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Dr. Brett Scheffers

Principal Investigator

Scheffers joined the University of Florida in 2015 and is a member of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department (WEC). 

He is a naturalist at heart. Brett loves bird, fish, and frog watching and spends much time trying to find excuses to study them. He enjoys thinking creatively about science - after all why can't a square peg fit into a round hole? 

While in the rainforests, Scheffers enjoys climbing trees to study arboreal animal communities in Southeast Asia, the Neotropics, and Madagascar.

His research encompasses the broad topic of global change biology to include how climate change, habitat loss, and the trade of wildlife impacts communities of plants and animals. 

Dr. Luke Evans

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Florida

Luke joined the Scheffers lab in January 2021 with a focus on invasive species responses to climate change in the SE United States.


Luke completed his PhD at Cardiff University (UK) working on spatial and nesting ecology of estuarine crocodiles. He subsequently completed a postdoc at Carnegie Institute for Science and Arizona State University. His focus was working on integrating remote sensing data with wildlife habitat requirements and species management.


Luke’s focus is combining his knowledge of species management and landscape ecology to provide actionable conservation management



PhD Candidate, University of Florida

Ed has always maintained that finding frogs, climbing trees and throwing stones were and are his favourite things do to. Through a lot of hard work and perseverance he has made two of those things his career path, and in his summers he can now be found at the tops of trees being shouted at by groups of lemurs in Madagascar or being targeted by angry wasps in the Colombian Andes as he searches for herpetofauna. Ed hopes to continue his study of amphibians with a focus on their arboreality and patterns of diversity in biodiverse regions. Ed's website

PhD Student, University of Florida

Alex is native to the foothills of Arkansas’ Ozark Mountains. Reptiles and amphibians are Alex’s primary target of scientific curiosity, because, compared to other vertebrates, their nuanced life histories provide unique opportunities for applied and ecological investigations. These things excite Alex: herping, hiking, swimming & canoeing, coding & data visualization, his fiancée—Kristin, his dog—Ollie, cooking, and brewing kombucha. Alex's website


PhD Student, University of Florida

Dave Klinges joined the Scheffers Lab as a PhD student in fall 2019. He explores how amphibian community composition and climate varies at micro (forest floor to canopy), landscape (habitat degradation/fragmentation), and global scales. As a “full-stack” ecologist, his work ranges from climbing trees in eastern Madagascar to building data curation pipelines, Bayesian hierarchical modeling, and ecological forecasting. See his website for more.

PhD Student, James Cook University

Lily obtained her undergraduate degree on the island of Tasmania and developed a keen interest in ecology and conservation biology. As she travelled to different parts of the world and worked on various field research projects, she became fascinated with understanding the drivers of biological diversity and community structure through space and time. For her PhD, Lily is climbing rainforest trees in the Australian Wet Tropics and studying the spatial and temporal distribution and thermal biology of ants over climatic gradients to better understand how species might ecologically and behaviourally adapt to climate change.

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Former Lab Members

Former Lab Members



Lab mascot and birding expert

Sibley joined the lab in 2019 after being saved from the local animal shelter. As his name suggests, he enjoys chasing birds and he is compiling quite a list.


Dr. Xiaoli Fan

Visiting Researcher (now Senior Experimenter, Department of Ecology and Biological Resource at Lishui University, China)

Close Collaborators

David is a Professor of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. His research is primarily focussed on determining the impacts of selective logging and oil palm on biodiversity, and he identified the critical conservation value of logged tropical forests. He received my Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia, UK, in 2005, where he studied why mutualistic interactions persist despite the potential for partners to defect as a cheater, using ant-plant mutualisms in Amazonian Peru as my model system. He retains an interest in the maintenance of mutualism and whether tropical land-use change will disrupt the benefits traded between species.

Noel Rowe

Noel Rowe is the founder of Primate Conservation Inc. Noel manages a natural reserve in Panama, and has been provided access to this property to the Scheffers Lab. Ed Basham has conducted his research at this site in Sierra Llorona, Panama, with great results.

