Fernando G. Lopez is a conservation ecologist at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. He is interested in breeding ecology, migration behavior, and citizen science using raptors as study modelers. Lopez collaborates closely with his colleagues at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Lopez is mainly focused on the interaction of a small falcon, the merlin, with the endangered Great Lakes piping plover. He is currently testing translocation as a non-lethal population control method to help reduce predation by merlins on the endangered piping plover. He conducts field research in the Great Lakes region using different tracking technologies to understand the spatial ecology of the merlin and their response to translocation.
Lopez is from Argentina and received his undergraduate degree in Engineering in Natural Resources and Environment at the National University of La Pampa in 2014. In September of 2022, Lopez received his Doctorate in Natural Science at the National University of La Plata and two months later, he joined the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He lives in Washington D.C., and in his free time, he likes to spend time with his family, play sports like soccer, paddle tennis, climbing, or taking photos/videos of everything that flies, like birds or planes. Also, he enjoys cooking for his friends.