Speaker Position and Background:
Environmental Studies Department,
University of California,
Santa Cruz, CA
Erika Zavaleta has been an assistant professor in the Environmental Studies Department at the University of California in Santa Cruz since 2003. She and her lab pursue ecological and interdisciplinary research to enhance the stewardship, understanding and appreciation of wild ecosystems. Their projects focus on terrestrial ecosystems and plant communities, links between biodiversity and human well-being, and the implications of interacting global and regional environmental changes. Erika has also worked with a wide range of NGOs, government agencies, land managers and community members on issues including invasive species management, island restoration, and ecological stewardship in the face of climate change. She currently serves on the advisory boards of EcoAdapt, the Tropical Forest Group, and the Smith Conservation Research Fellows Program of the Society for Conservation Biology. Erika did her Ph.D. in biology and M.A. in Anthropology at Stanford University, then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC-Berkeley and The Nature Conservancy before coming to UCSC. She has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service, The Association of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, The High Country News, and The Christensen Fund. Erika lives in Santa Cruz, where she enjoys the ocean and the woods with her family.