Maria Uriarte – Principal Investigator


Maria Uriarte is a Professor in the Dept. of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. She also serves as adjunct faculty in the Dept. of Ecology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Prof. Uriarte studies the processes that drive forest dynamics in tropical regions, with a focus on forest recovery after natural disturbance events (hurricanes) and human land use and the consequences of these dynamics for ecosystem services. Her current projects are based in Puerto Rico and Brazil.

Jazlynn Shaydra Hall – Ph.D. Student


Jazlynn received a BS in Geography and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming. Her current interests are in identifying relationships between vegetation, extreme climate events, and water resource provision in Puerto Rico. She is utilizing geospatial techniques, remote sensing and field estimates to study the effects of droughts and hurricanes on forests and the subsequent impact on ecosystem services.

Pedro Ribeiro Piffer – Ph.D. Student


Pedro is a biologist from Brazil. He received his BS in Biology and BA in Education from University of São Paulo and his MSc in Ecology from State University of Campinas and has over four years of experience as an environmental consultant in the private sector in Brazil. For his PhD research, he is interested in identifying the drivers of deforestation, reforestation and forest persistence in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. He is also studying the conflict between land use choices and water resources in his home country.

Roi Ankori-Karlinsky – Ph.D. Student


Roi is an ecologist from Jerusalem. He got his B.A. from Bennington College in Evolution and Ecology, and has worked as a research assistant at Harvard Forest and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His current interests are in understanding how droughts and hurricanes change the competitive playing field in forests, identifying how variation in functional traits can dictate resilience to disturbance events, and in turn, impact community composition.

Eva Arroyo – Ph.D. Student


Eva received her BA in mathematics at Duke University with a focus in how probabilistic mathematics could be applied to the study of tropical forests. After graduating, she spent a year at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama studying liana-induced tree mortality. She is interested in how individual variation in heterogenous landscapes can be incorporated into theories of community assembly and how these then interact to create resilience to disturbance in tropical forests.

Chris M. Smith-Martin – Postdoctoral Associate


Chris received a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Education from the University of Costa Rica and a Ph.D. in Plant and Microbial Biology from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the crossroads between plant ecophysiology and plant community ecology to understand how environmental factors affect plant ecophysiological responses, and in turn, plant community dynamics in both temperate and tropical forested ecosystems.  Currently, she is studying which hydraulic characteristics or traits support woody plant drought resistance, and how this varies within and across tree species in Puerto Rico.

Sam Farrar – Research Technician


Sam received a B.S in Ecology and Environmental Science from University of Maine in 2017 and for the past year he has worked as a research technician based in Puerto Rico collecting field data and conducting lab work on projects being conducted by the Uriarte Lab. He is interested in disturbance ecology and environmental restoration and is planning to apply to graduate programs in the next year.

Lab Alumni

Andrew Quebbeman, Ph.D. student
Current position: Data Scientist, The Farmer’s Dog, USA.

Naomi Schwartz, Ph.D. student
Current position: Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Benedicte Bachelot, Ph.D. student
Current position: Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University, USA.

Bob Muscarella, Ph.D. student
Current position: Associate Professor, Uppsala University, Sweden.

Marina Côrtes, Ph.D. student
Current position: Associate Professor, UNESP – Rio Claro, Brazil.

Eli Dueker, Ph.D. student
Current position: Associate Professor of Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College, USA.

Elizabeth Nichols, Ph.D. student
Current position: Foreign Affairs Officer at U.S. Department of State.

Meghan M. McGinty, Ph.D. student
Current position: Owner of Cultivate Nature.

Tanja Crk, MA student
Current position:  GIS Specialist, U.S. EPA.

Timothy J. Agin, MA student
Current position: Ph.D student, University of South Dakota, USA.

Andrew Budsock, MA Student
Current position: Environmental Consultant, ERM USA.

Charles Yackulic, Postdoctoral Associate
Current position: USGS Research Scientist, Arizona, USA.

Liza Comita, Postdoctoral Associate & Earth Institute Fellow
Current position: Assistant Professor, Yale Forestry School, USA.

Marina Anciães, Postdoctoral Associate
Current position: Researcher, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia – INPA, Brazil.

Jesse Lasky, Postdoctoral Associate
Current position: Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Leandro Reverberi Tambosi, Postdoctoral Associate
Current position: Assistant Professor, Universidade Federal do ABC, Brazil

Xiaohiu Feng, Postdoctoral Associate
Current position: Assistant Professor, China.

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