CEB Committe on Evolutionary Biology

Graduate Global Impact Intern, Natalia Piland, helps conservation efforts in the Amazon

This frog, a Rhinella sp., was found in the buffer zone of the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Regional Conservation Area, a protected area that is co-managed by the Loreto State and the local ribereño communities.

UPDATE: Natalia was recently featured in an article on the Graduate Global Impact Internship program on the University of Chicago's website. Click here to read this article. 

In fifteen years of work in Loreto, Peru, the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum has carried out 13 inventories resulting in reports from the most remote parts of the Amazon, the establishment of important protected areas, and dozens of descriptions of species new to science. Natalia Piland, a CEB graduate student, has been working this summer as a Graduate Global Impact Intern to help synthesize these successes into what will become a three-part work called “Conservation Successes and Priorities in Loreto.”

This work will not only highlight the Field Museum achievements, but will also emphasize the collaborative nature of conservation work. In July, Natalia helped set up meetings with local partners in Iquitos (the capital of Loreto, Peru) to collectively identify criteria for future priorities and particular successes the conservation community feels proud of. Among these successes is the increase from 4 government-protected areas in 2001 to 15 government-protected areas in 2015, representing the hard work of civil society and relevant government institutions, and a variety of protection designations that include the local communities.

The Graduate Global Impact Internship program is a program run by UChicagoGRAD to complement academic training while providing students with professional experience in diverse sectors. Natalia Piland’s graduate research focuses on the relationship between avian biodiversity, adaptation, and urbanization in the Peruvian Amazon and is advised by Associate Curator and CEB faculty John Bates.