Dr. Juliana Machado Ferreira founded and serves as Executive Director of FREELAND Brasil, whose mission is to conserve biodiversity by ending wildlife trafficking.  She designs and implements projects with three major focuses: reducing demand for wild pets and wildlife parts and products through educational efforts and awareness actions; supporting law enforcement against wildlife trafficking, international articulation and facilitation for the development of a regional wildlife enforcement network; and developing scientific research to produce tools for law enforcement use. Ferreira’s ultimate goal is to establish an independent wildlife forensics laboratory in Brazil that will develop dedicated research and perform high quality forensic analyses on wildlife crime evidence for all South American countries. Ferreira is a TED Senior Fellow and received her Ph.D. in Conservation Genetics from Sao Paulo University. 

Year of Birth: 1980

Hometown: Sao Paolo, Brazil

Education: BSc Biological Sciences, MSc and PhD Biology (Genetics)

Occupation: Executive Director of Freeland Brasil

Expeditions: Field work for sample collection of wild birds in the Caatinga, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes. Counter wildlife trafficking on the ground work with SOS Fauna during police raids.

Favorite Place to Be: The beaches of Ubatuba, São Paulo, with my husband and daughter. And traveling with my husband.

Best Discoveries: One Brazilian wild bird species that seemed to be panmictic actually displayed different genetic populations, while the other that I studied that had all signs of not being panmictic actually had data compatible with panmixia, relevant data for release efforts. 

Favorite Items in the Field: A machete in case I run into some men who think a woman should not be in the field and a GPS.

Personal Heroes: People who dedicate their lives for a greater good, José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva, and the masters that allowed me to follow the path I loved: João Stenghel Morgante, Marcelo Pavlenco Rocha, Ken Goddard, Mary Curtis and Ed Espinoza.

Hobbies: Outdoor activities, working out, practicing yoga, watching movies, reading, having nice quiet dinners with friends and family.

Website: www.freeland.org

Advice: Hearing a lot of "nos" may mean that you need to revise your projects and goals. However, be aware that most times it will mean that you are absolutely right and you are disturbing the right people! The world and cultures only evolved thanks to people who did not accept the status quo and who did not have the approval of others to go after their dreams.


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Header photo by Claire Thibault on Pexels.com and used with Creative Commons license.