Dr. Miguel Fernandez is originally from Bolivia. He has a master’s degree in Geography & Natural Resource Management from SFSU and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from University of California. He is a former WWF Russell E. Train fellow and currently has a DFG postdoctoral fellowship at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig, Germany.
First as part of the Smithsonian NMNH and then as part of the California Academy of Sciences, he focused on the application of museum collection data in nontraditional pursuits. He has published scientific articles, book chapters and technical reports on retrospectively georeferencing specimens, ecological niche modeling, spatiotemporal uncertainty in current interpolated climate data, future climate model downscaling, remote sensing, and biodiversity monitoring that address questions related to global change impacts to species, ecosystems and human well-being.
He is currently the lead developer for the Essential Biodiversity Variables at the Group on Earth Observations-Biodiversity Observation Network Secretariat (GEO BON), also lead author of the IPBES Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment and active member of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management.
His most recent efforts involve the creation of Global Ecosystem Restoration Index using the full NASA-MODIS archive that can be applied to track progress towards Aichi Target 15 and SDG target 15.3 on land degradation.