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.
Research and Teaching Interests
In the broadest description my research interests concern understanding the effects of agricultural land use on wildlife through applying a comparative approach to elucidate common patterns across systems towards understanding the fundamental processes that determine species abundance and community composition.
More specifically this revolves around developing and employing sound quantitative techniques and decision making using a theoretic decision making approach towards investigating and managing predator-prey dynamics and the extractive use of wildlife in the context of land use.
Particularly 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 previous and current research has largely focused upon the effects of land use, and land use legacies, on wildlife distributions and habitat use in Latin America. My initial research was undertaken in tropical humid forest related to the effect of past land use practices and hurricane disturbance while later and present research occurs in tropical dry forest and temperate and tropical grasslands and savannas. I am a Level II Scientist in the National Science and Technology Council of Paraguay (CONACYT), a Co-principal Investigator of the Jaguar Program recently established within the Paraguayan NGO Guyra Paraguay, and a member of the Paraguayan Scientific Society.
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 Chaco and Pantanal ecosystems of western Paraguay, This relates to quantifying prey abundance and diversity and trophic relationships with meso-carnivores and facultative and obligate scavengers (vultures).
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.