Maria Uriarte is a Professor in the Department for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. Through an integrated program of empirical and quantitative approaches, research in her lab examines forest ecological dynamics in response to natural disturbance and human land use. Research projects focus on disturbance ecology, forest succession, and community assembly. Field sites span geographic regions where forests have been subject to different forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including fire, hurricanes, fragmentation, and expansion of tree plantations. The methodological thread that unites the diverse research projects housed in the Uriarte lab is the application of spatially-explicit modelling techniques, simulation, and other advanced statistical and modelling tools to understand and forecast the dynamics of tropical forests ecosystems in response to disturbance. Her current projects include studies of the dynamics of deforestation and reforestation in post-agricultural landscapes of Puerto Rico, the effects of fires in agriculture-forest mosaics in the Peruvian Amazon, and seed dispersal processes in fragmented forests in the Brazilian Amazon. Prior to Columbia, Uriarte was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.

Uriarte received an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University.