Aura Mariela is a PhD student at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and a Gund Institute student fellow. She is broadly interested in understanding how human activities and global change impact biodiversity and ecosystem services in tropical landscapes. At UVM, Aura feels motivated to participate in interdisciplinary research teams to contribute to the development and evaluation of sustainable management practices for tropical countries, that are geared towards improving rural livelihoods without threatening conservation efforts.
Before coming to UVM, Aura's research had mainly focused on evaluating effects of land use change and habitat disturbance on tropical insect communities, with particular interest in moths and their role as pollinators. She also worked for the US Forest Service in Puerto Rico as project manager for a climate change experiment (TRACE) that focused on understanding the effects of increased temperatures on tropical forest nutrient cycling and plant physiology.
In her free time, Aura enjoys reading science fiction, watching movies, exploring the outdoors, listening to live music and salsa dancing.
Advisor: Taylor Ricketts