E-mail: roosevelt.garcia(at)

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

W253 Corson Hall

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853



  • MSc. Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), Missouri. 2005. Linking floristic patterns to edaphic gradients and remote sensing in Peruvian Amazonia. Saint Louis. USA.
  • Certificate in Tropical Conservation, UMSL and International Center for Tropical Ecology (ICTE), USA, July 2005.
  • Field courses: Ecology of Amazonian Ecosystems (2000, Peru), and Tropical Plant Systematics,(2001, Costa Rica), Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS).
  • BSc. in Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, National University of the Peruvian Amazon, Iquitos, Peru. Thesis: Composition and ecology of aquatic macrophytes in a lake of the Amazon River floodplain.

  • Wu, X, J Gomes-Selman, Q Shi, Y Xue, R Garciıa-Villacorta, E Anderson, S Sethi, S Steinschneider, A Flecker, and C Gomes. 2018. “Efficiently Approximating the Pareto Frontier: Hydropower Dam Placement in the Amazon Basin”. Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Conference.
  • Gomes, Vitor H. F., Stéphanie D. IJff, Niels Raes, Iêda Leão Amaral, Rafael P. Salomão, Luiz Souza Coelho, Francisca Dionízia Almeida Matos, et al. 2018. “Species Distribution Modelling: Contrasting Presence-Only Models with Plot Abundance Data.” Scientific Reports 8 (1):1003.
  • Draper, Frederick C., Eurídice N. Honorio Coronado, Katherine H. Roucoux, Ian T. Lawson, Nigel C. A. Pitman, Paul V. A. Fine, Oliver L. Phillips, et al. 2018. “Peatland Forests Are the Least Diverse Tree Communities Documented in Amazonia, but Contribute to High Regional Beta-Diversity.” Ecography, January, n/a-n/a.
  • Pos, Edwin, Juan Ernesto Guevara Andino, Daniel Sabatier, Jean-François Molino, Nigel Pitman, Hugo Mogollón, David Neill, et al. 2017. “Estimating and Interpreting Migration of Amazonian Forests Using Spatially Implicit and Semi-Explicit Neutral Models.” Ecology and Evolution 7 (12):4254–65.
  • García-Villacorta, R., K. G. Dexter, and T. Pennington. 2016. Amazonian White-Sand Forests Show Strong Floristic Links with Surrounding Oligotrophic Habitats and the Guiana Shield. Biotropica 48: 47–57.
  • Esquivel-Muelbert, Adriane, Timothy R. Baker, Kyle G. Dexter, Simon L. Lewis, Hans ter Steege, Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez, Abel Monteagudo Mendoza, et al. 2017. “Seasonal Drought Limits Tree Species across the Neotropics.” Ecography 40 (5):618–29.
  • Levis, C., F. R. C. Costa, F. Bongers, M. Peña-Claros, C. R. Clement, A. B. Junqueira, E. G. Neves, et al. 2017. “Persistent Effects of Pre-Columbian Plant Domestication on Amazonian Forest Composition.” Science 355 (6328):925–31.
  • Alvez-Valles, Carlos Mariano, Henrik Balslev, Fabrício Alvim Carvalho, Roosevelt Garcia-Villacorta, Cesar Grandez, and Luiz Menini Neto. 2017. “Endemism and Conservation of Amazon Palms.” Biodiversity and Conservation, November, 1–20.
  • Bardon, Léa, Cynthia Sothers, Ghillean T. Prance, Pierre-Jean G. Malé, Zhenxiang Xi, Charles C. Davis, Jerome Murienne, et al. 2016. “Unraveling the Biogeographical History of Chrysobalanaceae from Plastid Genomes.” American Journal of Botany 103 (6):1089–1102.
  • ter Steege et al. 2015. Estimating the global conservation status of more than 15,000 Amazonian tree species. Science Advances. 1(10). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500936.
  • Janovec J. & García-Villacorta R. 2004. Myristicaceae. In: The Encyclopedia of Forest Science Elsevier, J. Evans, J. A. Youngquist & J. Burley (eds.). Academic Press. Oxford, London.
  • Pitman, N., H. Beltrán, R. Foster, R. García-Villacorta, C. Vriesendorp, & M. Ahuite. 2003. Flora y vegetación/Flora and vegetation. In Pitman, N., D. K. Moskovits & C. Vriesendorp (eds.), Peru: Yavarí. Rapid Biological Inventories Report 11. The Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. 282 pp.
  • Llerena N., R. García-Villacorta, A. Monteagudo, C. Rodríguez, H. Soplín, P. Tuesta & K. Ruokolainen. 2003. Melastomataceae composition and its relation to the forest basal area. In: Biological diversity of the Allpahuayo Mishana Reserve, Iquitos: Relationship between distribution, abundance and types of habitat. Rodríguez J. J. (editor). Folia Amazonica 14 (1-2): 11-116.


