Skip to main content
You are here
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon
Twitter icon

Tovar, Carolina

Job title: 

Early Career Research Fellow

Biodiversity Informatics & Spatial Analysis
Joined Kew: 


Foreign languages: 

Spanish (mother tongue)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BSc, Universidad Agraria La Molina, Peru
  • MSc, Universidad Agraria La Molina, Peru
  • MSc,  University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • PhD, University of Oxford, UK
  • Researcher, Conservation Data Centre, Peru

I am an ecologist with a main interest in biogeography. I specialize in understanding spatial biodiversity patterns in tropical regions and the underlying ecological processes. I also analyse the impact of past natural and human disturbances (e.g. land use change, fires, climate change) on biodiversity patterns, as a way to improve predictions of how such disturbances will shape biodiversity in the future.
My work at Kew focuses on analysing the role of dispersal processes for plant biodiversity in the Tropical Andes under different climate change scenarios. The Andes are a fragmented environment because of natural and anthropogenic processes. Therefore dispersal will be a key process for species persistence under future warming conditions. For this project I combine dispersal traits, palaeoecological data and species distribution models. I use various mathematical and statistical techniques such as data mining, different modelling techniques and other recent developments in bioinformatics.

Selected publications: 

Tovar, C., Breman, E., Brncic, T., Harris, D., Bailey, R., Willis, K. (2014). Influence of 1100 years of burning on the central African rainforest. Ecography 37(11): 1139-1148. Available online

Tovar, C., Arnillas, C.A., Cuesta, F., Buytaert, W. (2013) Diverging responses of Tropical Andean biomes under future climate conditions. PLoS ONE 8(5): e63634. Available online

Tovar, C., Duivenvoorden, J. F., Sánchez-Vega, I., Seijmonsbergen, A. H. (2012). Recent Changes in Patch Characteristics and Plant Communities in the Jalca grasslands of the Peruvian Andes. Biotropica 44(3):321-330. Available online

Young, B., Franke, I., Herzog, S., Paniagua, L., Tovar, C.,Valqui, T. (2009). Using spatial models to predict areas of endemism and gaps in the protection of Andean slope birds.The Auk 126(3):554−565. Available online

Hernandez, P. A., Franke, I., Herzog, S. K., Pacheco, V., Paniagua, L., Quintana, H. L., Soto, A., Swenson, J. J., Tovar, C., Valqui, T. H., Vargas, M. J., Young, B. E. (2008). Predicting species distribution in poorly studied landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation 17(6): 1353-.1366. Available online


E: c.tovar[at]