Alejandra Echeverri


Alejandra Echeverri is a doctoral student in the Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES) program at UBC. She is co-supervised by Dr. Kai M.A. Chan and Dr. Jiaying Zhao.

Alejandra obtained her B.Sc. in Biology from Universidad de los Andes (in Bogotá, Colombia) and her M.Sc. in RMES from UBC. Her work intersects environmental psychology, ecology, and conservation biology. She is interested in tropical ecology and ornithology, and in the human dimensions of conservation.

PhD research: For her PhD, Alejandra is exploring the social and the ecological dimensions of bird conservation. Specifically, Alejandra is studying how human-induced changes to the environment (such as climate change and land-use change) impact bird community composition in agro-ecological landscapes. She also studies the cultural ecosystem services associated with birds, by conducting surveys with farmers, birders, and urbanites in Guanacaste. Her research explores which functional traits predict the cultural ecosystem services associated with birds across the three groups of people (birders, urbanites, farmers). Her ecological and social research hopes to inform conservation and wildlife management strategies in Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) depicted in a mural. Photo: Daniel S. Karp

Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria), an endangered species in Guanacaste, found in one of the farms. Photo: Daniel S. Karp


MSc research: In her M.Sc. research she explored people’s attitudes and preferences toward species at risk in British Columbia. Her research questions were: 1) How do people in British Columbia perceive sea otters?, 2) How does messaging shape people’s attitudes toward sea otters?, 3) What are people’s implicit and explicit preferences of sea otters and other species at risk in British Columbia?, and 4) How are these preferences related to the willingness to pay for conservation?

Sea Otter, Moss Landing Harbor, California

Photo: Chuq von Rospach, with permission


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