New Faculty (Spring 2020)


Dr. Mauro Galetti

All species on Earth interact with each other on a web of life, but the rapid human-driven species’ extinction is likely to be causing the 6th Mass Extinction. How species (or population) loss affect mutualisms or antagonism interactions? What are the ecological and evolutionary consequences of species extinction? We study these issues in tropical ecosystems, using approaches ranging from field observations, experiments, genetic analyses, and stable isotopes. We work intensively in the Brazilian ecosystems, but we are interested in working in other natural ecosystems. Our team is responsible for running one of the longest large-scale experiment on defaunation in Neotropical rainforests where we are evaluating the consequences of losing large mammals (tapirs and peccaries) on different organisms and ecological processes (e.g. rodents, soil fertilization, fungi, plant recruitment, and diversity).

Galetti’s Citations


A Note to Prospective Graduate Students

I will be joining the Department of Biology in January 2020 and I am interested to hear from prospective Ph.D. students attracted to the University of Miami graduate’s program. If you have similar interests based on our recent publications, please contact me ( with a brief description of your research interests and a copy of your CV. I am looking for a curious, creative, collaborative, and ambitious student with broad interests, and a broad skill set to join our team in Miami in 2020.


Universidade Estadual Campinas, Brazil Bachelor in Biologyl 1986-1991
Universidade Estadual Campinas, Brazil M.Sc. in Ecology 1991-1992
Cambridge University - UK PhD. Biological Sciences 1992-1996

Professional Experience

University of Cambridge Post doctorate 1997
São Paulo State University (UNESP) Post doctorate 1997-1998
São Paulo State University (UNESP) Professor 1998-2019
Estación Biologica de Doñana, Spain Visiting Researcher 2008
Stanford University, USA  Tinker Professor 2007-2009
Aarhus University, Denmark Professor 2016
University of Miami Associate Professor 2020
University of Miami Director J. Gifford Arboretum 2020

Main Publications

  1. Galetti, M. et al. 2013. Functional Extinction of Birds Drives Rapid Evolutionary Changes in Seed Size. Science 340: 1086-1090. [Chosen by Faculty 1000]
  2. Dirzo, R., Young, H.S., Galetti, M., Ceballos, G., Isaac, N.J.B., Collen, B., 2014. Defaunation in the Anthropocene. Science 345, 401-406.
  3. Hansen, D. M. and Galetti, M. The forgotten megafauna. Science 324: 42-43.
  4. Schmitz, O., C. C. Wilmers, S. J. Leroux, C. E. Doughty, T. B. Atwood, M. Galetti, A. B. Davies, and S. J. Goetz. 2018. Animals and the zoogeochemistry of the carbon cycle. Science 362 (6419), eaar3213
  5. Johnson, C. N., A. Balmford, B. W. Brook, J. C. Buettel, M. Galetti, L. Guangchun, and J. M. Wilmshurst. 2017. Biodiversity losses and conservation responses in the Anthropocene. Science 356:270-275.
  6. Bello, C., Galetti, M., Pizo, M.A., Magnago, L.F.S., Rocha, M.F., Lima, R.A.F., Peres, C.A., Ovaskainen, O., Jordano, P., 2015. Defaunation affects carbon storage in tropical forests. Science Advances 1, e1501105. [Chosen by Faculty 1000]
  7. Donatti, C. I.; Guimarães, P. R.; Galetti, M; Pizo, M.A. ; Marquitti, F. M. D. ; Dirzo, R.. 2011. Analysis of a hyper-diverse seed dispersal network: modularity and underlying mechanisms. Ecology Letters 14: 773-781.


cynthia-silveiraDr. Cynthia Silveira

Cynthia Silveira’s laboratory studies the ecology of bacteriophages (phages), viruses that infect bacteria. Phages are the most abundant and diverse biological entities on the planet. Their interactions with bacteria modulate ecosystem dynamics, which range from organic carbon cycling in the ocean to interactions between bacteria and animals. Research in the Silveira lab aims to understand the molecular drivers and ecosystem outcomes of lysogenic phage infections. This mode of phage replication can lead to the rise of commensal and pathogenic interactions between bacteria and animal hosts, from corals to humans.

The Silveira Lab is recruiting students with interest in microbial ecology to develop projects applying molecular biology and bioinformatics tools to investigate symbiotic interactions between phage, bacteria, and animals.

Silveira's Citations


2015 Ph.D. in Genetics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2011 M.Sc. in Biological Chemistry, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2009 B.S. in Marine Biology, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil. Supervisor Ricardo Vieira

Professional Experience

2018–current Adjunct Research Professor, San Diego State University, CA
2016 –2017 Postdoctoral Researcher, San Diego State University, CA
2015 –2016 CNPq Postdoctoral Fellow at San Diego State University, CA
2012 –2014 Lecturer, Fluminense Federal University, RJ, Brazil