Team

 

Bioversity International Staff

Evert Thomas

Evert Thomas

Team Leader

Email: e.thomas@cgiar.org
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru
OCID: 0000-0001-5941-8944

Thomas is a scientist at Bioversity International, based in Lima, Peru. His main research interest is the improvement of conservation and sustainable uses of forest genetic resources in Latin America and the Caribbean. As a PhD in ethnobotany, Evert combines different disciplines in his work, such as distribution modeling, spatial diversity analysis, population genetics, archaeology, forest restoration and social sciences. Currently, Evert’s main activities focus on optimizing the selection of species and germplasms that are best aligned with specific restoration objectives while promoting the resilience of restored forest ecosystems, particularly those challenged by climate change.

Marleni Ramirez

Marleni Ramirez

Regional Director for the Americas Office of Bioversity International

Email: m.ramirez@cgiar.org
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru

A Peruvian national, Ramirez became the Regional Director for the Americas Office of Bioversity International in 2005. For over a decade, she has developed, administered and implemented projects in agriculture and biological diversity. In 2015, she became Bioversity’s Regional Representative for Central and South America. From her base in Lima, Peru, she guides and supports global systems for the conservation and genetic resource management of agrobiodiversity. She recently led the development of the Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources Conservation and Use for Mesoamerica: a science-based and participatory project supported by the International Treaty.

Rachel Atkinson

Rachel Atkinson

Associate Scientist

Email: r.atkinson@cgiar.org
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru

Atkinson is an ecologist from Oxford University with over 15 years of experience in biodiversity conservation, ecological restoration and invasive species management. She has  advised, facilitated and coordinated projects run by governments, NGOs, the private sector and small communities. She was recently involved with the IBD in Washington D.C. as an Environmental Specialist in the Environmental and Social Safeguards Group. Currently, her work as the CIM expert at Bioversity International focuses on the ecological restoration of forests in Latin America.

Gesabel Villar

Gesabel Villar

Senior Research Associate

Email: g.villar@cgiar.org
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru

Villar is a senior research associate at Bioversity International working with the socio-economic analysis of the FFC project. Prior to joining this team, she worked as an economics specialist for the National Service of Meteorology & Hydrology of Peru and as a data analysis consultant for the UNODC Research Unit, the Development Research Group of the World Bank, the Ministry of Environment of Peru, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. All of these projects are tied together by their focus on natural resources, climate and social development in low and middle-income countries in Latin America and Southcentral Asia. She studied economics and applied statistics at Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru.

Diego Zavaleta

Diego Zavaleta

Research Assistant

Email: d.zavaleta@cgiar.org
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru

Zavaleta is a research assistant at Bioversity International working with both the plantation productivity and socio-economic aspects of the FCC project. He supervises the fieldwork that focuses on grafting practices in multifactorial experimental field designs and also leads the team in sampling, identifing, and collecting cacao genotypes that exhibit promising traits. Zavaleta is the liaison between the FCC project and the cacao growers in the Cuzco region and helps especially in implementing activities that promote gender equality. His main interests are the conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of tropical rainforest species, especially through vegetative propagation. He studied forest engineering at Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru.

Andréanne Lavoie

Andréanne Lavoie

PhD Candidate

Email: andreanne.lavoie(at)fsaa.ulaval.ca
Address: 2325 Rue de l’Université, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada

Lavoie is a PhD candidate in the program of plant biology at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. Her research aims to better understand the contribution that agroforestry systems make to the conservation of biocultural diversity. She intends to establish actionable points to promote the conservation of complex, diverse and resilient agroecosystems that simultaneously recognize and maintain the traditional knowledge and skills of farmers who developed such systems. Her work is currently conducted in local communities near La Convencion, Cuzco.

Carlos Medina Méndez

Carlos Medina Méndez

PhD Candidate

Email: carlos.medina.mendez@gmail.com
Address: Bioversity International Lima Office, La Molina 1895 Av., Lima 12, Lima, Peru

Medina Méndez is a PhD candidate in the sustainable agriculture program at the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM) in Lima, Peru. His research assesses productivity and profitability in agroforestry systems with test cases from the FFC project trials in Cusco and Piura. He studied agricultural engineering at UNALM and holds two master’s degrees: one in sustainable agricultural development from Paris Sud University in France and one in agroecology, societies and territories from Paris-Saclay University in France.

DiFFCacao members

Teja Tscharntke

Teja Tscharntke

Professor at University of Göttingen

Email: ttschar@gwdg.de
Address: Dept. of Crop Sciences, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
OCID: 0000-0002-4482-3178

Tscharntke is a professor of agroecology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. His research focuses on biodiversity patterns and associated ecosystem function at different spatial and temporal scales and in managed and natural systems. His field studies are based in tropical and temperate regions and compare food webs with multitrophic interactions, but he is also interested in multidisciplinary studies that link socioeconomic and ecological approaches. His recent publications focus on conserving biodiversity through the certification of tropical agroforestry crops at local and landscape scales (2015, Conserv. Letters), global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification (2012, Biol. Conserv.), and multifunctional shade-tree management in tropical agroforestry landscapes – a review (2011, J Appl Ecol).

Carolina Ocampo - Ariza

Carolina Ocampo - Ariza

PhD Candidate at University of Göttingen

Email: carolinamaria.ocampoariza@uni-goettingen.de
Address: Dept. of Crop Sciences, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 6, 37077 Göttingen, Germany

Ocampo-Ariza is a PhD candidate in the agroecology program at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Her research interest is community ecology in the tropics and specifically the relationships between agriculture, land-use change and functional diversity of fauna communities. She studied biology at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and holds a master’s degree in nature conservation from the University of Göttingen in Germany and the Lincoln University in New Zealand, with a focus on ecological interactions between native and invasive species, as well as diversity the patterns of bird communities in agroecosystems.

Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter

Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter

Professor at University of Würzburg

Email: ingolf.steffan-dewenter@uni-wuerzburg.de
Address: Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
OCID: 0000-0003-1359-3944

Steffan-Dewenter is Professor and Chair of the Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology at the University of Würzburg, Germany. He studies the impact of land use intensification, habitat fragmentation and climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services. His expertise covers biodiversity – ecosystem functioning relationships, pollinator ecology, crop pollination services, biological pest control, evaluation of agri-environmental schemes, data base coordination, global meta-analyses, and sustainable landscape management. He has extensive experience as coordinator and partner in several international, European and national research projects and a long-lasting track record of successful interdisciplinary cooperation and research in tropical ecosystems.

Justine Vansynghel

Justine Vansynghel

PhD Candidate at University of Würzburg

Email: justine.vansynghel@uni-wuerzburg.de
Address: Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Am hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

Vansynghel is a PhD candidate in the department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology at the University of Würzburg in Germany. Her research focuses on the relationship between agrobiodiversity and ecosystem services in the new world tropics. She was previously involved with field studies that disentangled birds’ effect on germination of rainforest plants in Costa Rica and also conducted insect diversity surveys on cacao farms in Nicaraguan. Her specific contribution to the FFC project is the examination of pollination and pest control services in cacao agroforestry systems in Peru. She studies the contribution of different insect groups to yields of native cacao across gradients of genotype diversity, local management and landscape context.

Bea Maas

Bea Maas

Postdoc at University of Vienna

Email: beamaas@gmx.at
Address: Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, Division of Conservation Biology, Vegetation Ecology and Landscape Ecology, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, 1030 Vienna, Austria
OCID: 0000-0001-9461-3243

Maas is based at the University of Vienna where her research focuses on the effects of landscape transformation and agricultural management on biodiversity and ecosystem services. She also works to increase the understanding of different stakeholders and implementation measures in conservation science and practices. On the FFC project, she coordinates and supervises the various thesis projects on ecosystem services by birds, bats and arthropods in Peruvian cacao plantations.

Academic, Public, and Private Sector Partners

Wilton Céspedes

Wilton Céspedes

Universidad Nacional Intercultural de Quillabamba, Cusco

Céspedes is an agronomist at the National Agrarian University in Peru with a Mg.Sc. in eremology from the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in Ghent University, Belgium. He has over 25 years of experience researching tropical crops, especially Chuncho cacao, coffee, cassava, and sweet potato. He is a professor of crop improvement and plant acclimatization at the Universidad Nacional Intercultural de Quillabamba (UNIQ). He is one of the founders and the Research Director of UNIQ.

Wilbert Cruz

Wilbert Cruz

Instituto Nacional de Innovacion Agraria (INIA)

Cruz is a molecular biologist with technical experience in genetic transformation, southern blot, Elisa, molecular markers such as (SSR, AFLP, PCR-RFLP), sequence analysis, and primer design.

Enrique Arévalo

Enrique Arévalo

Instituto de Cultivos Tropicales

Arévalo is the CEO and principal investigator at the Instituto de Cultivos Tropicales in Tarapoto, San Martin, Peru. He has over 25 years of experience in agricultural research, technological innovation, and knowledge distribution for the cultivation of cacao and other tropical crops. He has developed several cacao consultancies in the Alto Huallaga and other valleys influenced by the cacao economy, as well as at the international level, regarding the improvement of wild cacao in Bolivia. He studied agricultural engineering at the Universidad Nacional Agraria de La Selva, Tingo María in Peru and received both a master’s degree in phytopathology and a doctorate degree (Ph.D.) in sustainable agriculture from the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina in Lima, Peru.

Jose Florez

Jose Florez

Alto Urubamba Cooperative

Florez is an agronomist based in Quillabamba, Cusco and  is currently the Director General for the Alto Urubamba Cooperative. He is experienced with Chuncho cacao and is dedicated to its genetic conservation and economic success.

Eduardo Espinoza

Eduardo Espinoza

NORANDINO Cooperative

Espinoza is a zootechnician  at the National University of Piura and is responsible for the NORANDINO Cooperative, which researches the identification, characterization and genetic recovery of white cocoa from Piura. His work at the cooperative led to the creation of a  germplasm bank where 50 promising white cacao trees have been recovered and are a part of ongoing investigations for productivity, pest resistance, purification and compatibility. He is also an advisor for cacao fermentation practices and  is involved in classifying Piura cocoa according to its sensorial profile.

Luis Mendoza

Luis Mendoza

APPCACAO

Mendoza is the director of the Peruvian Association of Cacao Producers (APPCACAO) and has over 12 years of experience in project management related to cacao’s value chain and cacao producer organizations. He has extensive technical knowledge and commercial experience in the national and export markets of coffee, cocoa and banana. He is trained about teaching methodologies for adults, of which his experiences include field schools, the FAO’s peasant to peasant, and CEFE. He studied agronomy at the National University of Piura.

Jan Marcel Schubert

Jan Marcel Schubert

Original Beans

In 2006, at just 16 years old, Schubert founded his own chocolate company! He led its operation until 2015, when he became the Conservation Cacao Leader for the chocolate company Original Beans, specializing in project management in Latin America. He has volunteered with and trained cacao associations, chocolate companies and NGOs throughout Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. He studied food process engineering at the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences in Lemgo, Germany. 

Thank you to our collaborators!