Texas Tech University

Juan Garcia-Cancel

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I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico but was raised in the small city of Caguas. I completed my bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez in 2010. During this period, I was able to participate in UPR-Rio Piedras Summer REU in the El Yunque National Forest working with riparian orchids in the Luquillo Experimental Forest under the mentorship of Dr. Elvia Meléndez-Ackerman. I defended my master's thesis in December 2013, at the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez. My thesis title was the effect of native and non-native grasses on the native woody species community in the Guánica Tropical Dry Forest, Puerto Rico. After my masters I worked in several projects and organizations such as the NGO Island Conservation, Clemson University and USDA-APHIS as a biological field technician. I currently have a few projects going in the southwest of Puerto Rico with colleagues in the island dealing with tree reintroduction to degraded ecosystems. In my PhD I look forward to expand in restoration ecology, invasive plants and the effects of both on the target ecosystem. My interests include camping, hiking, writing and reading.