Researcher biography

Tomás J. Poch Velasco is a Chilean biologist majored in Environmental Sciences. Passionate about biodiversity and its conservation from an early start, he interned with Wildlife Conservation Society at Tierra del Fuego, Chile, taking part of the diverse array of ecological studies carried out by the WCS research station in the Nothofagus forests and prairies of the region. After joining the Biological Conservation Laboratory at the University of Chile, he performed global analysis and local experimental studies on the provision of ecosystem services within human-dominated landscapes, aiming to improve management in productive environments by encouraging biodiversity conservation.

Tomás has vast experience in ecological and environmental assessment, having participated in over 15 major research and consultancy projects for governmental, non-governmental and private sectors. He has volunteered as a member of an NGO dedicated to the conservation of Bats of Chile since its beginnings, where he has conducted work on public outreach, education and research. His career and personal interests have led him into venturing incredibly remote places, such as the Chilean Patagonia in search of the introduced beaver, Flamingos censing at the highlands of the Andes mountains, cacti and reptile surveying at the most arid desert in the world, and amphibian monitoring at the cold Valdivian rainforests. His experience in the field has further deepened his appreciation for the diverse forms of life and ecosystems, and driven him into pursuing a career in conservation decision making.

Tomás is currently a Master of Conservation Science candidate at The University of Queensland under the supervision of Professor Richard Fuller and Dr. James Allan. His research explored the effect of spatial characteristics of the global network of protected areas on the incidence of human pressure within their boundaries, seeking to inform effective reserve design.


Poch, T.J. & Simonetti, J.A., 2013. Ecosystem services in human-dominated landscapes: Insectivory in agroforestry systems. Agroforestry Systems 87: 871–879.

Poch, T.J. & Simonetti, J.A., 2013. Insectivory in Pinus radiata plantations with different degree of structural complexity. Forest Ecology and Management. 304: 132–136.

Cares-Suárez, R., Poch, T., Acevedo, R.F., Acosta-Bravo, I., Pimentel, C., Espinoza, C., Cares, R.A., Muñoz, P., González, A. V & Botto-Mahan, C., 2012. Do pollinators respond in a dose-dependent manner to flower herbivory?: An experimental assessment in Loasa tricolor (Loasaceae). Gayana. Botánica 68: 176–181.