Earthwatch Scientist: Dr. Thomas Lacher
Dr. Thomas Lacher

Dr. Thomas Lacher

Professor, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Department, Texas A&M University

Scientific Research

Dr. Lacher has researched the natural world of the tropics for decades.

Why Costa Rica?

“I have been working in the tropics since 1976, and in Costa Rica since 1990. In fact, I have been to Costa Rica 23 times in that period. Costa Rica has an excellent reputation in tropical ecology and conservation, but even the large amount of protected area in the country is not sufficient for long-term conservation. Thus, there is a need to engage the rural community and encourage them to consider conservation-friendly practices in these private land corridors if the biodiversity of the country is to be preserved.”

Great Moment in the Field:

“During the 90’s I was working on a sustainable development project in the buffer zone of the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve, a binational protected area in Costa Rica and Panama. We were involved in a number of technical restoration and sustainable agriculture projects, but also were developing social and educational programs. On one visit we were given a presentation by a 11-year-old member of the Future Leaders Group we had helped to establish. Her name was Yuri Bourbón Quirós, and she presented on the importance of our project in a way that captured the value of all of our technical research through the vision of someone who would live to benefit from our work. It was truly inspirational, something I will never forget.”


  • Ph.D. in Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh (U.S.)
  • B.S. in Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh


  • Dominica
  • Panama
  • Guyana
  • Suriname
  • Peru
  • Brazil
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