2010-2011: Nature and Culture International and Research Institute of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP),Technical Advisor in Conservation and Environmental Policies, Loreto, Peruvian Amazon.

2009: IIAP, Gobierno Regional de Loreto, Nature and Culture International, PROCREL, Consultant. Identificación de los principales procesos ecológicos y evolutivos para la conservación de la diversidad biológica en la Región Loreto, Peruvian Amazon.

2007-2008: Phylogeography studies in Amazonian Ficus and their pollinators (Moraceae).

2006: Nature and Culture International, Researcher, Conservation assessment of the seasonally dry forests of Tarapoto, northeastern Peru Northeastern Peru. Tarapoto-Juanjui.

2004-2005: Missouri Botanical Garden & University of Missouri, St. Louis, MSc. Graduate Student, Plant inventory of primary terra firme forests of Loreto and Madre de Dios, Northern and southern Peruvian Amazonia.

2003: Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Field Botanist, Rapid Biological Inventory uplands forests in the Yavari basin, Peruvian Amazonia, Yavari river.

2002-2003: Center for Tropical Conservation & Duke University, Field Botanist, Tree plot inventories in the upland forests of the Napo river, Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon.

2002: University of Turku, Finland, Field botanist, Floristic studies in some flooded forests of the Nanay river, Peruvian Amazonia.

2002: Biological Diversity of the Peruvian Amazonia Project, BIODAMAZ, Consultant, Classification of the white sand forests of the Allpahuayo Mishana Reserve, Peruvian Amazonia.

2001: University of Leeds (UK), University of Edinburgh (Scottland), Max Plack Institute (Germany) and Missouri Botanical Garden (USA), Field botanist Botanical, Tree inventory in 10 permanent 1-ha plots for monitoring the dynamics of Amazonian forests (RAINFOR project), North of Peruvian Amazonia.

1999: Conservation International & Field Museum of Chicago, Field botanist, Aquatic Rapid Assessment Program (AquaRAP) of the Pastaza river basin, Pastaza river, Peruvian Amazonia.

Plant Field Guides


  • Principal Career Scholarship, 2011-2014, University of Edinburgh,  PhD program in Biology.
  • Future Conservationist Award, research grant, BP Conservation Programme, Birdlife International, Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, June 2006
  • Amazon Conservation Association, grant ACA, 2004.
  • Christensen Fellowship, International Center for Tropical Ecology, ICTE, 2004.
  • IDEAWILD, field equipment, 2004.
  • Alwyn H. Gentry Grant for Latin-American Botanists, Missouri Botanical Garden (MO), St. Louis, USA, 2003.
  • IDEAWILD, field equipment, 2003
  • Biological Diversity of the Peruvian Amazonia, research grant, 2002.
  • Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and Peruvian      National Council of Science and Technology, Tropical Plant Systematics OTS 2001-18, July, 2000.
  • Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), Ecology of Amazonian Ecosystems OTS 2000-13, June, 2000
  • Fulbright Scholarship for MSc. studies in Missouri, USA (2003-2005)
  • Organization for Tropical Studies, OTS 2000 and 2001.


  • ArcGIS 10x for spatial analysis; ENVI for analysis of satellite images
  • Languages: English, Spanish (native), basic Portuguese
  • Extensive field-work and camping experience (Ecuador, Peru, Guyana).
  • Field and herbarium identification of Neotropical plants.
  • Methods in botanical inventories and field-data analysis.
  • Lab methods and analysis in molecular biology and phylogeography.
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript, Node.js for web development
  • Python language
  • R statistical program


  • Amazon Tree Diversity Network, contributor
  • SALVIAS, Synthesis and Analysis of Local Vegetation Inventories Across Scales, contributor
  • Peruvian Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, PCB&C, member


A botanical sketch in progress:

South America’s white-sand forests: poorly known and under threat: Mongabay