top of page

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.

Founding Member & President of the Board, ASA

Geoff received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Florida, where he studied Neotropical butterfly ecology and conservation. In particular, he explored rarity among Amazonian butterflies and the factors that might cause a species to become threatened. Since then he has continued to conduct ecological research and applied conservation projects mostly in the Peruvian Amazon, where he directs the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon. He is also a professor at the Pontifical Catholic University in Lima, Peru, where he teaches courses on natural resource management and conservation. Geoff is very passionate about nature in southeastern Peru and is working hard to promote effective, science-based solutions to the region's daunting environmental challenges. 

View Geoff's CV here


Johana Reyes, M.A.

Founding Member and President of the Board, Alianza para una Amazonía Sostenible Perú

Johana Reyes is a community social psychologist from Lima, Peru. She has worked for 15+ years in Peru’s most disadvantaged communities along the coast, in the Andes and, most recently, as the co-founder and director of ASA Peru in the country’s Amazon region. Her work has focused on education, human rights, and capacity building in both urban and rural communities, and she is especially passionate about creating significant learning experiences that empower people to take charge of protecting their environment. Johana directs the ASA’s education and community outreach efforts in Peru, where she works to protect the Amazon alongside those who are its current and future leaders.


Timothy Perez, Ph.D.

Founding Member of the Board & Secretary, ASA

Timothy is currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of British Columbia researching biomass production in forests and their responses to climate change. Timothy holds a B.Sc. in botany from the University of Vermont and earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami. Tim’s dissertation focused on the heat tolerance of tropical plants and how they can be used to predict the high-temperature limits of species ranges and growth responses of tropical trees. Tim is broadly interested in understanding how ecophysiological adaptations of tropical plants influence patterns in plant diversity, biogeography, and their responses to climate change. He has participated in research projects throughout the US, Canada and Latin America including Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, 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

Founding Member of the Board & 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.SC.

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.


Riley Fortier

Member, ASA Scientific Advisory Board

Riley is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Miami. His experience in tropical forests includes working as a naturalist guide and assisting with botanical research in Costa Rica, studying soil nutrients and plant reproductive output in Panama, and helping teach tropical ecology and conservation in the Peruvian Amazon. As a plant ecologist, Riley is broadly interested in how tropical forests respond to anthropogenic change. He is especially interested in secondary forest succession, how plant phenology shifts due to environmental change, and defaunation. Riley is also passionate about conservation and disseminating his work to a broader audience through photography and writing.

Z. Escalante 2022.jpeg

Zunilda Escalante Arteaga

Project Coordinator, Lepidoptera Diversity & Biology

Zunilda is originally from the Cusco region but has lived in Madre de Dios since 2017, when she began her university studies. She graduated with a degree in forestry from the Universidad Nacional San Antonio Abad del Cusco - Puerto Maldonado branch where she studied the conservation, management and research of forest resources.


Since she was an undergraduate, Zunilda has been actively involved in a number of research and development projects that include reforestation activities in former mining areas and biological monitoring in various protected areas in the region. 


Zunilda first became involved with ASA in 2020 when she conducted an independent research project on macroinvertebrates.She returned to Finca Las Piedras in 2022 as a Lepidoptera Research Lead Assistant and in 2023 she assumed a new role in the team.


 Zunilda is a lover of Lepidoptera and is interested in learning about the biodiversity that exists in the Peruvian Amazon.


Lizett Retuerto

Lead Research Assistant, Lepidoptera Diversity & Biology

Lizett has always been an insect lover, studying biology led her to learn more about the fascinating world of insects, she took her first academic steps in entomology at the Natural History Museum at her university, where she learned about curatorship; the different opportunities that she's had in undergraduate have made her lean towards conservation and interested in the effects of climate change on insect communities. In 2022, she was a lepidoptera resident and pre-professional practitioner at the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon, a place that allows her to continue learning about the biology and ecology of butterflies and moths.

