There will be nine plenary sessions organized at the Shakespeare Theater in Paseo San Francisco Mall. The final two plenary sessions, open to the public, will be held in the UDLAPARK auditorium.

Expositores Magistrales

Dr. Heather Tallis   | USA

Heather Tallis is Global Managing Director and Lead Scientist for Strategy Innovation at The Nature Conservancy. She currently leads the iTeam, dedicated to bringing innovation and integration into conservation, applying ecological, social and economic sciences to conservation practice from the planning stage forward. She founded and chairs the Bridge Collaborative, an effort to create the evidence and opportunities to solve the greatest challenges facing people and nature. Her work on the ground is aimed at transforming the way we see and manage links between nature and people in water systems, health care, infrastructure, agriculture, humanitarian response, education, supply chains, and peace processes around the globe. Prior to joining the Conservancy in 2013, she was lead scientist at the Natural Capital Project, where she led the development of software applications, InVEST, RIOS and OPAL that reveal the ecosystem services costs and benefits of land and water use decisions. Beyond her science-policy work, Heather is invested in fostering diversity and inclusion, hosting events and speaking widely on the need to shift the face and focus of conservation.

Plenary topic: Managing rivers as what they are: the ultimate connectors across biodiversity, health and development

Dra. Mariana Meerhoff   | Uruguay

Mariana Meerhoff is a Uruguayan researcher and adjunct professor at the Centro Universitario de la Región Este of the Universidad de la República. She is also an investigator at the Universidad de Aarhus, as well as a member of the Advising Committee and Administrative Committee of the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS2). Dr. Meerhoff is a Grade 4 Professor of the Basic Scienceces Development Program (Programa de Desarrollo de la Ciencias Básicas PEDECIBA, Uruguay), and a Level 2 Investigator of the National Researchers System (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, SNI) of the National Research and Innovation Agency (Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación ANII, Uruguay). She has more than 60 scientific publications in peer-review journals. In 2011, she received the L’Oréal -UNESCO Women in Science Award for her project “Ecosystemic functioning in water bodies: effects of the impact level and ecosystem openness”. In 2015, she was awarded the International Recognition of professional Excellence in Limnology (IRPE) and national award Roberto Caldeyro Barcia – PEDECIBA.

Plenary topic: The functioning of aquatic ecosystems in a eutrophic and accelerated world

Dr. Elizabeth Anderson   | USA

Elizabeth Anderson is a freshwater conservation ecologist based at Florida International University (FIU), where she is Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Environment. Her research explores the natural history of tropical freshwaters of Central America, the Andean Amazon, and East Africa, and the relationships of human to these ecosystems. Her work has a strong conservation focus and involves collaborations with other scientists and those in key water resource management roles. Dr. Anderson received both undergraduate and PhD (Ecology) degrees from the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens, Georgia. Prior to her current appointment, she worked for the Organization for Tropical Studies as coordinator of international research and study programs for U.S. and Costa Rican students at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, and as Conservation Sustainability Director at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Plenary topic: International and intercultural collaboration for tropical river conservation: lessons of 20 years

Dr. Luz Boyero   | Spain

Luz Boyero is a Research Professor at the Basque Foundation for Science (Ikerbasque) and University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Spain, and Adjunct Principal Research Fellow at James Cook University, Australia. Formerly, she has been Researcher at the High National Research Council (CSIC), Spain, and Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama. She has authored 72 publications, 66 of which are in indexed journals, has been editor for 4 scientific journals, and reviewer for another 40. She created and coordinates the ‘Global Lotic Breakdown Experiments’ (GLoBE) international research network, which involves freshwater ecologists from more than 30 countries across 5 continents; they carry out coordinated experiments that explore the functioning of stream ecosystems at the global scale.

Plenary topic: A global perspective on the functioning of tropical streams

Dr. Alexander Flecker   | USA

Alex Flecker is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and a Faculty Fellow of the Cornell Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.  He has over 30 years of experience working on the ecology of riverine ecosystems in tropical South America and the Caribbean.  His research themes include the role of biodiversity in shaping stream ecosystem structure and function, vulnerability of tropical and temperate rivers to climate change, ecosystem consequences of invasive species, and flow ecology of river ecosystems.  Recently he organized a working group of ecologists, hydrologists, social scientists, and computer scientists to develop a framework for evaluating tradeoffs between hydropower and ecosystem services in the Andes Amazon region.

 Dr. Michael Goulding   | USA

Tropical aquatic ecologist. Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Author or co-author of many books on various ecological aspects of Amazonian rivers and wildlife. Presently working as senior aquatic scientist for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS of Bronx Zoo) of New York. Has worked in the Amazon for more than 40 years and explored more than 40 rivers. Academic research focuses on wetland biodiversity and ecology, South American wildlife, Amazon fish life, and conservation of ecosystems. Has been conservation adviser and consultant to Brazilian federal and state institutions, the World Bank, the European Community and the G7 Program to Save the Brazilian Rainforest. Recently coordinated the science component of the Science for Nature & People (SNAPP) project. Works closely with scientists in South America to develop conservation strategies for Amazonian rivers. Has also worked extensively as scientific director and consultant for natural history films for the BBC, National Geographic, Partridge Films, ABC and IMAX. Books include The Fishes and the Forest; Amazon: The Flooded Forest; Floods of Fortune: Ecology and Economy along the Amazon; and the Smithsonian Atlas of the Amazon.

Plenary topic: Amazon Visions and Ecosystem Conservation.

Dr. Narcis Prat   | Spain

Narcis Prat is Professor of Ecology at the Universidad de Barcelona and director of the F.E.M research group (Freshwater Ecology and Management) at the Departamento de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecología y Ciencias Ambientales (Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environemntal Ciences) at UB. He has almost 350 publications in peer-review journals, as well as book chapters and public outreach texts. The focus of his work are macroinvertebrates, especially chironomids from all water bodies. He currently works in the rivers of the high-Andean region. Also noteworthy are his contributions in the field of biomonitoring, where he defined an evaluation system for high-Andean rivers. His current interests are related to global change, especially in aquatic ecosystems. He has been recognized for his scientific dissemination work by various awards, and it is worth mentioning the citizen science app.

Dr. Ralph Holzenthal   | USA

Ralph Holzenthal a professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota, where he does research, teaches, and oversees the Insect Collection. He is considered a world authority on caddisflies, and is an accomplished insect illustrator whose work has been published in numerous journals, including Proceedings of the Royal Society, Freshwater Science, ZooKeys, and Zootaxa. He is also a recipient of the University’s Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education Award. He is an expert in the taxonomy and phylogeny of Trichoptera and has described over 600 new specie.  He has travelled to Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Ecuador, Europe, Russia, and across the US to collect insects for his research.”

Plenary topic:  The caddisflies of Ecuador and the Neotropics: knowledge, opportunities, and challenges.

Dr. Wouter Buytaert   | United Kingdom

Wouter Buytaert is a reader in hydrology and water resources in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Imperial College London. He is an expert on the impact of environmental change on the water cycle and its consequences for water supply and flood and drought risk. His research interests range from hydrological process understanding, to computer simulation and modelling, decision-support, the science policy interface, and sustainable development. Currently he leads major research projects on the use of participatory approaches for the monitoring of water resources and flood risk, and to create actionable knowledge to support sustainable development and resilience building.

Buytaert has a long-standing research record in tropical and sub-tropical regions, including countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Nepal, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania, and Somalia. He has a particular geographical interest in the Andes and the Himalayas.

Plenary topic: Managing the hydro-ecology of Andean ecosystems using participatory approaches.