2016-2017 Global Change Fellow
Where are they now?
Wilmer has been named the next Rector (President) of the National Agricultural University of Honduras. Formerly, Wilmer worked as a Natural Resources and Hydrology Professor and University Director of Research and Graduate Studies at the Universidad Nacional de Agricultura, Honduras.
Statement of purpose:
Climate change is an unequivocal threat that poses unprecedented risks to human and natural systems. The 2015 United Nations Resolution, “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, the historic Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the recent World Economic Forum declaration on climate change all call for urgent global and local actions to address. Since the carbon cycle remains a major source of uncertainty in climate projections, and the hydrological cycle is expected to be highly altered by climate change, understanding this tightly coupled cycles has emerged as a science priority. Particularly, it is fundamental to understand how carbon and water cycling interact in terrestrial ecosystems, how they couple to human systems, and what the potential implications in the context of global change are. Such scientific challenge requires not only capacity building by individuals and institutions, but also knowledge sharing and collaborative learning across disciplines, countries, and regions as well as professional networking. This why the SECSC Global Change Fellowship represents a unique opportunity that will definitely shape my future professional career.
Description of research:
One component of my dissertation addresses the influence of terrain-driven changes in water and energy on the climate sensitivity of terrestrial ecosystem carbon fluxes to changes in temperature and precipitation across the conterminous U.S. My results will help to improve global climate projections by improving our understanding of coupled water-carbon fluxes variation in terrestrial ecosystems. This research aligns with SECSC Science Theme 1: Climate and Other Appropriate Projections (task 4). A second research in my dissertation is being carried out in Honduras and addresses the water balance and water quality relationships. These results are placed in the context of coupled human-water dynamics (e.g. land use change) in the region of Mesoamerica and discuss implications for future water resources availability and ecosystem productivity in a context of climate change. This work aligns with Science Theme 2: Land-Use and Land-Cover Change Projections (task 2). Furthermore, my research in Honduras takes place in the Patuca River watershed, which is the largest contributor of sediments to the Mesoamerican Reef, a unique and globally significant part of the Caribbean Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Findings from my research have implications for the Integrated Coastal and Terrestrial Assessment research components, which make art of the Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP) lead by the SECSC.
See a video developed by Wilmer describing his research as a Global Change Fellow:
Wilmer Reyes, PhD student in Forestry and Environmental Resources, Climate Change and the Role of Hydrology Research