Barry Cronin 2023.jpg

Barry Cronin

Academic Programs Coordinator

Barry’s interest in ecology started at a young age, when he spent a lot of time hiking and exploring Irelands countryside with his family. Inspired by his father, an experienced biology teacher, Barry studied at University College Cork, obtaining a BSc in Ecology and Environmental Biology. After some experience working as an Environmental Engineer, Barry started studying in Queen’s University Belfast, where he graduated with an MSc in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology. He is deeply interested in mammals, with his master’s thesis focused on rodents in Paraguayan gallery forests, and has completed camera trap surveys of mammals across Paraguay’s Humid Chaco and Atlantic Forests. Barry has long dreamed of working in the Amazon, and is incredibly exited to be part of ASA’s team.

Y. Soto 2022.jpg

Yulisa Soto Quispe

Lead Resident Naturalist

Yulisa comes from the Cusco region and recently graduated from the biology department at the Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad. She has a deep interest in the world of insects, and how these amazing creatures interact with everything that surrounds them. She has done field work in the cloud forest in Cusco, but it has always been her dream to live and work in the Amazon rainforest, and as such, Yulissa is incredibly excited to now be working with ASA. At the personal level, she enjoys reading and learning new languages.


Savi Raghuraman

Research Assistant, Lepidoptera

Savi earned her B.Sc. in Conservation Biology from the University of British Columbia in Canada. During her undergraduate studies, Savi worked in the entomology collection at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, where she gained familiarity with insects from a wide range of habitats and taxonomic groups. She became increasingly involved with local insect conservation efforts, including biodiversity monitoring events, public outreach, and research. Her undergraduate thesis research focused on syrphid flies in public gardens, and she also assisted with studies of arthropod diversity on farms and in urban tree canopies. Broadly, her career goal is to contribute to insect conservation, with particular interests in taxonomy and environmental education. Savi hopes to learn from
and assist with studying and protecting lepidopteran diversity while at Finca Las Piedras.

Alexander Sherer 2023.jpg

Alexander Sherer

Research Assistant, Lepidoptera

Alexander was born and raised in Miami, Florida where he fell in love with the local subtropical ecosystems, especially the coastal hammocks and mangrove forests. In South Florida, he worked on a yearslong conservation effort with the Urban Paradise Guild for the endangered Atala butterfly. He recently completed a Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science and Conservation and Resource Studies. At Berkeley, his interest in insect ecology was reawakened, leading him to get involved with the Berkeley Evolab. He helped document arthropod biodiversity on Pacific islands as part of the Pacific Metabarcoding Project. In 2023, he was selected by the Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon to work as a Lepidoptera Research Assistant. Through this role he hopes to deepen our understanding of neotropical butterflies and moths by uncovering their life histories and understanding how they react to human induced climate change. Alexander is passionate about preserving biodiversity and hopes to work towards a future where human society and the Earth’s natural systems coexist harmoniously.

Profile photo.jpg

Daniella Ereny

Resident Naturalist

Daniella never thought that her childhood passion for the natural world could become a viable career path, but crazier things happen. Although her main area of conservation expertise is lowland heathland habitat, she is excited to learn more about the ecology of the Peruvian Amazon and the different species that call it home. Prior to her post with ASA, Daniella worked with the British charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, carrying out practical conservation work on two of their nature reserves in southeast England, close to where she grew up. She is also very interested in water quality for both environmental and social justice reasons; previously, she was a volunteer water tester for her local river, a role she undertook in the hopes of improving the health of people and wildlife.


Berenice Chacon

Resident Naturalist

Berenice Chacon is from Arizona, USA. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in science from the University of Arizona. During her undergrad, she worked with environmental education outreach, where she saw the importance of community involvement. She also worked with the US National Park Service and other organizations conducting fieldwork and ecological restoration projects in the Sonoran Desert. However, from an early age, she has been fascinated by the Amazon and its wildlife. She is very excited to join the ASA team and contribute to the conservation work in the Amazon rainforest.

Kateryne Ccama 2023.png

Kateryne Ccama

Resident Naturalist

Kateryne is originally from the Puno region, she studied biology at the Universidad Nacional del Altiplano  in the "City of the Sacred Lake", during her undergraduate studies she was able to go to the department of Madre de Dios, where she was amazed by its biodiversity and decided to lean more about Tropical Ecology, she carried out different volunteer activities in environmental education and reforestation in NGOs, she also became involved in conservation activities in the Titicaca National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park where she learned a lot and became more interested in the conservation of tropical forests and the species that inhabit it. She is excited to be part of ASA and to continue learning more at Finca las Piedras.

