Francisco Cuesta

Chief of Research

Francisco X. Cuesta Camacho

He obtained his Masters and PhD in Tropical Ecology from the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. His research aims to understand the effects of climate change and land use in the ecosystems of the Andes. He belongs to the IUCN Ecosystems Red List Specialist Group and the Global Network for Monitoring Alpine Environments (GLORIA). He is the scientific director of the GLORIA-Andes Network ( and the Andean forest research network, RBA ( He has designed and directed various cooperation and technical assistance projects focused on the thematic areas of biodiversity, conservation and climate change; and has published numerous scientific articles and books on these topics. He currently works as a principal investigator at the University of the Americas (UDLA), where he directs several research projects focused on studying the relationship of functional diversity in the productivity of montane forests and the páramo. He maintains a long-term research program in the páramos of the Pichincha volcano and the Andean-Chocó forests in the middle Guayllabamba basin. He is one of the co-authors of the IPCC impact report for the northwestern region of South America. He is an associate researcher in the Environment and Sustainability area of ​​the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, where he teaches two classes: (2) Fundamentals of Biodiversity, and (2) Adaptation and mitigation in Andean-Amazon ecosystems. Additionally, Dr Cuesta directs five master's theses and co-directs three doctoral theses from Texas at Austin, Wageningen and Diken University, Australia.

Field work at a plot in La Mucuy, Venezuela

Integrating theory and data in South America ecosystems

Learn about the empirical and theoretical approaches currently used to quantify the ecosystem service provision in South American montane forests and alpine environments. A broad roadmap for the creation of a trandisciplinary network that can bridge the gap between the needs of modelling and data availability is proposed, in order to facilitate the implementation of mountain vegetation into Dynamic Global Vegetation Models that are used in Earth System Models.

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Plant of the genus Compositae

Dispersal strategies of flowers in the High Andes

How are plants overcoming geographical barriers to disperse their seeds? The GLORIA-Andes network continues to provide basic knowledge about high Andean ecosystems, essential to understanding how native species feel the effects of climate change.

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Work in GLORIA site - Venezuela

Compositional shifts of alpine plant communities across the high Andes

Explore a new study by the GLORIA-Andes monitoring network to learn about how climate change is transforming summit plant communities in the High Andes, and what the key drivers of these changes are. 

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gloria - climate adaptation.

Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) - Andes Network

The GLORIA-Andes network is a regional long-term monitoring platform that studies the impacts of climate change on the biodiversity of high mountain ecosystems in the Andes.

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