Dr. Douglas W. Yu, is an ecologist who has worked in Manu Park for over 20 years, conducting research on ethnoecology and people-park conflicts, plus more academic topics such as the evolution of symbiosis and microbiomes, the use of metabarcoding to census biodiversity at large scales, and the development of spatial models of coexistence. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Nature, PNAS, Ecology Letters, Conservation Biology, Ecology, the Journal of Applied Ecology, and American Naturalist. Doug received his A.B. at Princeton, his Ph.D. at Harvard, and holds faculty positions at the University of East Anglia in the UK and at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, in China.
With one of our other advisory board member, Dr. Glenn Shepard, Doug recently led a large-scale research project to estimate the impact of Matsigenka hunting and farming on biodiversity in Manu. This work found that (1) all future scenarios predicted the robust persistence of large primates in Manu Park, which are the species most vulnerable to hunting, and (2) social development investments that promote the healthy growth of existing Matsigenka villages will greatly increase the amount of rainforest available for wildlife. Investments in clean water and schools in Manu will therefore produce spillover benefits for biodiversity conservation in Manu. In fact, in the long run, the best defenders of Manu Park will be the Matsigenka themselves, especially if they continue to improve their health and literacy.
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