wildlife education as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut and continued as a graduate student at the University of Central Missouri. His thesis research focused on habitat suitability and occupancy modeling of medium and large mammals in a Costa Rican biological corridor with an emphasis on Baird’s tapirs, mesopredators, and wild felids. While in Missouri, Michael served as the Missouri student representative and mentored several undergraduates in camera trapping research projects involving urban/suburban bobcats and other mesopredators. After an interim of continued research in Costa Rica, he is currently working toward his PhD at the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at NC State University. His dissertation research examines the ecology of co-occurring native and non-native predators and their impacts on endangered endemic species in the Florida Keys.  He is excited to maintain an active role in WFA and proud to serve as a representative to students in North Carolina and nationwide.

 

 

Past Regional Representatives:

Aimee Rockhill, Alaska

John Clemons, Arizona

Suzie Prange, Midwest USA

Ron Thompson, Texas

Aliah Knopff, Canada

Jose Gonzalez Maya, Colombia and Costa Rica