About Natalia's Work
Growing up in Colombia, I witnessed many forests being converted into industrial monocultures, which motivated me to pursue a career as a conservation scientist. My research focuses on the connections between biodiversity, global change, and agriculture. Specifically, I use field experiments and ecological modeling to study how climate and land-use change affect nature’s contributions to farming – at local and landscape levels. Currently, I am a PhD Candidate at the Gund Institute and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. For my dissertation, I work closely with scientists, farmers, and a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica using a participatory research approach. With these collaborations across sectors, I aim to co-produce knowledge that positively impacts farming strategies, as well as landscape policies that co-benefit biodiversity conservation and farming livelihoods.
I hold a BS in Biological Sciences from Louisiana State University and an MS in Ecology from the University of São Paulo. Having a multicultural background has also made me passionate about diversifying STEM. I am a co-founder of the SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) chapter at the University of Vermont. Through my work in SACNAS and my research, I aspire to contribute to social and environmental justice and to a more inclusive scientific community.