Virginia Tech® home

Willandia Chaves

Assistant Professor
Photograph of Willandia Chaves, Assistant Professor
106 Cheatham Hall

B.S., Universidade Federal do Acre, Brazil (2001)
M.S., University of Florida (2009)
Ph.D., University of Florida (2016)


Willandia Chaves is a conservation scientist working with the human dimensions of fish and wildlife conservation, using tools and methods from different fields, including Conservation Psychology, Economics, Human Geography, Wildlife Management, and Environmental Education. Her research aims to understand how people make decisions about their use of natural resources and, in turn, use this understanding to foster more sustainable behaviors and influence policy. Some research topics she is interested in include wildlife trade, how urbanization affects people and biodiversity, addressing questions like “What levels of access and connection to nature do urban residents have, especially minority groups?” and “What are the levels of demand for wildlife and other natural resources in urban areas?” and cutting-edge approaches to collecting sensitive information of natural resource use (e.g. illegal wildlife trade).

  • Investigating the effects of urbanization and rural to urban migration on wildlife trade in urban areas of the Brazilian Amazon
  • The role of rural-urban mobility and transportation networks in participation in the illegal trade of fish and wildlife in the Brazilian Amazon
  • Understanding access to nature-related activities by minorities across urban gradients
  • Chaves, W. A., Valle, D. R., Santos, A. T., Morcatty, T. Q.; Wilcove, D. Impacts of rural to urban migration, urbanization, and generational change on the consumption of wild animals in the Amazon. In press, Conservation Biology.
  • Plate, R. R., Monroe, M. C., Friedrichsen, C., Bowers, A. W., and Chaves, W. A. 2020. Recommendations for early phases of engaging communities in climate change adaptation. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 8 (2), 136-164.
  • Chaves, W. A., Monroe, M. C., Sieving, K. E. 2019Wild meat consumption and trade in the central Amazon, Brazil. Human Ecology. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-019-00107-6.
  • Chaves, W. A., Valle, D. R., Monroe, M. C., Wilkie, D. S., Sieving, K. E. and Sadowsky, B. 2018. Changing wild meat consumption: an experiment in the central Amazon, Brazil. Conservation Letters11, e12391. doi:10.1111/conl.12391.
  • Chaves, W. A., Silva, F. P. C., Constantino, P. A. L., Brazil, M. V. S., Drumond, P. M. 2018. A caça e a conservação da fauna silvestre no estado do Acre (Hunting and wildlife conservation in Acre state). Biodiversidade Brasileira, 8(2), 130-148.
  • Chaves W.A., Wilkie D.S., Monroe M.C., Sieving K.E. 2017. Market access and wild meat consumption in the central Amazon, Brazil. Biological Conservation.212, Part A, 240-248.
  • Monroe, M. C., Plate, R. R., Oxarart, A., Bowers, A., Chaves, W. A. 2017. Identifying effective climate change education strategies: a systematic review of the research. Environmental Education Research.1-22.