Adina Merenlender: Habitat connectivity and ecosystem services
Adina Merelender
Dr. Adina Merenlender

Adina Merenlender, Cooperative Extension Specialist in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, was selected for a 2009 UC MEXUS-CONACYT Visiting Scholar Fellowship at UNAM's Centro de Investigaciones en Ecosistemas (CIECO) in Morelia, Michoacán. During her 6-month stay, she met with faculty working on land and water conservation, collaborated with Patricia Balvanera's lab on modeling ecosystem services in the coastal Cuixmala watershed, and conducted analysis on habitat connectivity in the Cuitzeo Basin in collaboration with Alberto Ken Oyama and Antonio González Rodríguez (CIECO) and Manuel Mendoza Cantú and Erna López Granados (Centro de Investigaciones en Geografía Ambiental). The work on ecosystems services helped advance two graduate students' research projects. The effort led by Balvanera on ecosystem services will also help local people assess inherent trade-offs in services that can be rendered by protecting different habitat types. The work in Cuizeo Basin is serving as a model for how rapid estimates of habitat connectivity can be conducted across Mexico. Since her experience getting to know the variety and depth of conservation science being done in Mexico, Merenlender continues to foster collaborative research and conservation efforts throughout Mexico.

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