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Applied Biodiversity Science--Community-based Conservation in the Chaco


Chris Schalk, ABS-IGERT Trainee at Texas A&M University is working with the the indigenous governing organization of the Isoso communities in the Bolivian Chaco. His project is focusing on understanding the mechanisms affecting the abundance and distribution of tadpoles across the Gran Chaco. He has discussed the objectives of his project with the capitans of the three indigenous communities in which he is conducting his research and conducted a community meeting introducing his project to the Isoceno people. He has also initiated a collaboration with Rosa Leny Cuellar, director of the Kaa-Iya National Park, to begin a program monitoring the aquatic biodiversity of the park with indigenous park guards. Finally, he also a mentor to an an undergraduate student at the Universidad Autonomia Gabriel Rene Moreno in Santa Cruz, Bolivia for her Licenciatura thesis. The topic of her thesis is complementary to Chris┬┤research, as she is studying the aquatic invertebrate commmunities of the Bolivian Chaco.

Address Goals

The research of ABS-IGERT Trainees provides scientific data and professional collaboration needed to protect biodiversity while also meeting the needs of people. This research integrates data from social and biological sciences, building new understanding in both major research themes of our IGERT: Ecological Functions and Biodiversity, and Communities and Governance.