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Luciano Nicolas Naka

Professor of Zoology, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil and Visiting Scholar, Harvard University

Born in Argentina, I spent most of my teen years chasing birds from the Pampas to Patagonia, and from the Andes to the cloud forests of South America. In 1994, I moved to southern Brazil to obtain a Bachelor in Biological Sciences from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. A few years later I moved to Manaus, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, to obtain a Masters’ degree in Tropical Ecology at the Brazilian Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA). In 2010, I obtained my PhD from the Museum of Natural Science at the Louisina State University, working on Amazonian avian comparative phylogeography. I am currently a full-time Professor and Curator of the Ornithological Collection at the Federal University of Pernambuco, in northeastern Brazil. My research investigates different aspects of avian biology, from ecology and conservation to bioacoustics and biogeography. I am particularly interested in the evolutionary biology of the Neotropical avifauna, collecting phenotypic and genotypic data to understand the processes behind current avian distribution patterns. I am currently working to unveil the origins of the endemic avifauna of the Caatinga Dry Forest, and to understand the historical relationship of this avifauna and that of other Neotropical Dry Forests.


  • –present
    Professor of Zoology, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil, Louisiana State University


  • 2010 
    Louisiana state University, Systematics, Ecology, and Evolution