Ecology and Conservation Lab (LAEC)

The Ecology and Conservation Lab (LAEC) is located in the University of São Paulo campus at Ribeirão Preto, one of the largest cities in the interior of São Paulo state. We locals are proud of the economic hub represented by this city and, important to say, of its famous draft beer. Nevertheless, as informed citizens we are concerned by the social and environmental consequences resulting from this growth. From a key producer of coffee in the not so distant past, our region now concentrates a third of the Brazilian ethanol (biofuel) production. Which means we are surrounded by an ocean of sugar cane! Our research focus could not, therefore, ignore the environmental reality of these whereabouts. So, some of the current topics of investigation in our lab include: the impacts resulted from transformation and degradation of natural landscapes on wildlife; the role of protected areas, including those located in private rural properties, on safeguarding biodiversity; habitat and ecological flexibility of wildlife species on disturbed landscapes; biological invasion and invasive species, the impact and sustainability of hunting/poaching, among other contemporaneous conservation issues. Although our research themes are taxonomically biased on mammals, studies on other vertebrate groups have been developed and are most welcome, particularly on species threatened with extinction, on keystone species or those that provide important ecosystem services.