Luiza Lucena is a forester, storyteller, and forest projects manager. Born and raised in Pernambuco, Brazil, Luiza is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Natural Resource Science and Management at the University of Minnesota. Luiza has a degree in Forestry from the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE), where she received seven awards for being intensely involved in research, extension, and leadership roles. Serving as General Project Leader and Founder of the Forest Practices Group (GPRFlor), she developed a platform for tracking forest products, connecting consumers and producers.
Her main research interest focuses on market-based conservation, emphasizing the commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). She is researching attractive NTFP attributes for the US market and improving sustainable value chains in a Rainforest Alliance-funded project in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve.
Besides being involved with research, Luiza has produced all visual content of projects, such as photographs, visual identity, project manuscripts, and marketing and dissemination of these materials. She is enthusiastic about the connection between people and forests.
Luiza works as a Teaching and Researcher Assistant at the Center for Integrated Natural and Agricultural Resource Management at the University of Minnesota and as a project manager at Somos Tekoporã.