Conceptual model of my research vision demonstrating, within the context of land use, the emphasis on large and meso-mammalian communities, the role of predators in providing carrion for scavengers, and the trophic effects on game birds as measured by their vital rates. Also, the anthropogenic effects and management of harvest and the conflict generated by large predators and livestock management are integrated into the research agenda.
I am a Level II Scientist in the National Science and Technology Council of Paraguay (CONACYT), a Co-principal Investigator of the Jaguar Program within the Paraguayan NGO Guyra Paraguay, a member of the Paraguayan Scientific Society, and adjunct faculty in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am also a member of the reserach team of Proyecto Pantano, a project focused on the reseearch and conservation of the Marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomus), the largest deer in South America, in the Rio de la Plata delta in Argentina.
My research interests concern understanding the effects of agricultural land use on wildlife by understanding the processes that determine species abundance and community composition across landscapes and regions. My research centers upon the rigorous estimation of wildlife population parameters and the use of structured decision making (SDM) and adaptive resources management (ARM) in investigating and managing in an integrative manner:
My current research is related to understanding and mitigating the effects of the rapid expansion of intensive crop and livestock production on wildlife in austral South America. Within this context I am principally interested in the ecology and conservation of jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) and their functional role in determining trophic relationships within the Gran Chaco and Pantanal ecosystems of western Paraguay. This includes the quantification of prey abundance and diversity and trophic relationships with meso-carnivores and facultative and obligate scavengers (vultures). An additional aspect of my reserach is understanding space use and resource selection of jaguar and puma in western Paraguay in the context of anthropogenic factors.
This research includes the integration with the decision making process through structured decision making and adaptive management to resolve conflict between carnivores and livestock production, as well as the management of harvested species.
Additionally, I am interested in the ecology and conservation of Galliformes and Tinamous as these taxa are culturally and economically important and serve as excellent model organisms for understanding the effects of agricultural and other land uses. These species are very sensitive to anthropogenic factors that affect nest, brood, and adult survival by determining food and habitat availability, habitat configuration, the community and abundance of predators, and harvest. Through this research I am actively involved in the IUCN Galliformes Species Specialist Group and serve on its Co-chair's Advisory Board.