I studied Biology at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and a Master in Amazonian Studies at Universidad Nacional de Colombia within the research line of Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Conservation. During my BSc and MSc degrees I focused my research on establishing the pattern of litter decomposition, litter fall and phenology of Amazonian forests, as part of the carbon cycle in terrestrial ecosystems. In 2004 I received a scholarship from the Project for the Advancement of Networked Science in Amazonia (PAN-AMAZONIA) and the scholarship for Post-graduate Outstanding Students from Universidad Nacional de Colombia to support my MSc research.
After finishing my MSc degree I was involved in the ecological zoning process for environmental management of some regions in Colombia, gaining experience in community work and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing tools. From September 2009 to September 2011 I worked for the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (IDEAM) developing the protocols for the national and subnational estimates of biomass-carbon to support REDD+ projects in Colombia and estimating the carbon content in aboveground biomass and coarse woody debris (dead wood) of natural forests in Colombia.
From May 2011 I started working for Carbon Decisions International as Carbon Inventory Expert in REDD+, where I participated in the projects:
- Reducing emissions from avoided deforestation (REDD+) in the Multiple Use Zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala;
- Baseline of emissions due to deforestation in San Martín region, Peru;
- Baseline of emissions due to deforestation in Cusco region, Peru;
- Emissions reference level in Ecuador;
- MRV system for REDD+ in Peru.
My current research focuses on establishing the pattern of carbon change post-deforestation on belowground biomass, soil organic carbon and dead wood carbon pools, in areas of forests converted to pastures in the Amazon and Andes regions of Colombia for the period 1990 – 2010, with the aim of improving estimates of CO2 emissions under the REDD+ scheme in the country. I was granted the AXA Research Fund Scholarship to support my research.