A Special Session on Biocultural Approaches to Freshwater Conservation

Brenna SFS Special Session.jpg

This past May ecologists and freshwater scientists from around the world convened for the 2019 Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) Annual Meeting. Tropical Rivers Lab (TRL) is pleased to report that fellow TRL member and PhD student Brenna Kays presented a special session entitled "Biocultural Approaches to Freshwater Conservation".  Human connections to rivers are often omitted in analyzing freshwater conservation and restoration efforts. In this special session Brenna and other key speakers are geared towards exploring the applicability of the biocultural approach to riverine ecosystems, in both rural and urban settings. Here speakers were able to provide examples of ways to implement biocultural methods for freshwater resource management and conservation while focusing on local cultural perspectives and the feedbacks between the ecosystem and local wellbeing.

Tropical Rivers Lab is particularly proud that this session featured lectures by three PhD/ graduate students including Brenna Kays, Rachel Scarlett, and Sebastian Heilpern. By reframing traditional conservation practices to include human dimensions, it is possible that these interactions can be leveraged as assets towards conservation for improving environmental and well being outcomes.  

Thank you all for sharing your current research with us and aiming to better our understanding of freshwater conservation practices!

TRL Hosts Workshop Focused On The Life Flow of Rivers of The Andean- Amazon Region

Tropical Rivers Lab hosts second round of Rios Vivos Andinos Workshop at FIU with some of the sharpest minds in ecology and freshwater systems. Scientists attending this workshop traveled to regroup and continue efforts that began last October in Ecuador where the first Rios Vivos Andinos workshop took place. Discussions were focused on socio-ecological relationships to rivers and the goal to build capacity and awareness towards river conservation management. This diverse and brilliant group of minds aims to increase the discussions we have on flow ecology relationships and how to take better steps towards river conservation management with communities across the Andean Amazon.

Thank you to all for joining our workshop in Miami and being a part of our Panther Pride!

Working group 1.

Working group 1.

Working Group 2.

Working Group 2.

The workshop’s focus.

The workshop’s focus.

The group at dinner in Coral Gables, Miami, FL.

The group at dinner in Coral Gables, Miami, FL.

*Women In Science* at the Kampong Botanical Gardens.

*Women In Science* at the Kampong Botanical Gardens.

Ana Rojas and Dr. Anderson in Colombia for Spring Break!

At the Tropical Rivers Lab, "vacation" has a different meaning than most other places. This spring break, it meant heading to the Colombian Amazon to scout out field sites for future research! Ana Rojas' work on introduced and native Arapaima brought her and Dr. Anderson to Colombia where she will be spending time this summer conducting interviews to better understand management and conservation of Arapaima in Colombia.

Ella Jourdain of TRL heads to Peru!


In anticipation of TRL's upcoming installation of low-cost water monitoring systems in South America, Ella Jourdain of the Tropical Rivers Lab group trekked down to Peru for a week of recognizance with honorary lab member and Dr. Anderson's husband, Paulo Olivas. We're all proud of this New Yorker for conquering her disdain for heat and humidity in the name of science!

Tropical Rivers Lab hosts Roman Evarist on his first trip to the United States!


During Dr. Anderson's work in Tanzania, she teamed up with Roman Evarist, a computer science graduate who calls Tanzania his home. Since then, he has been our man on the ground, facilitating work in low-cost water monitoring in the Mara river basin.

This January, we had the good fortune to host Roman during his first trip to the United States! During his time here, he facilitated an interactive workshop with our team on Open Data Kit, a valuable tool for collecting data in the field. He also tried his first taco, a slice of pepperoni pizza and airboat ride through the Florida Everglades!

We had a great time with Roman and hope to see him again soon (potentially as a graduate student here with us at FIU! Fingers crossed). Thank you for coming, Roman!

Renata Frederico publishes article on Amazon protected areas and their protection of stream dwelling fauna

Rank of priority areas for stream-dwelling fish conservation in the Brazilian Amazon and the current PAs network.

Rank of priority areas for stream-dwelling fish conservation in the Brazilian Amazon and the current PAs network.

Here at the Tropical Rivers Lab, we're a little bit obsessed with tropical fish. So naturally, we were enthused to read Dr. Renata Frederico's recent publication in Biological Conservation about the ability of Amazon protected areas to protect stream-dwelling fish fauna! Seeing others gaining recognition for their work in river ecology is always so exciting because it means that these efforts are getting the attention they deserve!

Click here to read this article!

Congratulations Dr. Frederico! We can't wait to see more of your work in the future!

Dr. Anderson's research on Andes-to-Amazon fragmentation published in Science Advances!


Tropical Rivers Lab is proud to announce that Dr. Elizabeth Anderson has published a paper, "Fragmentation of Andes-to-Amazon connectivity by hydropower dams" in the prestigious journal of Science Advances!
Click here to read more!

Additionally, Science Magazine published a press release detailing Dr. Anderson's research
Click here to read the press release issued by Science Magazine!

Dr. Anderson is presently fielding interviews from around the world including one with BBC Radio. More details on when it will air will soon follow. 

Additional Links:

National Geographic Quotes Dr. Elizabeth Anderson's in an Article That Touches on Her Research

In a recent article published by National Geographic about the Cincinnati Zoo's sensationally cute baby hippo Fiona, TRL's own Dr. Elizabeth Anderson is quoted regarding her encounters with hippos in the Mara River!

"For the record, I am terrified of hippos," said National Geographic explorer and Florida International University ecologist Elizabeth Anderson when asked about her own experiences working with hippos. Anderson was once conducting research in Tanzania when a hippo attacked an empty nearby boat.

Congrats to our leader for being recognized as a Nat Geo explorer! You go, girl!

Source: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/1...

TRL's PhD candidate Aldo Farah Awarded Prestigious Fellowship by SESYNC

Congratulations to TRL's own Aldo Farah who has been awarded the fellowship with the Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center! The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) brings together the science of the natural world with the science of human behavior and decision-making to find solutions to complex environmental problems.

We can't wait to see the exciting work he will do with this honorable award!