- Center Director
Dr. Thomas E. Lacher, Jr., is Director of the Center for Coffee Research and Education and a Full Professor in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. He has held positions at the University of Brasilia, Brazil, Western Washington University, and Clemson University, where he was the executive director of the research consortium of the Archbold Tropical Research Center and co-director of a major coffee and agriculture sustainable development project in the buffer zone of the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve. From 2002 to 2007 he was at Conservation International, where he was Senior Vice-President and Executive Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, leading projects focused on conservation and sustainable development through the globe. At Texas A&M University, he was Professor and Caesar Kleberg Chair in Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences (1996 – 2002) and was also Department head from 2007 – 2011. Dr. Lacher has been working in the Neotropics for over 40 years, with field research experience in Dominica, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, Peru, and Brazil. He has served on numerous review panels for NSF and EPA and the Area Advisory Committee for Latin America for the Fulbright Commission. He has been major advisor of 20 MS and 18 Ph.D. students and several postdoctoral fellows. Some recent graduate student projects include Colombia (coffee and biodiversity), Costa Rica (land-use patterns and forest fragmentation), and Peru (communities, livestock, and protected areas). He is an Associate Conservation Scientist at Global Wildlife Conservation and is a member of the IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group, Co-Chiar of the IUCN Small Mammal Specialist Group, and serves on the IUCN Red List Committee.