Yeison Vega 2023.jpg

Yeison Vega

Research Assistant, Lepidoptera

Yeison is a biologist and a geography student at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. The colors and the dance of the butterflies captivated his interest in investigation, causing him to actively try to understand its taxonomy, systematics and ecology. Yeison also developed an interest in botany and pollination biology. He hopes to contribute to the Lepidoptera project in Finca Las Piedras and perfect his skills to continue his studies with this group of insects.

Antuané Córvoda.jpg

Antuané Córdova

Research Assistant, Lepidoptera

Antuané Cordova Velazco is from Lima, she recently graduated from the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, and has a degree in zoology. Antuané has a great love for the Amazon forests, a great passion for insects and parasites. She has taken courses on aquatic macroinvertebrates; with emphasis on Chironomidae, collaborates in the collection, classification and management of parasites in the Invertebrate Zoology laboratory.

As a Lepidoptera Assistant, Antuane seeks to learn about the ecology, taxonomy and biology of moths, with a focus on the Arctiini Tribe and their relationship with their host plants in the Amazon rainforest. During her time with Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon, she wants to improve her skills in research, field data management, and conservation.


Jocelyne Roman

Lepidoptera Resident

Jocelyne is a Biology student at the Universidad Estatal Amazónica in Ecuador, during the course of her degree she began to focus on the study of insects, she found it interesting to study them, especially lepidoptera, which is why she is carrying out her Project of Curricular Integration with the theme "Diversity and distribution of diurnal lepidoptera in grasslands and secondary forests, at the level of different understory and canopy strata, in the Gonzalo Pizarro, Sucumbíos", where its main objective is to study the communities of butterflies present in each land use, in addition to comparing the distribution of genera in the canopy and understory strata. She is part of the student scientific group "Forest Restoration and Edaphic Bioindicators- ReFoBE", in addition to working as a student researcher in the Laboratory of Tropical, Natural and Applied Ecology. She is Enthusiastic about continuing to learn how to make scientific illustrations, because she believes that with it, future generations can be made aware of the importance of conserving insects.

Foto de Perfil SMV.jpeg

Saori Mauricio

Lepidoptera Resident

Saori is from the city of Lima, she is currently an agronomy student at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina. When she began her studies she fell in love with entomology, since then her interest in the conservation of insects and its ecosystems have been her great goal in life. Saori is immensely happy, excited and grateful to be part of the Residential program for undergraduate students in lepidopteran research. She wishes to acquire

knowledge and transmit her passion for entomology.


Katherine Arredondo 2023.jpg

Katherine Arredondo

Marketing Intern

Andrea is a business student at the Universidad del Pacífico in Lima, Peru, and originally from Jauja (Junín, Perú)


Ayla Webb

Oxford Intern

Ayla is currently a masters student at the University of Oxford. Her interest in Lepidoptera emerged after rearing caterpillars found in her garden at home, but has led her to participate in several insect-based projects throughout her undergraduate degree, ranging from the use of museum specimens, to biodiversity surveys, and behavioural research on vapourer moths. Ayla can’t wait to join the team at the ASA, and hopes that this opportunity will provide her with some incredible experience in fieldwork, as well as plenty of encounters with cool moths


Joel Tester

Oxford Intern

Joel comes from the UK, and recently graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Biology from the University of Oxford. He has had a life-long love of the natural world, which throughout his studies has developed into an ardent interest in community-based conservation. He has always dreamed of working in the Amazon rainforest, and is extremely excited to be assisting with research, education, and reforestation at Finca Las Piedras. His other interests include science communication, ethnobotany, and learning languages.


Ruth Arnold

Oxford Intern

Joel comes from the UK, and recently graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Biology from the University of Oxford. He has had a life-long love of the natural world, which throughout his studies has developed into an ardent interest in community-based conservation. He has always dreamed of working in the Amazon rainforest, and is extremely excited to be assisting with research, education, and reforestation at Finca Las Piedras. His other interests include science communication, ethnobotany, and learning languages.

bottom of page