MSCA Conference speakers - Ana Rodrigues

Ana Rodrigues is a Senior Researcher at the Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE, CNRS). Her research interests lie at the interface between ecology and biological conservation, with the study of spatial biodiversity patterns as the unifying theme.

After a first degree in Biology and a Masters in Applied Mathematics from the University of Lisbon, Ms. Rodrigues obtained in 2003 a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Sheffield. Following a first postdoctoral position in Washington DC, she received in 2006 a Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship to continue her research at the Department of Zoology of the University of Cambridge.
She joined the CNRS in 2009, working in the Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, in Montpellier, where she is currently a Senior Researcher and head of the Department in Dynamics and Conservation of Biodiversity.
Her research focuses on biodiversity patterns at large spatial scales, including on identifying global conservation priorities, and understanding the ecological, evolutionary and historical processes that underpin those patterns. She is currently scientific coordinator of the Inspire4Nature Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network at the science-policy interface of international biodiversity conservation.

She will take part in the 2022 MSCA conference, in the fourth workshop on the Green charter in research projects.



A few more words

Ana Rodrigues speaks about her work and her participation in the conference.

Introduce yourself briefly. What are you currently working on?

I am a macroecologist, that is, an ecologist whose research focuses on problems at large-spatial scales. I am also a conservation ecologist, in the sense that much of my research is directed at understanding the causes of the ongoing biodiversity loss and supporting effective strategies for reversing it. My current work includes understanding how species respond to human landuse pressures and the effectiveness of protected areas at reversing these pressures.

You will participate in the conference as part of the Green charter workshop, why does this topic matter to you?

If we are to slow down and ideally reverse those impacts, we need to implement practical changes in all facets of society.

As a researcher in ecology, I am well aware of the cumulative impacts of human activities on the Planet. If we are to slow down and ideally reverse those impacts, we need to implement practical changes in all facets of society, and research is of course one of those facets. The MSCA Green Charter is a very positive step to ensuring that researchers and institutions integrate environmental considerations in the design and implementation of scientific projects.

In your opinion, and as a researcher in ecology, what role can researchers play in the public debate about the environment?

The first and foremost role of researchers is to provide high-quality and unbiased information to governments and the civil society. This includes information on the state of the environment, how this is changing over time, how it is likely to change in the future, the causes of change, its implications (to ecosystems, to other species, to human societies) and evidence of effective conservation tools.

What are your thoughts about mobility of researchers  in the context of the climate crisis?

Researchers’ mobility is a major contributor to the scientific excellency of the European Union, and such excellency is crucial to finding effective solutions for slowing down and reversing the ongoing climate crisis. This said, researchers who move between countries as part of their career tend to do frequent international travels (for professional and personal reasons) and can thus have high individual carbon emissions.


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