Pat is a tropical biologist, conservationist and primatologist. Her broad interests include biodiversity assessments, conservation biology, population ecology and genetics, and primate hibernation. She is also interested in exploration of new sites and the discovery and documentation of new species. This has led her to carry out field research in Peru, Paraguay, Borneo, East Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Madagascar.

Steve started the Centre for Tropical Biodiversity & Climate Change research (CTBCC) in 2006 and was the inaugural Director for six years. His research is focused on understanding biodiversity, assessing the vulnerability of biodiversity to global climate change and using this knowledge to maximise the positive benefits of conservation management and adaptation. His research was one of the first to identify global climate change as a severe threatening process in the tropics and that we may be facing many species extinctions in mountain systems around the world.

Dr. Najot Sodhi (1962 - 2011)

Navjot seeks to understand how human activities modify the planet and in return how human societies suffer the consequences. His research projects include studies of extinctions, ecosystem functions, and ecosystem services, and are not restricted to any particular taxon. Navjot also aims to apply his research towards capacity building in developing countries in the tropics. This he does (and hopes to do) through writing textbooks that can be accessed for free and giving voice in conservation science to the ignored (e.g. women and tropical biologists).

Luke is a conservation biologist from California now living in China. His research is centered in Asia, where he has been working since 2005 and which hosts the highest levels of endemism and the largest human populations. He studies fragmentation, green energy development, and wildlife trade, identifying the scenarios under which biodiversity suffers - or, in some cases, thrives - from such enterprises. He received his PhD from the National University of Singapore.

Bert has a long-standing interest in the ecology and conservation of forests and grasslands in the eastern United States.After attaining his B.S., Bert completed a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Bert is a Research Assistant Professor in Residence in the Department of Environmental Science at American University and an Affiliate Professor in the Environmental Science and Policy Department at George Mason University. At Clifton, Bert oversees all of the organization’s activities, with a focus on restoration. He is passionate about documenting the thousands of species that occur at Clifton (see our iNaturalist project) and sharing the wonder of their life histories with the local community.

Jonathan is a researcher in Ecology & Biostatistics broadly interested in the ecological dynamics associated with spatial and temporal global changes, with particular emphasis on the biotic responses to contemporary climate change. His research interests range from broad-scale patterns of biodiversity and long-term changes in species distribution to finer-scale and shorter-term changes in community composition.

William Laurance is a Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, and holds an Australian Laureate Fellowship, one of Australia’s highest scientific awards. He also holds the Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation at Utrecht University, Netherlands. 
Laurance received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.  His research focuses on the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, hunting and wildfires, on tropical forests and their biodiversity.  He is also interested in protected areas, climatic change, the impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity, and conservation policy.  His research over the past 35 years spans the tropical world, including the Amazon, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.  To date he has published eight books and over 400 scientific and popular articles.

Dr. Lalatiana Randriamiharisoa

Lalatiana is a biologist, ornithologist, ecologist and conservationist with research focus on improving and streamlining the biodiversity data collection (Bird, Mammals, Amphibians et Reptiles) and integrating a climate-monitoring program at MNP. This research collaborates with local communities and offers for them the opportunity to participate in the management and protection of their local PAs.

Sierra Scauzillo

Undergraduate student, University of Florida

Sierra is conducting her undergraduate research in the Appalachian Mountains. She is interested in color patterns of salamanders - did you know salamanders flouresce under UV light!


Jesse Borden

Ms Student (now Phd Candidate, University of Florida)


Rebecca Senior

Visiting Post-doc (now Post-doc, Princeton University)


Brunno Oliveira

Post-doc (now Post-doc, UC Davis)


Farwah Sharif

Ms Student


Xuang Xing

PhD Student (now post-doc with


Dr. Yiming Hu

Visiting Post-doc (now Post-Doc, Southern University of Science and Technology)

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Gecica Yogo

 (Ms Student)


Pauline Dufour

Ms Student


Lydou Andriamahohatra

Ms Student


PhD Student, University of Florida

Sebas was lucky enough to grow up in Ecuador, one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth. An intense youth of rock climbing and nature photography, combined with a degree in Biology, marked his path through becoming an ecologist exploring the wonders of canopy rainforests. His PhD project is focused on understanding patterns of biodiversity across the vertical dimension.

See some of his nature and wildlife photos here.