María is a researcher and professor at Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED). Her research interests focus on the structure and functioning of ecological communities, especially the study of mutualistic interaction networks, functional ecology and the vulnerability of biodiversity to climate change. She is currently working on patterns of synchrony between plants and pollinators in the páramo ecosystem and ecology of plant-hummingbird interactions across elevational gradients in Costa Rica. Her main role in the EPHI project consists of advising students in their thesis research, contributing with field data quality, elaborating project dissemination materials and result reports, giving support to activities organization and supervising the work of the whole team.
Emanuel is a biologist from the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) with focus on management of natural resources. His research interests are ecology and conservation of biodiversity. He was in charge of selecting study sites for the project. His role includes financial administration, training of human resources in field data collection and management, inventory and maintenance of research equipment, communication with all members of the project. In addition to the coordinator activities, Emanuel is collecting data on flower resources and plant-hummingbird interactions in four sites: Nimbulos Reserve, Villa Mill Experimental Biological Station, Forest Friends Farm and San Miguel Hostel.
Nelson Chaves Elizondo is a biologist from the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), who is interested in the mechanisms used by plants from the Angiosperm group to attract hummingbirds, such as flower color and morphology. He is interested in exploring those mechanisms in plant families, such as Acanthaceae, Heliconiaceae, Bromeliaceae, Passifloraceae, Ericaceae, Rubiaceae, Costaceae, Zingiberaceae and Onagraceae, among others. The Nelson’s role in the EPHI project consists of identifying all plant species in the transects, measuring flower traits, developing plant field guides, and training field assistants and technicians in the identification of plant species
Alejandro is an undergraduate student in the Natural Resources Management Program at Universidad Estatal a Distancia. He is interested in bird watching and photography. He worked as a field assistant collecting data on plant-hummingbird interactions and species abundance in the paramo ecosystem for three years in a project led by Dr. María Alejandra Maglianesi. His role in the EPHI project is data collection on flower abundance and plant-hummingbird interactions in transects located at four sites: Ecological Trail Los Gigantes, Las Quebradas Biological Centre, Rio Magnolia Hotel and Wildlife Refuge Longo Mai.
Krystal is an undergraduate student in the Natural Resources Management Program and also in the Sustainable Tourism Management Program at Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED). She is interested in the study of organisms, especially birds, and their interactions. Krystal is part of the OAVE group Bird Watchers from the General Valley. She is also a member from the Arlequín Group, which aims to cause a social impact in the sustainable natural resource management through environmental education in Southern Costa Rica. She is also a dancer and a passionate about art in general. Her role in the project is data collection on flower abundance and plant-hummingbird interactions in transects located at four sites: Sibú Farm, Tolomuco Forest, Las Nubes Project and Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary.
Greivin works in ecological tourism with a family project named “Catarata Vista Real” where the visitors can enjoy bird watching, forest walks and spectacular landscape views. His main interest is biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. His role in the EPHI project consists of conducting the field protocol and maintaining the cameras used to record visitation of hummingbird to plants. Greivin performs this work in transects located at four sites: Nimbulos Reserve, Villa Mill Experimental Biological Station, Forest Friends Farm and San Miguel Hostel.
Fabian is a passionate naturalist guide who shows tourists the wonderful nature that Costa Rica offers. He is fascinated by biodiversity in all its dimensions, but especially by birds. Fabian believes that he must have been a bird in a past life. He thanks the EPHI project for giving him the opportunity to contribute his knowledge and conservation of hummingbirds. His role in the project is camera placement in the forest to collect data on plant-hummingbird interactions in transects located at four sites: Ecological Trail Los Gigantes, Las Quebradas Biological Centre, Rio Magnolia Hotel and Wildlife Refuge Longo Mai.
Samael works in digital design, music and stage production. His passion by nature equals his passion for art. His work in the EPHI project has allowed him to learn more about wildlife in Southern Costa Rica. Samael in in charge of camera placement to record visitation of hummingbirds to plants in the forest. He conducts this work in transects located at four sites: Sibú Farm, Tolomuco Forest, Las Nubes Project and Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary.
Yandry Hernández Barboza is currently conducting her undergraduate thesis research in the project at the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED) from Costa Rica. She aims to assess patterns of nectar characteristics along an elevation gradient in hummingbird-visited plant species. Specifically, she is analyzing variation in nectar production and concentration across three elevations and identifying the main factors that influence nectar volume. She also plans to investigate hummingbird’s preference on nectar concentration under experimental conditions and assess potential effects of climate change on plant-hummingbird interactions due to modification in nectar characteristics as a consequence of increasing temperatures.
We also have three undergraduate students doing an internship: Karen Garro Alvarado, Greilin Fallas Rodríguez and Gisel, who are also student from the UNED. They are collaborating to collect additional data on nectar production and concentration from hummingbird-visited plant species in several sites of the project.
The State Distance University (UNED) is one of five public universities in the Republic of Costa Rica. It is characterized by its distance learning system, offering opportunities for academic studies to populations throughout Costa Rica. The UNED is the second university in number of students. It has its own publishing house that produces textbooks that cover most of the needs of the university, as essayistic works, research, etc. This institution was created in 1977. Its main location is in Sabanilla, Montes de Oca, and it has 45 university centers across all the country.