About our team

The Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon works in partnership with Alianza para una Amazonía Sostenible Perú, a Peruvian non-profit organization. The following people work together as part of our international team to conduct research, education, and conservation at our main field site Finca Las Piedras, as well as throughout the Cusco and Madre de Dios regions in Peru.

 

Geoff Gallice, Ph.D.

President of the Board, ASA

Geoff received his Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Florida in 2015, where he studied the ecology, evolution, and conservation of Neotropical clearwing butterflies. In addition to geeking out hard collecting butterflies for a year at the Los Amigos Biological Station in Peru’s Madre de Dios region during his doctoral field work, Geoff made an unexpected discovery. Although vast and still mostly forested, the Amazon is under acute threat—each night at Los Amigos he would fall asleep to the sounds of crickets and cooing tinamous, as well as the constant hum of pumps used in nearby illegal gold mining operations. Since that time, he has become more interested in applied conservation issues, and currently has several ongoing projects to evaluate the impacts of development and resource extraction on Amazonian biodiversity. Among other projects, he is working with researchers and students from Peru’s Pontifical Catholic University in Lima to assess the impacts of road construction in Manu National Park. Geoff´s most recent project is the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon, which he co-founded to advance the conservation of biodiversity and natural resources in Madre de Dios.

View Geoff's CV here

 

Johana Reyes Quinteros, M.A.

Director, Alianza para una Amazonía Sostenible Perú

Johana got her M.A. in Community Social Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is from Lima, Peru, where she has worked since 2007 in projects related to child labor, women issues and human rights. Johana brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of social issues in Peru to our team, and as Director of Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon in Peru she oversees a number of projects in community engagement, education, and outreach. Moving to the biodiverse rain forest of Madre de Dios from Lima, a mega city in the middle of a moonscape-like desert, has been an exhilarating experience, and, in addition to her work with local communities, she considers herself a tropical-nature-geek-in-training.

 

Timothy Perez, Ph.D.

Secretary, ASA

Timothy is a PhD candidate at the University of Miami and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, where he studies tropical ecology and conservation. Timothy is broadly interested in understanding how ecophysiological adaptations of tropical trees influence patterns in plant diversity, biogeography, and the responses of tropical forests to climate change. He has participated in research projects throughout the US and Latin America including Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. Aside from being a hopeless plant nerd, Timothy is also interested in promoting science through experiential education and teaching others about important conservation issues that threaten tropical biodiversity. 

View Timothy's CV here.

 

Bhavik Pathak

Treasurer​, ASA

Bhavik became interested in biodiversity as a high school student, when he had to collect insects for his freshman biology class. Today, although during his day job he's something of a computer geek, he remains committed to the protection of wild nature through his work with the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon. Bhavik has developed a wanderlust, and enjoys exploring new, exotic places, including in the Amazon rainforest of southeastern Peru.

 

Erik Iverson, M.S.

Founding Member, ASA Scientific Advisory Board 

Erik Iverson is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Erik has a background in ornithology, landscape ecology, and animal behavior, and has worked for the US National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Nature Conservancy, among other organizations. Through research in Ecuador, Australia, and South Africa, Erik gained an understanding of tropical ecology and conservation issues and a diverse set of field skills. He joined ASA in Peru in 2017 as the first Academic Programs Coordinator, helping to establish the internship and volunteer programs as well as monitoring protocols for plant phenology and animal abundance. His current research investigates the adaptive significance of genetic variation among animals, explaining how the functions of different genes have contributed to patterns of speciation, hybridization, and specialization for different habitats. Study systems of interest include Andean and Amazonian birds as well as swordtail fishes from the Mexican highlands. He has a master's degree in Environmental Biology from Tulane University.

 

Dave Klinges

Founding Member, ASA Scientific Advisory Board 

Dave Klinges is a PhD student at the University of Florida and a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution. As a “full-stack” ecologist, his work ranges from tropical fieldwork to building data curation pipelines, hierarchical modeling, and ecological forecasting. His research program is an exploration of how land use and climate change influences the ecological structure, biodiversity, and microclimate of complex tropical landscapes. Current projects include measuring community shifts of canopy-dwelling amphibians due to forest degradation in Madagascar, quantifying uncertainties in carbon stocks of coastal wetlands, and modelling thermal connectivity in space and time globally. Dave’s first involvement with ASA was as a Resident Naturalist in 2017, during which he helped develop biodiversity monitoring (specializing in herpetofauna) at Finca las Piedras. Now as a member of the Scientific Advisory board, Dave is excited to help advance the growth of ASA’s research and conservation work in Madre de Dios.

