Ana María Sánchez Cuervo is a conservation biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute’s (SCBI) Center for Conservation and Sustainability. Her research involves the use of geographical information systems, spatially explicit models, spatial analysis and multivariate statistics to understand patterns, causes and consequences of global environmental change. She is also interested in the effects of deforestation and fragmentation on biodiversity conservation in the tropics.
B.S., UPTC Colombia; M.S., U Puerto Rico-Mayagüez; Ph.D., U Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
In the past, Sánchez Cuervo conducted field and laboratory research in various ecosystems ranging from Tropical to Tundra. In one of her most recent research projects she assessed the effects of the Colombian armed conflict on forest cover change and the implications for species richness patterns and protected areas planning. Along with a team of SCBI biologists, Sánchez Cuervo works on a participatory scenario planning process with local stakeholders to identify relevant ecosystem services and drivers of land change in the Peruvian Amazon. Her work with SCBI on modeling future scenarios and evaluating ecosystem services informs management and strategic decisions to promote biodiversity conservation in the region.
Sánchez Cuervo received her bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Pedagógica and Tecnológica de Colombia in 2002. She earned her master’s degree in biology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez in 2006, and her doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras in 2014. She has held a postdoctoral position at SCBI since 2015, where she works with Francisco Dallmeier and Hadrien Vanthomme.
Working on her dissertation and postdoctoral research has given Sánchez Cuervo diverse perspectives about natural resources conservation. Now, she is focused on closing the gap between conservation science and real-world action.