I was born in Guatemala, a small country in Central America. Throughout my undergraduate studies at San Carlos University of Guatemala -and up until my graduate studies- I conducted research on bats, focusing on their biodiversity in Guatemalan protected areas and their use as bioindicators to assess the conservation status of these areas. I graduated as a Bachelor in Biology in 2010, and my undergraduate thesis focused on the poaching effects on mammal assemblages and seedling herbivory and trampling in the Barro Colorado Natural Monument and Parque Nacional Soberania in Panama. My thesis was part of an internship at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, where I worked in a Stanford University’s project that aimed to study the effects of mammal defaunation in the tropics.
In 2012 I studied a MSc in Conservation Biology at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry of the New York State University (SUNY-ESF). My graduate thesis involved a field validation of a Guatemalan jaguar corridor for movement, which is part of Panthera’s GIS modeled corridor that connects jaguar populations throughout the species range. In 2015 I studied a Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice at the University of Oxford, a specialized program that focuses on carnivore conservation.