 

José Cueva

Chef, Finca Las Piedras 

José is from Piura, a region on the arid northern Peruvian coast. He has been working with conservation organizations for more than 5 years throughout Madre de Dios, including with the ASA at Finca Las Piedras and in the field in Cusco. José is an expert in healthy cooking using fresh, local ingredients and, as anyone who has visited us can verify, his food is excellent. Not only is he an extraordinary chef, he is also a keen naturalist and has contributed greatly to our biological inventories, especially birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

 

Max Withey

Resident Naturalist, Finca Las Piedras

Max is a dedicated conservationist with field work experience in Europe, Africa and Asia. Witnessing the effects of deforestation on the indigenous people of Borneo was what drove him to pursue a career in fighting for the natural world. His first experience of conservation on the front lines was working as a research assistant in the Cambodian jungle, where he led a team investigating the use of snares to illegally trap wildlife. After graduating with his bachelors in Environmental Sciences, he worked as an anti-poaching officer on a South African wildlife reserve protecting white rhinos. This led to an MRes in Ecology where he investigated the effects of dehorning on white rhino behaviour. For all his life he has been drawn to the greatest rainforest in the world, and now he is fulfilling that ambition by working as a Resident Naturalist for the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon. His other interests include rewilding and ecosystem restoration, wildlife behaviour, applied ecology, environmental education, bushcraft, film making and writing. .

 

Laura Coomber

Marketing & Development Officer

Laura received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Edinburgh Napier University, with a focus on environmental sciences and ecology.  Following this, she went on her first trip to Peru and ASA as an intern in 2017 during which she completed an inventory of above ground carbon storage of the forests at Finca Las Piedras.  It was during this time she developed a passion for working in conservation and sustainable development in the Amazonian regions.  She completed her masters in Environment and Development at The University of Edinburgh, looking at understanding social (including political and economic) connections to the environment.  For her thesis she returned to ASA for the second time looking at social issues as related to the brazil nut concessions in the Madre De Dios region.  Along with this, she has travelled broadly and is a qualified English teacher, including having worked in Spain and lived in the middle east.  She is now very excited to return to ASA and expand her skills and experiences to working in the funding and marketing elements of NGO work.

 

Claudia Alcántara Chincaro

Intern, Marketing

Claudia is 22 years old and studies Marketing in Pacific University in Lima, Peru. She is a very happy and curious person. From a young age she decided that one of her principle objectives in life is to leave the world better than she found it.  Now, thanks to her studies, she thinks she has the skills necessary to do it.  She loves to share stories, visit new places and explore art and culture.  She is very happy to be a part of the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon because she identified with their goals: to research and conserve the Peruvian Amazon. 

 

Juana Seminario

Intern, Community Engagement

Juana is from the Lambayeque region in Peru and she studies administration at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima .  She is a very proactive and cooperative person who wants to be a part of the changes needed in Peru.  In 2019, she met the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon for the first time and this experience helped her become aware of the importance of conservation in the Amazon.  Now she is happy to be able to come back and be a part of the project working with the local brazil nut concession owners.  She thinks that this experience will help her grow personally and professionally, and she also hopes to contribute to the development of these communities. 

 

Thalia Hurtado Zegarra

Undergraduate Resident, Lepidoptera

 

Thalia is from Lima, Peru and she studies Biology at the Federico Villarreal National University. She is fascinated by nature, especial insects. She is a member of the mastozoology and entomology division of the Molinera Ecology student group and with them she has been on many field trips to learn about the diverse ecosystems in Peru. Thalia is excited to have her first long-term experience working in the field with Lepidoptera thanks to her internship with the Alliance for the Sustainable Amazon.  She hopes to learn more about biological and ecological cycles and how to contribute to the conservation of these species in the Peruvian Amazon.  In her free time, she likes to do Brazilian Jujitsu. 

 

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