The Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Visiting Fellowship in Conservation Biology at Harvard University

2016-2017 Hrdy Visiting Fellow, Onja Razafindratsima, Ph.D.

Onja Razafindratsima

Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary BIology, Rice University, Texas
MSc., Animal Biology, Ecology and Conservation, Université d' Antananarivo, Madagascar

Onja RazafindratsimaOnja Razafindratsima is an ecologist and conservation biologist with research focus on species interactions in biodiverse tropical forest ecosystems and in relation to anthropogenic activities. Her research interests span a wide range of tropics in ecology, evolution and conservation biology, including studies of impacts of habitat disturbance on species interactions and population dynamics, primate ecology, impacts of species extinctions, seed dispersal, phylogenetic patterns of trait distributions and community assembly.

Dr. Razafindratsima uses an integrative approach combining ecological, evolutionary and seasonal parameters to address her research questions, and employ several tools, including field observations and surveys, experiments, modeling, trait-based approach and phylogenetic analyses. Her research objectives are motivated by the goal of understanding the ecology of terrestrial systems with implications to target conservation actions in tropical forests.

Onja Razafindratsima 2016_06_torotorofotsyWhile a Hrdy Fellow, Dr Razafindratsima will focus on developing an integrated phylogenetic and trait-based framework to guide large-scale multi-taxonomic conservation priorities in biodiversity hotspots, with a focus on Madagascar’s forest ecosystems. She will also teach a junior seminar course on conservation of wildlife species and critical habitats.

Dr. Razafindratsima sits on editorial boards, steering committees and evaluation panels of scientific journals, societies and associations involved in scientific research in Madagascar, USA and Europe. She has been leading or advising fieldwork project for 10 years on tropical ecology in Madagascar’s rainforests. She has received prestigious awards, such as the Faculty For The Future award by Schlumberger Foundation and the Mosher Baldwin Memorial Fellowship from The Leakey Foundation; and has also secured funding to support her research projects in Madagascar from various grant agencies.  

Onja Razafindratsima 2016_07_maromizahaDr. Razafindratsima is active in research outreach to the general public, for example she has given seminar talks to high school and university students and for student groups visiting her research site, presented hands-on science workshops for 5th-8th grade girls at the annual Sally Ride Science Festival at Rice University. She was invited to present talks to several national and international symposia. Her research has appeared in top journals such as Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Ecography and Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Her work has been covered by Rice University News and reported in several websites including Ecological Society of America blog, Science Daily and Futurity; she has also been interviewed for Madagascar’s national and local newspapers and TV stations.  

About the Award

The Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Fellowship in Conservation Biology serves to support the study of conservation biology within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University. The fellowship is awarded to an individual who will engage in scientific study and work in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. The fellowship commences with an annual lecture in conservation biology by the distinguished individual chosen for the fellowship from outside Harvard University. It is the hope of the benefactors that this fellowship will have a strong and transformative effect on the study of conservation biology at Harvard, from the undergraduate to the senior teaching level.

Past Recipients

Francesca Cagnacci, 2015-2016
Joe Roman, 2014-2015
Helen James, 2011-2012
Per Palsbøll, 2010-2011
H. Bradley Shaffer, 2009-2010
Navjot Sodhi, 2008-2009
David Roberts, 2007-2008
Tamas Szekeley, 2006-2007
Amy Dunham, 2005-2006
Claus Wedekind, 2004-2005
Richard Frankham, 2003-2004
Andrew Torrance, 2002-2003
Zoe Cardon, 2002-2003
Manuel Lerdau, 2001-2002
Callum Roberts, 2000-2001
Matthew Hare, 1999-2000