Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria

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Research Interest

During some years ago, I have been working in Andean and Amazon forests from Colombia and the high forest evergreens from Mexico. My researchers have focused towards: conservation ecology of neotropical mammals, seed fate dispersed by primate species, secondary dispersal by dung beetles, the estimation of the fruit production using phenological transects and the quantify of the natural regeneration processes in degraded environments (seed rain and seedlings recruitment). Currently, part of my research is aimed at developing strategic scenarios to reconcile “environment and productivity”. I am interested in ecological research and assessment of various aspects of native flora and fauna associated with agroforestry systems (functions and ecosystem services). I particularly interested in determining, what are the most appropriate mechanisms for a balanced reconciliation of biodiversity conservation, food security and long-term management of natural resources.


Degree Institution Year
Ph.D of Philosophy in Biological Sciences with emphasis in Conservation Ecology National Autonomous University of Mexico 2014
M.Sc. in Biological Sciences Los Andes University 2010
B.Sc. in Biology Universidad Industrial de Santander 2005


I participated in environmental education programs and their objectives have been the divulgation and teaching of animal protection measures (hunting pressure and deforestation) in the Colombian and Mexican rural communities. These experiences have allowed me to acquire skills in the accurate and precise data collection, direction and management of investigation projects, education and environmental awareness, use of field equipment and experimental design and animal behavior.

Latest Publications

  • SANTOS-HEREDIA, C., ANDRESEN, E., DEL VAL, EK., ZÁRATE, D. A., NAVA MENDOZA, M. & JARAMILLO, V. J. 2016. The activity of dung beetles increases foliar nutrient concentration in tropical seedlings. Biotropica 48:565-567.
  • STEVENSON, P. R. ZÁRATE, D. A., RAMÍREZ, M. A. & HENAO-DIAZ, F. 2015. Social interactions and proximal spacing in woolly monkeys: lonely females looking for male friends?. Pp 45-71, En: Furuichi, T., Yamagiwa, J. & Aureli, F. (eds.), Dispersing Primate Females. Springer, Tokyo.
  • ZÁRATE, D. A., ANDRESEN, E., ESTRADA, A. & SERIO-SILVA, J. C. 2014. Black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) activity, foraging and seed dispersal patterns in shaded cocoa plantations versus rainforest in southern Mexico. American Journal of Primatology 76:890-899.
  • ZÁRATE, D. A. AND STEVENSON, P. R. 2014. Behavioral ecology and inter-individual distance of woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagothricha) in a rainforest fragment in Colombia In: Defler T, Stevenson P. R. (Eds.), The Woolly Monkey: Behavior, Ecology, Conservation, Systematics. Springer, New York. Pp 456.
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