I am a field biologist deeply passionate about wildlife ecology and conservation. Holding a Master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford (2021), I graduated with honors in Biological Sciences - B.Sc. (2017) and B.Ed. (2018) - from the University of Brasília (UnB).

My passion for wildlife ecology began during my time at the UnB Ecosystem Ecology Lab (2014-2018) under Prof. Mercedes Bustamante, focusing on Cerrado ecosystem ecology. Following this, I worked at the Brasília Zoological Garden Foundation (2018) before teaching Science and Biology in Brasília (2019).

At Oxford's Ecosystems Lab (2020-2021), I researched seed dispersal and defaunation in the Cerrado with Dr. Imma Oliveras and Prof. Yadvinder Malhi for my Master's dissertation. My commitment to conservation led me to the 'Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation' (ICMBio) (2022-2023), where I served as an Environmental Analyst/ Park Ranger in the Western Brazilian Amazon.

Currently, I am a Biology PhD student in the Dirzo lab at Stanford University, where I investigate animal-ecosystem/ plant-frugivore interactions between Brazilian and African savannahs and the ecological effects of megafauna defaunation in those systems. I also collaborate at UNESP's Bird Ecology Lab, exploring frugivory and seed dispersal in the Atlantic Forest.

My academic pursuits are deeply rooted in the ecology and conservation of large-bodied vertebrates and plant communities within tropical ecosystems. I am particularly fascinated by their intricate ecological interactions, such as frugivory, seed dispersal, and herbivory, as well as the pressing challenges posed by defaunation and deforestation.

Honors & Awards

  • Philippe S. Cohen Graduate Fellowship, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve (2024)
  • Alwyn Gentry Award – Best Student Oral Presentation (Honorable Mention), Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) (2022)
  • J. Bossanyi Bursary in Environmental Conservation, St Peter’s College, University of Oxford (2021)
  • Institutional Scholarship Program for Scientific Initiation, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) (2017)
  • Institutional Scholarship Program for Scientific Initiation, National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) (2016)
  • Young Talents for Science Scholarship, Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) (2015)

Lab Affiliations

Work Experience

  • Environmental Analyst, Chico Mendes Biodiversity Conservation Institute (July 2022 - March 2023)

    Conduction of management, inspection, monitoring, and protection activities for the territory, biodiversity, and natural resources of three Federal Conservation Units in the Western Brazilian Amazonas (Purus National Forest, Mapia-Inauini National Forest, Arapixi Extractive Reserve).


    Boca do Acre, Amazonas, Brazil

  • Science and Biology Teacher, Maxwell School (June 2019 - November 2019)

    Responsible for teaching Natural Science and Biology classes to Middle and High School students.


    Brasília, DF, Brazil

  • Zookeeper, Brasilia Zoological Garden Foundation (February 2018 - February 2019)

    Developed environmental education activities for the visting public. Conducted patrols at the zoo to monitor enclosures and serve the public. Provided scientific and anecdotal information about animals in the exhibits.


    Brasília, DF, Brazil

All Publications

  • Spillover of avian seed dispersers between secondary forests and degraded areas in a tropical island ACTA OECOLOGICA-INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY Carvalho, R., Alves, K. F., Pizo, M. A. 2023; 121
  • Frugivory and seed dispersal in the Cerrado: Network structure and defaunation effects BIOTROPICA Carvalho, R., Malhi, Y., Menor, I. 2023; 55 (4): 849-865

    View details for DOI 10.1111/btp.13234

    View details for Web of Science ID 000998750800001

  • Seed removal, seed dispersers, and the allocation of tissues in Myrtaceae seeds BIOTROPICA Carvalho, R., Pizo, M. A. 2023; 55 (3): 719-728

    View details for DOI 10.1111/btp.13223

    View details for Web of Science ID 000962818200001

  • Trilhas-Temáticas: Ensinando Ciências e Biologia no Jardim Zoológico de Brasília Bello Carvalho, R. Independently published. 2019