Centre for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Alice Hughes is an Associate Professor and lead the Landscape Ecology group at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Dr. Hughes‘s work focuses on patterns of biodiversity and drivers of biodiversity change, at various spatiotemporal scales in order to develop pro-active management strategies that aim to mitigate the impacts of human activities on biodiversity. She currently has projects on mapping karst biodiversity and centres of endemism, and developing priorities for regional conservation for Southeast Asia. Dr. Hughes also has projects on ecosystem services, which range from the implementation of China’s ecological Redline Policy, to understanding pollination networks, and how the structure of these networks varies with distance from intact habitat, with a special focus on bats and their role in these networks. All our work seeks to better understand natural systems, and to use that information to develop priorities for conservation and management, this also includes the development of tools such as using bat bioacoustics to rapidly inventory diversity and develop standard methods for surveys to mitigate the impact of development on biodiversity.

Link to personal webpage.

Keynote title: Importance of bats in the old world tropics and the threats to their future survival


UMR 9220 ENTROPIE (IRD, Université de La Réunion, CNRS), Laboratoire d’excellence-CORAIL, Centre IRD de Nouméa, Nouméa cedex, Nouvelle-Calédonie, France

Cécile Fauvelot research activities focus on evolutionary biology, molecular ecology, marine ecology, population genetics and conservation biology. She completed her PhD in 2002 France, working on coral reef fishes from French Polynesia, investigating gene flow - life history trait correlations in coral reef fishes. After her PhD, she explored the impact of population size variations in modifying species genetic diversity and geographic structuring through time on various organisms, from Indonesian butterflies to red coral and other invertebrates from the Mediterranean Sea. Since 2007, she works at the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) where her research activities mainly focus on coral reef organisms populations connectivity, using population genetics to answer ecological questions regarding how reef populations are linked by larval dispersal. Her current model organisms are various (coral reef fishes, pelagic fishes, giant clams, corals, sea cucumbers), from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, but her main question remains the same: what can their DNA tells us?

Link to personal webpage.

Keynote title: Spatial scales of dispersal in the tropics: why and when do they matter?


Department of Molecular Evolution and Plant Systematics & Herbarium (LZ), Leipzig University, and German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Alexandra N. Muellner-Riehl is Professor of Molecular Evolution and Plant Systematics and Director of Herbarium Universitatis Lipsiensis, and a Member of iDiv, based at Leipzig University. An ecologist by training, she moved into the field of plant systematics and evolution during her PhD in 2000. Since then, she has been involved in the study of taxonomy, phylogenetics, and biogeography of angiosperms, including biotic evolution and environmental change. The mission of her research group is to describe biodiversity in species-rich areas of the world (like the tropics, subtropics, and on mountains) and to elucidate the processes giving rise to this biodiversity. Her team is concentrating on widely distributed and speciose genera and families and on geographic areas of high global conservation priority (like Southeast Asia, Central and South America, mountains of Southwest and Central China). Recent work has focused on mountains as sink and source areas of biodiversity, and more generally, floristic exchange across Asia (mainland Asia, Southeast Asia, Australasia).

Link to personal webpage.

Keynote title: Plant radiations and floristic exchange across biodiversity hotspots in Asia

Tuyeni Heita MWAMPAMBA

Institute for Ecosystems and Sustainability Research, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Morelia Campus, Mexico

Tuyeni Heita Mwampamba is Associate Researcher at UNAM where she runs the Ecology and Social Implications of Community Forest Management Lab at UNAM. She graduated from the Ecology Program at the University of California, Davis in 2009. Dr. Mwampamba dabbles in some social science research, mostly related to understanding the effects of national and international policy on local forest management, ecosystem services demand and nature’s contribution to human wellbeing. Her research approach is best characterized as ‘boundary work’, work at the interphase of science and policy/practice, aimed at ensuring that the scientific process is accessible to the public, and that science and research are responsive to public concerns and need for solutions. She is getting increasingly interested in the role of values and the multiple ways of knowing in determining how we perceive and understand key conservation issues facing the tropics today. A key focus of her work consists of demystifying the contribution of charcoal to deforestation and forest degradation in the tropics, and understanding the sociopolitical, economic and ecological conditions conducive to sustainable charcoal production.

Link to personal webpage.

Keynote title: The story of charcoal: Its effects on forests and its contribution to livelihoods in Mexico and Tanzania


Department of Biology, Eugene, University of Oregon, USA

Krista McGuire is a microbial ecologist at the Institute of Ecology and Evolution within the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2007. Her research interests focus on how plant-soil-microbial feedbacks influence tree diversity patterns and ecosystem processes in tropical rain forests, and how these dynamics are impacted by global changes such as human land use change, urbanization, and shifting climate. To address these complex feedbacks, she is currently conducting research in tropical ecosystems of Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and Panama, as well as in green infrastructure in urban environments.

Link to personal webpage.

Keynote title: Plant-microbial associations across land use gradients in tropical forests