Sergio Avila - Conservation Scientist, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

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The Spring 2017 Biology Seminar Series continues with Sergio Avila’s talk, "From fur to fuzz: protecting northern jaguars while studying monarch butterflies along the US-Mexico borderlands."Sponsored by the Biology Department and the Remsen Bird Fund

The US-Mexico borderlands boast a great diversity of life, making it a hotspot of biodiversity in North America. The region mixes temperate and tropical species, resident and migratory, large and small, adapted to life in a biologically connected, yet politically divided ecosystem. In this talk, Sergio Avila will share personal experiences and stories from his time studying wildlife species, from jaguars and monarch butterflies, and the region they call home, from the Sonoran Desert to the Sky Islands and the Sierra Madre
Sergio Avila-Villegas has found his niche as a bridge between cultures, languages and approaches to the conservation of biodiversity in the US-Mexico border. As a Conservation Scientist with the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Avila leads collaborative efforts on connectivity for wildlife, habitat restoration, climate change adaptation, education and conservation in the Sonoran Desert region of northwest Sonora and southeast Arizona.
For almost twenty years, Sergio has gained extensive training and experience working in remote areas of northwest Mexico and the U.S. southwest on wildlife research and conservation, and the challenges related to enabling wildlife movements across the US-Mexico border. His field experience includes working with jaguars, pumas, ocelots, Cactus-ferruginous pygmy owls, Santa Catalina rattlesnakes, California sea lions and Monarch butterflies. Sergio is also experienced in wildlife monitoring, habitat and stream restoration, and US-Mexico collaboration. Sergio graduated from the University of Baja California with a Master’s degree in Arid Lands Management, and the University of Aguascalientes with a B.S. in Biology. He lives in Tucson with his wife Jenny, their children Lupe, Carlos and Pancho, the cats, and Toby, the Desert Tortoise.