In a field as broad as ecology defining your area(s) of expertise or specialization can be challenging. My early career goal is to conduct important basic and applied research as well as engage multiple stakeholders from the non-academic community in science activities. To do so I have been developing skills in population and landscape ecology, particularly demographic models and species distributions, as well as in science communication. Currently, my main research focus is to understand the effects of man-made environmental disturbances on population dynamics and distribution of native species in the tropics. Specifically, I have been studying how proximity to roads influences the demography and expansion of populations of native insect pests and ecosystem engineers (Atta leaf-cutter ants) across the Brazilian Cerrado savannas to find alternative ways for their sustainable management in these endangered landscapes. I am also interested in plant demography and experimental tests of questions related to above and belowground plant-herbivore interactions, as well as in the repercussions of payment for ecosystem services schemes for low-carbon ecosystems. Importantly, I am always open to learn new topics, techniques and tools that would contribute to more collaborative experiences with other researchers and the non-academic public, and thereby expand my goals as an ecologist.