Jessica Castro Prieto, PhD
Caribbean Wildlife Specialist
Jessica is based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She supports projects identified as conservation priorities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to advance existing work and further develop landscape conservation partnerships and initiatives that support National Wildlife Refuges, Threatened and Endangered Species, and At-Risk/Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Jessica was born in Colonia, Uruguay, but she has been living in Puerto Rico for several years. She has a Master’s degree in Ecology and a PhD in Environmental Sciences in the University of Puerto Rico. For her PhD research she quantified pressure from residential development and human population around protected areas in Puerto Rico. Her research interests include strategies for biodiversity conservation, and conservation planning. She is involved in relevant projects in Puerto Rico such as the long-term monitoring of sea turtles on the island and in the development and maintenance of the spatial inventory of Puerto Rico’s protected areas. Besides her work with the Refuge Association, Jessica has a part-time contract with the International Institute of Tropical Forestry, U.S. Forest Service, where she is working in the development of the first Breeding Bird Atlas for Puerto Rico, and the description of Provisional Ecological Sites. Jessica enjoys spending time with her two daughters and her husband in the outdoors and visiting her parent’s farm in Uruguay.