Jose Maria Cardoso da Silva

Chair of Geography and Regional Studies
Secondary Faculty in Biology

(305) 284-6890
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Dr. José Maria Cardoso da Silva is a biogeographer who studies the relationships between socio-economic development and environmental conservation in tropical regions. In his research, he integrates concepts and theories from geography, ecology, biogeography, conservation science, sustainability science, and political science to explore solutions for the most pressing environmental problems faced by tropical countries.

He has been at the Department of Geography and Regional Studies of the University of Miami as a tenured professor since 2015. He has also a secondary appointment at the Department of Biology and is an affiliated faculty of the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

Dr. Silva earned a B.Sc. from Universidade Federal do Pará (1986), a M.Sc. from University of Brasília (1989), and a Ph.D. from the University of Copenhagen (1995). He was a postdoctoral fellow at Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (1995-1996) where he led successfully the institution’s graduate program. He was a tenured professor at the Department of Animal Biology at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco from 1997 to 2001, where he led inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional efforts to design biodiversity conservation strategies at state and regional levels, some of which were converted into public policies. From 2001 to 2015, he worked for Conservation International (CI), a global conservation organization. At CI, he held leadership positions from Regional Director up to Executive Vice President and oversaw conservation programs in Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

During his career, Dr. Silva worked always together with local communities, non-governmental organizations, universities, research institutes, corporations, and governments to set aside and manage millions of acres of protected areas in important areas for biodiversity conservation as well as design and implement innovative sustainable development policies and programs. In addition to his conservation efforts, Dr. Silva has published 100+ peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in three languages, co-edited seven books, and mentored +25 graduate students in four universities (Universidade Federal do Pará, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Universidade Federal do Amapá, and University of Miami). His papers cover a range of subjects, from biological systematics to sustainable development and have been published in journals such as Nature, Journal of Biogeography, Bioscience, Land Use Policy, Climate and Development, Biological Conservation, Conservation Biology, Oikos, Biodiversity and Conservation, The Auk, Wilson Bulletin, Journal of Field Ornithology, Austral Ornithology, Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, PeerJ, PLOS One, the Bulletin of the Linnean Society of London.

Dr. Silva is Fellow of the American Ornithologist’s Union and the Linnean Society of London. He has received the following recognitions: Ararajuba Award for outstanding contribution to Brazilian Ornithology, Brazilian Ornithological Society, Brazil (1993); Merit Award to Young Scientists, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (1996); Special Recognition, Environment Program, USAID-Brazil (2003); Young Latin American Biologist Award, La Red Latinoamericana de Ciencias Biological (RELAB) (2005); Honors Certificate, Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Amazonas, Amazonas, Brazil (2013); Special Recognition, Graduate Program in Tropical Biodiversity, Universidade Federal do Amapá, Amapá, Brazil (2017).