Computational Science Research in Latin America


July 12, 2010



Carlos A. Joly, Ricardo Vencio, and Celso Von Randow

After graduating in Biological Sciences at the University of São Paulo in 1976, Carlos A. Joly did his MSc in Plant Biology at the State University of Campinas/UNICAMP (1977/79) with Prof. Gil Martins Fellipe; his PhD at the Botany Department, Univ. St. Andrews/Scotland (1979/82) with Prof. Robert M. M. Crawford; and a Post-Doc at Bern University, Switzerland (1993/94) with Prof. Roland Brändle. In 1997, he became full professor of Plant Ecology at UNICAMP.

He has published more than 60 papers and/or book chapters and supervised 21 MSc and 10 PhD candidates. His intellectual production includes editing 10 books, with prominence for the series Biodiversity of the State of São Paulo: knowledge synthesis at the end of the XX century (1998/99), the Atlas of the remnants of native vegetation of São Paulo State (2005), and Guidelines for biodiversity conservation and restoration in São Paulo State (2008). This last book was adopted by the State Secretaries of Environment, of Agriculture, and of Justice of the State of São Paulo to establish and improve the state’s legal framework for biodiversity conservation and restoration.

As main mentor of the BIOTA/FAPESP Program, he was in charge of planning, setting, and implementing it from 1996 to 2004, being recently reappointed as chairman of the program. Within BIOTA/FAPESP, he is also the editor in chief of the electronic peer reviewed scientific journal BIOTA NEOTROPICA and coordinator of the Thematic Project Biota Functional Gradient.

In his academic career, he was member of the Botany/Ecology/Zoology Committee of CNPq (1987–90 and 1998–00) and the Biological Sciences Committee of FAPESP (1992–96). Today, he is the coordinator of the Brazilian Committee of the Latin American Network of Biological Sciences/RELAB, and member of the Executive Committee of SCOPE and of the Scientific Planning Group of ICSU-LAC.

Carlos A. Joly works to improve and/or establish better policies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. In this area, his main activities include: a) advisor of the Brazilian Congress, focusing on the Environmental Chapter of the Brazilian Constitution (1987–88); b) member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Land/Inland waters ecotone UNESCO/MAB Program (1989–94); c) member of the Brazilian Committee of the MAB/UNESCO Program (1989–94); d) representative of UNICAMP in the State of São Paulo Environmental Council/CONSEMA (1990–94) and in the UN meeting in Rio (UNCED 92). In 1995, he was appointed advisor of the State of São Paulo Secretary of Environment; coordinator of the Division of Technical Information, Documentation, and Research/CINP; and chairman of the State Program for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use/PROBIO-SP. In 2002, he was a member of the Brazilian Delegation in the Rio+10 UN meeting in Johannesburg. His contribution to biodiversity conservation, restoration, and sustainable use has been recognized by the following awards: Henry Ford Conservation Prize, CI & Ford (1999 & 2009), Scientific Merit Medal, Brazilian Government (2002), von Martius Environmental Prize, Germany/Brazil Chamber (2005), and Distinguished Scientist, Brazilian Research Council (2007). In 2009, he was appointed Fellow of the Brazilian Academy of Science.

Currently, he is the head of the Plant Biology Department (IB/UNICAMP) and member of the steering committee of the PhD Program in Environment and Society (IFCH & NEPAM/UNICAMP).

Professor Ricardo Vencio, physicist, coordinates the LabPIB laboratory in Brazil where they conduct research on subjects such as cancer, malaria, bio-rubber, and bio-fuels. After earning his PhD in Bioinformatics at USP, he spent two years in Seattle as a post-doc at the Institute for Systems Biology and returned to Brazil as Tenured Assistant Professor at University of São Paulo’s Medical School at Ribeirao Preto (FMRP-USP). His experience in Bioinformatics and Computational Systems Biology is documented by his publication records involving subjects ranging from gene expression (microarrays and sequencing) to Bayesian methods in Bioformatics. Last, but not least, he devotes his time to teaching and training students in Biomedical Informatics at FMRP.