Dr. Judit Ungvári is the Research and Innovation Officer at George Mason University’s Institute for a Sustainable Earth (ISE) and at the US Global Hub of Future Earth. In this joint position, Dr. Ungvári works to create transdisciplinary research communities for ISE, supports Future Earth’s Global Research Projects and Knowledge Action Networks, and develops initiatives that connect ISE faculty, students, and programs with Future Earth events, initiatives, products, and structures. She came to Mason after two 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.
Dr. Ungvári 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. She is on the board of editors of the journal Neotropical Naturalist.
Dr. Ungvári 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.