Staff scientists represent several disciplines, including animal behavior, ecology, physiology, archaeology, paleoecology, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology. Archaeologists and paleoecologists study how interactions among animals, plants, humans, and tropical environments have changed through time. Animal behaviorists, ecologists, and physiologists investigate how these interactions influence the structure and dynamics of tropical ecosystems. Anthropologists work with contemporary peoples in order to understand how human society exploits, shapes, and conserves tropical biomes. Evolutionary biologists are concerned with the origins and maintenance of biological diversity, and the organization of ecosystems and animal societies. Conservation Biologists study the impact of human activities on ecological and evolutionary processes and provide recommendations for biodiversity conservation.
Dr. William T. Wcislo
Most STRI research encompasses several disciplines, with evolution being a recurrent theme. Synergisms among disciplines often yield unexpected discoveries.
Staff scientists maintain an outstanding level of productivity, including scientific publications in journals as well as textbooks used worldwide as a training tool for the next generation of tropical researchers. National Research Council guidelines were used to compare the productivity levels of staff scientists from STRI and professors from major research universities in October 2000. STRI biologists ranked third and fourth in terms of numbers of publications and citations in peer reviewed journals, respectively, relative to 129 university biology departments. STRI anthropologists ranked first on both counts, relative to 35 university anthropology departments.