joel_climbing Hi! Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Joel A. Mercado-Díaz. Although my formal academic background is in Environmental Sciences (BSc.) and Ecology/Systematics (MSc.), I am proud to consider myself a self-taught lichenologist and plant biologist. My research interests encompass a broad range of topics. These include phylogenetics, systematics and ecology of lichens and other plants in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. I am also interested in the history of botany and lichenology, natural history collections work, and forest conservation in the Caribbean. I recently obtained a Ph.D degree on Evolutionary Biology from the Committee on Evolutionary Biology (CEB) of the University of Chicago. I was also a resident graduate student at the Field Museum (advisor: Dr. H. Thorsten Lumbsch). During my MSc. I studied shifts in the composition and structure of tundra vegetation in Alaska as a response to environmental and experimental changes in climate.

At present my research work combines taxonomic and comparative phylogenetic approaches to study diversity and distribution patterns of lichens in the Caribbean islands.

Besides working for many years as a lichenologist/ecologist in both volunteer and non-volunteer positions, I have also worked as a GIS technician and as an associate researcher in institutions such as the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, the International Institute of Tropical Forestry (USFS) and the Botanical Garden Herbarium of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

For a copy of my Curriculum Vitae, please email me at joel_pr19_at_hotmail_dot_com. Thanks!