Luis E. Fernandez

/Luis E. Fernandez

Luis E. Fernandez

Executive Director

Luis E. Fernandez is the Executive Director of the Wake Forest University’s Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation (CINCIA), a research initiative that examines the impacts of artisanal gold mining, mercury contamination, and deforestation on natural and human ecosystems in the Peruvian Amazon. Luis is also a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and a Fellow at Wake Forest University's Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES). Trained as a tropical ecologist, Luis is an expert on the environmental impacts of artisanal scale mining on tropical landscapes, particularly on the effects of mercury contamination on wildlife and indigenous communities. Luis has led research efforts to study and address mining-related mercury contamination in Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Madagascar. He has held professional positions at Stanford University, Carnegie Institution for Science, US Environmental Protection Agency, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of Michigan. His research and policy work has been profiled in Nature, CNN, NPR, PBS Newshour, Washington Post, Mongabay, Le Monde, and the Associated Press. Luis serves on the governing and advisory boards of the Amazon Aid Foundation, Environmental Health Council, OroEco, and the UNEP PlanetGold programme. In 2009, the USEPA awarded Luis the agency's highest award, the EPA's Gold Medal for Outstanding Service, for his work on the dynamics of mercury in the Amazon Basin.