Bette holds a joint appointment as the Director of the Tropical Conservation in the Center for Latin American Studies and Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. She came to UF in 2011 following an 18 month detail as Director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. Her research focuses on understanding the importance of biodiversity in tropical systems, especially the ecological role of animals as seed dispersers, and the potential consequences of global change on distribution of plants and animals. She is also investigating the evolutionary ecology of lek-mating systems in birds and how the spatial ecology of females influences mate choice decisions and male reproductive strategies. In recent years, much of her field research has been conducted in the Ecuadorian Amazon, although other research sites include Atlantic forests of Brazil, Andes of Colombia, and tropical wet forests of Australia. Her research has been primarily supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic Society, while program grants have come from a number of sources including USAID, Christensen Fund, NSF, Compton Foundation, Conservation Food and Health, among others. See Bette’s CV here. See this video to hear Bette discussing some of her seed dispersal work during an OTS interview.
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