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Dr América Paz-Durán

Dr América  Paz-Durán

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
Office Phone: 01223 (7)65398


  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge (September 2015 – present)
  • Associate Research Fellow, Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter (January 2015 – July 2015)
  • PhD, Department of Biosciences, University of Exeter (2010 - 2014)
  • Bsc (Hons) Environmental Biology, Universidad de Chile (2004 - 2009)

Research Interests

I am an environmental biologist broadly interested in understanding what and how socio-ecological factors affect biodiversity and ecosystem services. More specifically, how can we conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem services in the face of the growing demand for resources from the environment. My previous research has focused on the spatial component of these issues, involving the quantification, mapping and modelling of biodiversity, ecosystem services and human activities over large spatial scales.

I have particular interest in participating in projects aiming to provide scientific information to decision and policy makers.

I am a member of the UNEP-WCMC based at the Zoology department working on a Luc Hoffmann Institute (LHI) funded project. This 2-years research fellowship aims to explore: 1) how the distribution of multiple anthropogenic pressures affect biodiversity; 2) what are the drivers promoting such pressures; and 3) how these drivers link to supply-demand patterns.   

  • Protected area effectiveness
  • Land-use conflicts
  • Ecological intensification
  • Ecosystem services mapping
  • Systematic planning
  • Urban ecology

Collaborators outside this directory

Key Publications

  • Durán AP, Inger R, Cantú-Salazar L, Gaston KJ (2016) Species richness representation within protected areas is associated with multiple interacting spatial features. Divers. Distrib. 22, 300–308.
  • Duffy JP, Bennie J, Durán AP, Gaston KJ (2015) Mammalian ranges are experiencing erosion of natural darkness. Scientific reports. 5 (12042).
  • Durán AP, Duffy PJ, Gaston KJ (2014) Exclusion of agricultural lands in spatial conservation prioritization strategies: consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem service representation. Proc. R. Soc. B. 281(1792), 20141529.
  • Durán AP, Rauch, J, Gaston KJ (2013) Global spatial coincidence between protected areas and metal mining activities. Biol. Conserv. 160, 272-278.
  • Durán AP, Casalegno S, Marquet PA, Gaston KJ (2013) Representation of ecosystem services by terrestrial protected areas: Chile as a case study. PLoS One. 8(12): e82643.
  • Guerrero PC, Durán AP, Walter H (2011) Latitudinal and altitudinal patterns of the endemic cacti from the Atacama desert to Mediterranean Chile. J. Arid. Envir. 75:1-7.

Other Publications

  • Durán AP, Guerrero PC. (2008) Rally Dakar 2009 en Chile, ganancias y amenazas suculentas. Bol. Soc. Latin. Carib. Cact. Suc. 5(3)
  • Guerrero PC, Durán AP, Walter H. (2008) Patrones Biogeográficos de las cactáceas endémicas de Chile. Bol. Soc. Latin. Carib. Cact. Suc. 5(1)