Milena Cambronero, M.S.


Resident Lecturer in Conservation Science and Practice




M.S. in Biology
University of Costa Rica

B.S. in Biology
University of Costa Rica


SFS 3800 Conservation Science and Practice
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3520 Sustaining Tropical Ecosystems: Biodiversity, Conservation, and Development
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4930 Applied Research Techniques and Strategies towards Sustainability
(The School for Field Studies)

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Faculty Profile

Milena Cambronero was born and raised in San Ramón, Alajuela (Costa Rica), where she grew up surrounded by coffee plantations. Milena holds a BSc. and a MSc. degree in Biology from the University of Costa Rica (UCR). She investigated the allometry and carbon accumulation of four neotropical palm species, collecting data at La Selva Biological Station in the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica, and traveling to University of Ulm (Germany) to carry out chemical analysis. She has experience as teaching assistant and professor in several courses such as Natural History of Costa Rica, Agricultural Botany and Tropical Ecology. Milena is also interested in the relationship between different human cultures and nature; due to that, she is pursuing a degree in anthropology, also at UCR.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Tropical ecology and conservation
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Palm allometry

Research Interests

I am interested in ecology of tropical plants, biological conservation and education. For my thesis project, I developed a series of allometric equations to estimate carbon accumulated by four palm species. Palms are highly abundant in tropical forests; they represent an important source of food, not only to several animal species but also to numerous human communities. Despite their importance, palms have been neglected in carbon accumulation studies, which have focused mainly on dicotiledoneus trees. I expect that my findings improve estimations of carbon by tropical forests. Currently, I am highly interested in conservation science and resource management, particularly in tropical areas. I am convinced that in order to implement successful conservation strategies, social sciences play a crucial role as mediator between the scientific community and the general public. This is why I am pursuing a degree in anthropology. I expect to combine both of my passions and apply my knowledge to protect natural resources as well as educate people on sustainable practices.

The research conducted at SFS field stations is designed to answer key questions related to critical and related social and environmental problems and to provide our hosts with detailed and accurate information for decision making and action. Faculty and student research projects are linked to the Center’s Strategic Research Plan, which defines an overarching research directive.



Cambronero, M., G. Avalos & C. Alvarez-Vergnani. (2018). Carbon accumulation in seven neotropical palm species from different forest strata. Palms, 62(1).
Ávalos, G., Gei, M. G., Ríos, L. D., Fernández, M., Cambronero, M., Alvarez-Vergnani, C., Sylvester, O., & Rojas, G. (2018). In press.
Cambronero, M., G. Avalos & C. Alvarez-Vergnani. (2017). Variation in carbon fraction in seven neotropical palm species of different forest strata. Palms.
Ávalos, G., Cambronero, M., & Vargas, O. 2016. Quantification of browsing damage to the stilt root cone of Socratea exorrhiza (Arecaceae) by Collared Peccaries (Pecari tajacu, Artiodactyla: Tayassuidae) at La Selva, Costa Rica. Brenesia, 85-86.