Scientific Staff

Silvia Alvarez-Clare, PhD

Tree Conservation Ecologist; Academic Mentor at the Center for Tree Science

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As the Director of Global Tree Conservation, Silvia’s science-informed, stakeholder-inclusive conservation projects support the Arboretum’s goal of protecting trees worldwide.

Silvia’s research focuses on using long-term monitoring, experimentation, and basic ecological techniques to understand how changes in climate, land use, and soil nutrients impact plant communities, particularly trees. She strives to translate her research into better policies, improved management practices, or restoration actions that will aid in saving tree species from extinction.

Most of Silvia’s work has been carried out in Latin America, where she is originally from. However, as a member of the IUCN-SSC Global Trees Specialist Group, the Global Trees Campaign, and the Global Conservation Consortium for Oak (GCCO)—which the Morton Arboretum leads—she collaborates closely with partners all around the world, working together to prevent the extinction of the world’s tree species, particularly oaks.

Silvia also works closely with students, as part of the Integrated Mentorship Program, and serves as Co-PI in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Arboretum.

Silvia’s research in tropical ecosystems ecology research has been funded by the prestigious National Science Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Enhancement Grant (DDEG) and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology (PRFB), and her research has been published in top-tier journals, such as Ecology Letters and Ecology

Before becoming the Arboretum’s Director of Global Tree Conservation, Silvia worked as its Tree Conservation Ecologist, where she led in situ conservation projects in Latin America. As part of this work, Silvia and collaborators received a National Geographic Explorer Award to study the endangered oak Quercus insignis and worked with local stakeholders to plant thousands of trees both in Costa Rica and Mexico. She served as the academic mentor for the Integrated Mentorship Program, and as Co-PI in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Arboretum. She is also part of the advisory board for the PUMA-STEM Alliance, an NSF-funded initiative working to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM careers within the Chicagoland area.

Silvia serves as the academic mentor for the Integrated Mentorship Program, and as Co-PI in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program at the Arboretum. She is also part of the advisory board for the PUMA-STEM Alliance, an NSF-funded initiative working to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM careers within the Chicagoland area.

 

Education

PhD, Interdisciplinary Ecology

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

MS, Botany

University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

BS, Biology

Universidad de Costa Rica
San José, Costa Rica

Projects (6)