Santo Tomás: PhD in Conservation and Management of Biodiversity

Despite the progress made in developing and strengthening environmental institutions and the environmental regulatory framework of our country, the current model of economic development based on the extraction of natural resources has brought with it an increase of pressures and impacts on the natural and human systems. This generates the need for professionals and researchers capable of developing basic and applied research in biodiversity conservation, with a view towards the development of integral and sustainable strategies of management and organization, integrating the social and human dimension in this process.

In this context, the Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad Santo Tomás decided to take up the challenge of creating a Doctoral Program in order to train researchers in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management. Our program delivers not only the knowledge and concepts of Conservation Biology, but also a set of transversal competences, necessary for the successful performance of academics and conservation professionals. These include soft skills such as project management, leadership of multidisciplinary programs and teams, social skills and abilities, among others.

  • Climate change and ocean acidification
  • Conservation of migratory birds
  • Biodiversity and conservation
  • Ecology of wetlands
  • Spatial and numerical ecology
  • Biogeography and distribution modeling
  • Geographic information systems for environmental conservation and management
  • Environmental education
  • Limnology
  • Innovation and application of molecular and biotechnological tools

General objective

The main objective of UST’s Doctoral Program in Conservation and Management of Biodiversity is to train researchers of the highest level in sciences, with a multidisciplinary vision in the field of conservation biology. The program has a particular emphasis on the development of sustainable strategies for the management and conservation of biodiversity in systems with multiple social actors.

Specific objectives

  • To evaluate and analyze the problems associated with the issues of conservation and management of biodiversity
  • To plan measures for the conservation and effective management of natural systems
  • To support and facilitate decision-making for the resolution of environmental problems and biological conservation, applying objective and rigorous criteria, based on the scientific method and verifiable empirical evidence
  • To manage resources for the effective conservation of natural systems
  • To generate knowledge through original and rigorous scientific research, applying it to biological conservation.

Differentiating Elements

  • It explicitly incorporates the social dimension necessary for the effective conservation of natural systems. For this, we consider aspects such as Social Ecology, Governance and Environmental Negotiation, Strategic Communication for Conservation, and Fundraising for Conservation.
  • It incorporates courses oriented to the achievement and management of resources for conservation, with emphasis in the role of agents complementary to the State or central Government. This includes subjects such as Management for Conservation and Fundraising for conservation.
  • It includes complementary training activities that expand the spectrum of experiences and knowledge of the graduates (Training Workshops, Participation in Seminars and Congresses, Drafting of Scientific Articles).
  • It contemplates the possibility of accessing internships during the development of the program, through agreements with private companies and public institutions.
  • It has the potential of articulation through the lines of research associated with the Research Centers of Universidad Santo Tomás.