Science Excellence

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Science Advisor, Dr. Gabriela Chavarria. Credit: Clinton Brandhagen.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Science Advisor, Dr. Gabriela Chavarria. Credit: Clinton Brandhagen.

Gabriela Chavarria


Dr. Gabriela Chavarria has served as Science Advisor to the Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since July 2010. As Science Advisor, Dr. Chavarria serves as counsel to the Service Director and provides leadership on science policy and scientific applications in resource management. This includes leading agency efforts to respond to changes in the global climate system; shaping the Service's agenda for change toward a science-driven landscape conservation business model; expanding Service capacities to acquire, apply and communicate scientific information; promoting active involvement of the Service and its employees in the larger scientific community; strengthening and expanding partnerships between the Service and other scientific organizations, particularly states and the U.S. Geological Survey; and cultivating the next generation of Service scientists.

Prior to her work with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Dr. Chavarria served as Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Science Center, where she applied her scientific knowledge to translate the most up-to-date science into solutions for environmental problems. Her close ties to scientists and key policy-makers helped advance NRDC's goal of uniting sound science with sound policy and education for the mutual benefit of people and nature. She also has served as Vice President for Science and International Conservation at Defenders of Wildlife, Policy Director for Wildlife Conservation at the National Wildlife Federation and as the Director of International and Special Programs at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in Washington, D.C. In addition, Dr. Chavarria serves on a number of boards and advisory councils, including the Society for Conservation Biology, the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency's Committee on Farm, Ranch and Rural Communities, and the Mexican Conservation Fund for Nature. She was also a member of the National Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, and the Black-footed Ferret Recovery Team. She is a member of several professional societies, including the Association for Women in Science, the Society for Conservation Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Ecological Society of America, and The Wildlife Society.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Chavarria has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the National University of Mexico, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University. Her research focused on the systematics, behavior, and biogeography of Neotropical bumble bees. She has conducted research on these topics in more than 30 countries in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and is a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, where she works on pollinator conservation.

Last updated: July 2, 2014

Please send comments, suggestions and questions for this Web site to: Megan Cook at megan_cook@fws.gov

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Home Page | Department of the Interior  | USA.gov  | About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  | Accessibility  | Privacy  | Notices  | Disclaimer  | FOIA