Jessica Castellanos-Labarcena

Climate Risk and Adaptation Specialist

Key skills: Geospatial data analysis in R, statistical modelling, data visualization, biodiversity assessments

Captivated by our planet's abundant biodiversity since childhood, Jessica is passionate about conservation efforts, scientific excellence, and community engagement.

With a background in biology and a high level of proficiency in geospatial data analysis and statistical modelling, Jessica is skilled at applying these skills to biodiversity and climate change analyses. She is proficient in conducting comprehensive biodiversity analyses using large datasets, including genomic data, land cover, species abundance, and climatic variables. Her programming skills and knowledge of molecular biology and evolutionary biology further enhance her versatility in various fields of study.

Jessica holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Havana, Cuba, and she is completing a PhD in Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, Ontario. During her B.Sc she conducted research on the use of molecular tools for the conservation of Cuban crocodiles. For her PhD project, Jessica is investigating diversity distribution patterns in insects at different geographical scales, targeting ecosystems facing multiple pressures, like agricultural systems. As a graduate student and Arrell Food Institute scholar, she has developed leadership and communication skills, has received knowledge mobilization training and has been actively involved in teaching.

She has worked with government agencies (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and non-governmental organizations (FACT Network) to undertake advanced spatial modelling using large datasets, including land cover, climatic variables, species richness, and species range.

Outside of work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, biking, swimming, and attending concerts and art shows.

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