María Uriarte is a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. She also is a member of the Earth Institute at Columbia and serves as adjunct faculty in the Dept. of Ecology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Uriarte studies the processes that drive forest dynamics in tropical regions, with a focus on forest recovery after extreme weather events (e.g., hurricanes) and from human land use, and the consequences of these dynamics for ecosystem services. She explores these questions using a range of approaches and tools. Her current projects are based in Puerto Rico and Brazil and she has also worked in Chile, Peru, and Costa Rica.
Her work has been recognized with a Leopold Leadership Fellowship from the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University and a Science without Borders Fellowship from the Brazilian government. Uriarte received an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in Ecology from Cornell University. Before coming to Columbia in 20005, she was a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY. Uriarte and her students have published more than 150 papers and her work has been featured in multiple media outlets including the New York Times, CNN, PBS and others.