Kenneth J. Feeley (CV)

Smathers Chair of Tropical Tree Biology
Department of Biology
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL  33146 USA
T: 305-284-5748

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
11935 Old Cutler Road,
Coral Gables, FL 33156 USA
T: 305-667-1651 x3434

E: kjfeeley at gmail dot com

PhD Students

Catherine Bravo obtained her Masters degree at FIU under the supervision of Dr. Ken Feeley in 2013. She did her research in the cloudforest of Manu National Park, Peru, focusing on plant functional traits of mountain trees along an elevational gradient. She has 4 years of experience working in education and capacity building for organizations such as The Organization for Tropical Studies, Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners, and Tropical Andes Alliance. Catherine has returned to Dr. Feeley’s lab at UM to continue her research in Peru looking at plant community assembly in mountain forests and patterns of drought tolerance across the Manu altitudinal gradient.


Belen Fadrique
earned her B.S. in Biology from the Universidad del Pais Vasco (Spain) and her MSc. of Biodiversity of Tropical Areas and Conservation from Spain's Universidad Menendez Pelayo and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC).  For her Masters thesis, she studied liana distributions along an altitudinal gradient in the Ecuadorian Andes. For her PhD she is working on how the multiple Bamboo species that occur along the Andes-Amazon gradient in Peru distribute and what physiological characteristics are responsible. She is also concern about how bamboo affects plant communities in the cloud forests and the Amazon. Belen is also involved in studies investigating how undergoing global change is promoting altitudinal species migrations in the Andes.

James Stroud completed his B.Sc. (Hons) in Zoology and Conservation from the University of Wales, Bangor, focussing his dissertation research on the habitat factors affecting herpetofauna community composition in a tropical rainforest (Sulawesi, Indonesia), with the assistance of Dr. Graeme Gillespie and Dr. Wolfgang Wuster. Following this he completed his M.Sc. by Research at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences (CEMS) at the University of Hull, under the supervision of Dr. Philip Wheeler. His primary research involved investigating the spatial ecology of the European adder (Vipera berus) in commercially managed forest plantations and testing the suitability of patch occupancy modelling for monitoring of this species. His research interests are broad, with a general focus on landscape and community ecology, often using herpetofauna as model species and study systems. Other areas of interest include behavioural ecology, evolution of (polymorphic) mating systems, terrestrial vertebrate ecology and invasion biology.

Timothy Perez
graduated from the University of Vermont in 2010 with a BSc in Plant Biology. Before joining the Feeley lab at Florida International University in 2014, his interests in ecology developed from his participation in a myriad of projects such as sage grouse habitat assessments, clearwing butterfly ecology research, a chronosequence tree census, and development of an environmental education curriculum. The time that Tim spent in the Neotropics galvanized him to study the effects of climate change on processes including tropical forest dynamics, biodiversity, community ecology and phylogeny. Through science education, he hopes to share what he learns beyond the academic community.

Christine Pardo
got her undergraduate degree at Florida International University where she founded the award-winning undergraduate ecology club GLADES.  She worked as a research assistant for Dr. Ken Feeley in Peru and for Dr. Steve Oberbauer in Alaska and as a summer REU research assistant at Harvard Forest.  She started her doctoral program with Dr. Ken Feeley at UM in 2016.  Christine's dissertation research will explore biological invasions. Specifically, she will investigate why some species succeed and others fail to invade South Florida with a specific focus on introduced woody plants. Her plan is to analyze multiple factors of invasiveness such as introduction history, propagule pressure, species traits, and habitat characteristics to answer her research questions. The overarching goal of her proposed research is to provide a new perspective on local invasions to allow for management agencies to better predict and control for the effects of species invasions.


Brian Machovina

Degree: PhD
Dates of enrollment:  08/2010 – 05/2015
Dissertation: Sustainability of tropical agricultural systems under climate change.
Current Position: Post Doctoral Researcher at FIU; Founder Yonanas Inc.

Evan M Rehm

Degree: PhD
Dates of enrollment:  08/2010 – 05/2015
Dissertation: Factors affecting current and future treeline locations and dynamics in the Peruvian Andes
Current Position: Post Doctoral Researcher at Colorado State University

Paulo C. Olivas

Postdoctoral researcher in Feeley lab 2013-2015

Rachel Hillyer

Postdoctoral researcher in Feeley lab 2016-2017

Field Personnel
Flor Zamora (1982 - 2012)
Adan Julian Ccahuana Quispe
Nelson Cahuana Valderamma
Cintia Estefani Arenas Gutierrez

Visiting Researhers

Alvaro Duque
(2014) is a professor at the National University of Colombia in Medellin who is working with the Feeley lab as part of a Fulbright Fellowship.  Dr. Duque is a tropical botanist and ecologist studying forest carbon stocks and patterns of plant species composition and diversity in Andean-Amazonian forests. Dr. Duque and Dr. Feeley will be collaborating on studies of the effects of climate change on tropical forests.

Yu Mingjian (2010-2011)  is an associate professor of plant ecology in the College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, China. His major research interest is community and ecosystem ecology in subtropical forests. He and his colleagues in CAS established a 24-ha forest dynamics plot since 2005 in Gutianshan National Natural Reserve, China,where his lab researchs species-area relationships, the joint effects of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal limitation on maintenance of species diversity, and the role of gaps in forest dynamics. He and his lab are also involved with several large studies researching the islands in Thousand Island Lake – a man-made reservoir formed by damming a river in 1959 in Zhejiang province. Working with birds and plants on over 150 islands they are investigating the effects of habitat fragmentation on species diversity and community assembly and the mechanisms impacting biodiversity dynamics. Dr. Yu is visiting the Feeley Lab for the fall 2010 semester to build on existing collaborations looking at forest structure and community responses to habitat fragmentation, and other related questions.

Hu Guang (2010-2011) received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from ZhejiangUniversity, China. He is currently a PhD student in College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University under Prof. Yu Mingjian. His primary research interests are community and landscape ecology in fragmented habitats. He has studied plant communities for several years in the Thousand Island Lake (TIL), a natural laboratory for habitat fragmentation and metacommunity dynamics. Guang led a group to investigate the plant species composition on more than 150 islands and established several long-term plots on 25 islands in TIL. He hopes to study the mechanisms of species maintenance and community assemblage in the fragmented landscape. Guang Hu is visiting the Feeley Lab at FIU during Aug 2010-Jan 2011. Guang will collaborate with Dr. Feeley and his colleagues on the effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity.

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