Ricardo Perez-Alvarez

I am broadly interested in understanding the relationships among environmental change, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. Specifically, I would like to use natural enemies and pest control services as a model for testing some basic ecological questions, about ecosystem services provided by arthropods in agricultural landscapes such as:

 

-Does the level of biological control depend on diverse natural enemies assemblages, or is biological control largely provided by a small subset of functionally important species?

-Are multiple natural enemies complementary to each other or are they largely redundant?

-Is a high diversity of natural enemies a biological insurance against ecological disturbances?

-How do natural enemies in agroecosystems are influenced by local and landscape scale habitat availability and management?

Besides the theoretical interest, these questions have significant practical implications for both conservation biology and agriculture.

Before arriving at Cornell, I lived in Colombia where I completed a BSc in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I also worked at the Colombian Corporation of Agricultural Research –Corpoica- in different projects related to insect population and community dynamics in tropical agroecosystems. At the end of the program, I plan to return to Colombia to contribute with the development of a more sustainable agriculture.