US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
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Grizelle Gonzalez

Grizelle Gonzalez

Project Leader - Research Ecologist
International Institute of Tropical Forestry, Jardin Botanico Sur, 1201 Calle Ceiba
1201 Ceiba St.
San Juan
Puerto Rico
United States

Phone: 787-764-7800
Fax: 787-766-6302
Contact Grizelle Gonzalez

Current Research

Soil ecology, biology and biogeochemistry

Research Interests

Soils, decay, nutrient cycling, soil organisms

Past Research

Earthworm ecology, soil biology and biogeochemistry


  • Department of Environmental, Population and Organismic (EPO) Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder, Ph.D. Soil ecology and biology. Dissertation: Soil fauna, microbes and plant litter decomposition in tropical and subalpine forests. 1999
  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, M.Sc. Soil ecology. Thesis: Earthworm abundance and distribution pattern in two plant communities within a subtropical wet forest of Puerto Rico. 1996
  • Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, B.S. Biology 1993

Professional Experience

  • Project Leader, R&D unit, US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    2012 - Current
  • Associated Faculty, Univesity of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, Dept. of Environmental Sciences
    2010 - Current
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus, Department of Biology
    2004 - Current
  • Director, Sabana Field Research Station, US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    2003 - Current
  • Research Ecologist, USFS International Institute of Tropical Forestry
    2000 - Current
  • Research Associate, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
    1999 - 2000

Professional Organizations

  • National Inventory Monitoring and Assessment Steering Committee of USFS NFS, Member (2014 - Current)
    Washington DC
  • Special Working Group, Conservation Areas In PR, Member (2014 - Current)
    Special Working Group for Commonwealth Government of Puerto Rico for Strategic Augmentation of Conservation Areas in Puerto Rico
  • Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory, Co-Principal Investigator (2013 - Current)
    US NSF Award to Univ. of New Hampshire, EAR 1331841 ($5M) Luquillo CZO: The role of hot spots and hot moments in tropical landscape evolution and functioning of the critical zone (Sept 2013 to Aug 2018)
  • El Yunque National Forest Management Plan, Interdisciplinary Team, Science Advisor And Member (2012 - Current)
    Interdisciplinary Team of El Yunque National Forest Management Plan
  • Luquillo Long Term Ecological Research, Co-Principal Investigator (2010 - Current)
    US NSF Award to Univ. of Puerto Rico, DEB 1239764 ($1.96M), Understanding Change in the Ecosystems of Northeastern Puerto Rico (Jan 2014 to Dec 2015)
  • Albuquerque Service Center Operations Customer Service Board, Usfs National R&D Project Leader Representative (2012 - 2016)
  • International Scholarly Research Network-Soil Science, Editorial Board Member (2011 - 2011)

Awards & Recognition

  • Best 2014 Collective Exhibition in Puerto Rico by the International Association of Art Critics , 2015
    Poetic Science, a collaborative arts and science exhibit celebrating the 50th Anniv of the Wilderness Act and El Toro Wilderness in EYNF, was awarded AICA, based in Paris and affiliated to UNESCO.
  • US Forest Service Wilderness Legacy Award 2014, 2014
    For dedication and contributions to Wilderness Stewardship, El Toro Wilderness, EYNF, Puerto Rico
  • Supervisor of the Year, 2009
    In appreciation to outstanding commitment to USFS IITF Volunteer Program

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


A 42 year inference of cloud base height trends in the Luquillo Mountains of northeastern Puerto Rico

Cloud base altitude has been found to be increasing in the late rainfall season at the Luquillo Mountains


A Canopy Trimming Experiment in Puerto Rico: the response of litter invertebrate communities to canopy loss and debris deposition in a tropical forest subject to hurricanes

Insects and other invertebrates in leaf litter are important components in decomposition, nutrient cycling, and food webs. As part of larger stu ...


A Global Meta-Analysis of Earthworm Regulation of Plant Litter Decay and Soil Organic Carbon

The effect of earthworms on litter and soil organic carbon (SOC) decay depends strongly on earthworm functional groups and diversity. High diver ...


Assessing Litterfall Trap Bias

Are traps preferentially representing certain kinds of leaf litter


Climate space for fire occurrence and extent in Puerto Rico

The cumulative effect of small frequent fires found in the Caribbean can shape large landscapes. Relationships between weather patterns and the ...


Ecological Gradient Analyses in Tropical Ecosystems

Forest Service scientists recently published a book that contains a comprehensive analysis of ecological gradients in the Luquillo Mountains of ...


Ecology of soil arthropod fauna in tropical forests: A review of studies from Puerto Rico

A significant number of ecological investigations have focused on the characterization of the edaphic fauna, and how they influence ecosystem pr ...


El Yunque National Forest Atlas release

Publication of an atlas about El Yunque National Forest, a collaboration between the International Institute of Tropical Forestry and El Yunque ...


Geographic, Environmental, and Biotic Sources of Variation in the Nutrient Relations of Tropical Montane Forests

Incorporating other geographic, environmental and biotic variables in tropical montane forests biogeochemistry, might give scientists a more acc ...


Integrating Research, Education, and Traditional Knowledge in Ecology

Integrating research and education is a fundamental goal of research institutions and agencies but specific approaches not widely published in e ...


New Species of Collembola Discovered in The Luquillo Experimental Forest in Puerto Rico

New records and described species of Collembola in the Luquillo Experimental Forest (LEF) have been identified with the objective to improve the ...


Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of Soil Under Decaying Wood in a Tropical Wet Forest in Puerto Rico

Decaying wood is related to nutrient cycling through its role as either a sink or source of nutrients; however, at micro scales, what is the eff ...


Post-hurricane Canopy Openings Influence Ecosystem Processes in a Tropical Rainforest

Forest Service researchers collaborated with external scientists to examine the effects of hurricane disturbance on tropical forest ecosystems. ...


Responses of Two Litter-Based Invertebrate Communities to Changes in Canopy Cover in a Forest Subject to Hurricanes

Changes in canopy cover due to hurricane impact play an important role in determining litter invertebrate community


Scientists Characterize Woody Debris to Assess Fuel Loads in Northeastern Puerto Rico

Forest Service scientists characterized the amounts of woody debris (coarse woody debris, fine woody debris, duff, and litter) for eight differe ...


The Future of Scientific Knowledge and Management Approaches to Tropical Forests in the Anthropocene Epoch

A special issue of Forests augments a quarter century of scientific knowledge and capitalizes on a unique set of synergies chartered by a strate ...


The Role of Millipedes in Tropical Ecosystems

The direct and indirect effects on litter of varying lignin content


Understanding Tropical Forest Abiotic Response to Hurricanes using Experimental Manipulations, Field Observations, and Satellite Data

The cycle of hurricane disturbance to forests was studied, from initial forest response to recovery. To better understand the driving forces of ...


Last updated on : 09/14/2021