Ecosystem Processes and Functions

The Ecosystems Processes and Function (EPF) area is to support and advance a highly collaborative, competitively funded research program that applies ecosystem level knowledge to focal questions about the ecology and conservation of tropical organisms and ecosystems. The continued development of a highly competitive research program in ecosystems processes and function is critical to the scholarship, training and educational objectives of the Center for Tropical Applied Ecology and Conservation.

Species and Population Management

The Species and Population Management area (SPM) is to develop a multidisciplinary research program that addresses significant questions in Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation issues that provide conservation solutions for the management of species and populations. The SPM is particularly focused on management of exotic species that impact native flora and fauna and, close the knowledge gap on rare and endangered species in the Caribbean. Our goals are consonant with the mission of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) Center for Applied Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CATEC), which addresses key issues for the conservation of regional and global biodiversity. Student research training is a fundamental component of our program, and represents one of the long-term impacts of the SPM.

Molecular Ecology, Evolution and Genetics

This thrust area was directed by Dr. Riccardo Papa from the Department of Biology, UPR-Rio Piedras will be the MEEG thrust area leader. Dr. Riccardo Papa, assistant professor, was hired as part of CATEC’s strategy to reinforce the molecular genetics and evolution area of the department of Biology. The Molecular Ecology, Evolution and Genetics (MEEG) area will address conservation issues using molecular markers to understand the phylogeny, the spatial distribution of genetic diversity, and species interactions in the Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.