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The permanent presence of Las Nubes in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor and its ongoing relationship with local and regional communities and stakeholders give us a privileged position to carry out long-term research.

Las Nubes supports student research through research grants and promotes Faculty research projects in collaboration with partners outside York University. Research emphasis has been interdisciplinary and often action-oriented, including on establishing the current status of the biological populations in the area, as well as promoting sustainable land management practices, exploring options of rural community tourism, arts-based research on social-environmental relations, and corroborating links between different land uses and biodiversity richness, such as the important link between a multilayered and diversified shade coffee canopy and avian migratory habitat, among others.

Current Projects

Grounded Project

Grounded is a series of short documentaries filmed in rural Costa Rica around issues of rural environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation, health, and human well-being, with the idea of revealing structural elements that constrain the pursuit of social and ecological wellbeing, as well as the opportunities that these grounded experiences offer for the construction of alternative ways of living.

Emancipatory Autonomies

The objective of this project is to review and assess multi-level emancipatory autonomies in Central America and the obstacles and challenges to their exercise through the exchange of information about the different dimensions or manifestations of self-determination in national contexts. The project will also provide an innovative forum that will both enable the sharing of information on local responses and engagements with the Inter American Commission of Human Rights’ thematic report on self-determination in the Americas, as well as supporting its dissemination within the participating Indigenous and Afro-descendant organizations.

Transdisciplinarity in Rural Wellbeing

This new project is a collaboration between the Las Nubes Project in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change and the York University Libraries at York University in Canada with the Brandenburg University of Technology in Germany, that connects interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in the context of human and non-human wellbeing in rural environments.

Photo credit: Brett Cole

Mammal Monitoring Project

This project continues to generate valuable information about biodiversity in the region, including the confirmation of at least 13 species of mammals, including armadillos, wild boars, ant-eaters, white-collared peccaries, coyotes, ocelots, pumas (mountain lion), and the endangered river otter among others in the biological corridor. This project has already provided evidence of the presence of endangered species in the corridor, key information that continues to confirm the vital importance that the corridor and its ecological connectivity have for species conservation.

With the SINAC, MINAE & Tropical Science Centre, we currently have 8 cameras in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor.

Photo credit: Brett Cole

Ecology of Plant-Hummingbird Interactions

Led by Catherine Graham of the Swiss Federal Research Institute with the support of the European Research Council, and in Costa Rica by María Alejandra Maglianesi of the State Distance University (UNED), this project seeks to determine how the interactions between plants and hummingbirds vary at different elevations. The project area extends from 700 m to 3,000 m a.s.l. in the Talamanca Range. Within this gradient in the south-central area of ​​the country, there are four altitude bands with three sites in each one, for a total of 12 sites distributed from Cerro de la Muerte to Pérez Zeledón. The Las Nubes Biological Reserve is one of the study sites. To collect the project data, the visits that the hummingbirds make to the plants are observed, the flowers they feed on are counted, and the hummingbird species are noted. These data are collected along a 1.5 km transect at each study site and interactions are recorded using time-lapse cameras. Read the latest report

Photo Credit: Andres Jimenez Monge

Amphibians and Reptiles Project

This project emerged in 2016 after a fortuitous encounter during a walk with students of the Las Nubes field course with a considered 'extinct' species (Atelopus various) and as an attempt to identify and locate the so-called ‘lost amphibians’ or those species that have disappeared from the scientific radar for a significant amount of time (sometimes decades). Since then, several endemic and endangered species of amphibians and reptiles have been spotted by local communities in Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor. The development of this citizen science project can help track endangered species populations whilst creating new meanings within the community in order to support the conservation. We invite you to participate in ARCA, sharing your photographs (On our Facebook page)

Species Database




The Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation supports a wide range of research projects which focus on issues such as tropical deforestation, sustainable development, and biodiversity conservation.

Resúmenes de los trabajos de investigación están disponibles en español. Undergraduate Research Papers are also available at

All Publications/Todas las Publicaciones

Opportunities & Funding


Potential research and applied projects that could be taken up by FES or York graduate students in association with the Las Nubes Project include but are not limited to the following:

  • Agroecology, sustainable farming, certifications, and community food systems
  • Species inventories and monitoring: plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, fish, fungi, etc.
  • Environmental Education and Community Arts Practices
  • Environmental conservation methods, ecological connectivity, reforestation, wetlands and other ecosystem restoration
  • EcoHealth, Community livelihoods and well-being
  • Peasant identities, rootedness, traditional knowledge
  • Community Management of the Biological Corridor Commons
  • Sustainable Energy Systems and Community Waste management systems
  • River and community water systems
  • Applied Ecological Economics

Learn about Awards for Graduate Research in Neotropical Conservation

Get in Touch

Thank you for your interest in the Las Nubes Project!

For information concerning the Las Nubes Project or the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation, please contact us at

Las Nubes EcoCampus

Santa Elena, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica