Christina De Jesus Villanueva

Christina De Jesus Villanueva


Christina is passionate about research that positively impacts biodiversity. She is currently a Ph.D candidate at the University of Rhode Island, where she is working on a multidisciplinary project addressing a biodiversity threat. For the past 6 years her work has been focused on the Invasive Green Iguana, which Christina uses as a model for learning multiple approaches to addressing conservation issues. For her masters dissertation at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, she developed expertise in the practical use of genetic analysis to identify animal trade routes. Now she is learning to integrate social science, ecology and spatial science in the development of wildlife management approaches. In the future, Christina’s goal is to develop multi-stakeholder programs to address problems of conservation concern at local and regional scales.

She holds a B.Sc from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao and a Masters in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. She is an Ecological Society of America SEEDS alumni, a Ronald E. McNair Scholar alumni, A Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation- Bridge to the Doctorate alumni, and NSF- GRFP recipient. Christina has held Internships with the American Museum of Natural History, The International Union For the Conservation of Nature, and The U.S Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry as a National Science Foundation GRIP fellow and under the Natural Resources Assistant Program. In her spare time she is an avid baker, folkloric dancer and novice rock climber.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
University of Rhode Island, Ph.D
Current Position:
Forest Health and Protection Program Manager
U.S. Forest Service - International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Conservation Science & Biology

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