Co-Lead, Research & Innovation
Judit Ungvari is the co-lead of the Future Earth Research and Innovation portfolio and the Research and Innovation Officer at George Mason University’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth. She came to Future Earth and Mason after 2 years at the National Science Foundation where she was a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. She was working in the Geosciences directorate on various international and integrative activities facilitating transdisciplinary global change research. Her work encompassed various programs within the Belmont Forum, Future Earth, and the Sustainability Research and Innovation initiatives. Judit is an ecologist by training, with expertise in avian biology in tropical habitats. She studied birds in the Peruvian Amazon region combining both laboratory- and field-based research and received her Ph.D. in Zoology with a certificate and concentration in Tropical Conservation and Development at the University of Florida. Her work on Amazonian forest bird communities related to the ecological mechanisms of habitat specialization, movement and dispersal between patchy habitats, combining metapopulation theory, landscape ecology, and population genetics. She also worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, addressing avian conservation issues in coffee agroecosystems in Colombia. Judit is involved in local capacity building and community outreach both in the USA and Latin America and has mentored dozens of students to complete independent research projects in Peru, Colombia and Florida. Her interests include sustainability science, science diplomacy, supporting open research efforts, and communicating science to the public.