I am an ecologist by training (my undergraduate degree was in Colombia and my master’s degree at the University of Toronto). Over the last 10 years, I have been working as an environmental consultant. I have experience working with wildlife in the tropics for several years, mostly with mammals and the several survey methods used to assess richness and abundance. I am currently doing my PhD focusing on No Net Loss of biodiversity and the emerging Biodiversity Net Gain policy in the UK.
I have over 10 years of experience in environmental science and ecology in various sectors, participating in wildlife monitoring projects for environmental assessments, environmental management plans, and biodiversity offsetting schemes. In my professional work as an environmental consultant, I have seen first-hand the problems around mitigating the impacts of development on biodiversity conservation. The result from various years of work resulted in the publication of an occurrence dataset “Records of prioritized species of mammals in Colombia, compiled from photo-trapping information”, a collaboration among various researchers and biodiversity consultants.
However, my interest in making a meaningful contribution to biodiversity conservation and to reconcile this with the ongoing expansion of development and infrastructure led me to study biodiversity net gain, both from a global perspective and using DEFRA’s biodiversity metric as a case study. I will test the metric’s ability to measure changes (i.e. losses and gains in biodiversity) in multiple aspects of biodiversity by using quantitative modelling with the current metric and other metrics to measure biodiversity (e.g. species richness, species diversity). My aim is to understand whether the metric is a good indicator of biodiversity outcomes, and this would be crucial for public and private sectors to improve planning decisions for nature recovery.