Advisory Board

José Luis Alvarez
Mr. Alvarez, a Mexican tree nurseryman in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, developed the La Cruz Habitat Protection Project from the ground up. He was already growing seedling trees for reforestation projects by the Mexican government and others and understood the desperate need for re-establishing forests on the mountain slopes around the monarch over-wintering sites. He also understood the financial needs of the subsistence farmers who owned these lands. He has spent over 20 years developing efficient methods of growing healthy tree seedlings that utilize readily available organic materials. Throughout this time, he worked with the communities in and around the monarch sanctuaries to demonstrate the environmental and economic value of planting trees on their depleted fields and eroded lands. By providing outstanding quality trees and giving valuable technical support, he has built a relationship of trust and respect among the community leaders and participants in this project.

Lincoln Brower, PhD

It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of longtime partner, Advisory Board Member and fierce advocate for the Monarchs: Dr. Lincoln Brower (July 2018). Dr. Brower dedicated his life’s work to the Monarch Butterfly, learning the intricate and complex characteristics and migration patterns of this beloved pollinator. Often times being called on as the go-to expert, Dr. Brower’s work can be found among the science pages of the New York Times, National Geographic, BBC and many more, he was also a founding member of Forests for Monarch over 20 years ago. An advocate for the Monarch’s survival until the end, his legacy will endure. To a great friend, leader and advocate, we at Forests for Monarchs, along with the communities impacted by his work in Michoacán, Mexico, will miss him. Your work has made a difference for generations to come.

Lincoln Brower pictured with Forests for Monarchs Founder, Jose Luis Alvarez in 2016.

Dr. Brower is a research Professor of Biology at Sweet Briar College and Distinguished Service Professor of Zoology, Emeritus at the University of Florida. Brower’s passion for monarchs began when he was a graduate student at Yale in the 1950s, and his research interests include the overwintering and migration biology of the monarch butterfly, chemical defense, ecological chemistry, mimicry, scientific film making, and the conservation of endangered biological phenomena and ecosystems. He is recipient of the Gold Medal of Zoology from the Linnean Society of London and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animal Behavior Society. Brower has published over 200 scientific papers and edited two books. He has served as Presidents of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Lepidopterists’ Society, and the International Society of Chemical Ecology, and was a Board member of the Michoacán Rerforestation Fund for the full life of that organization.

Christopher Best, MA
State Botanist for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Austin, Texas, where he is dedicated to the conservation of rare, threatened, and endangered plants and their habitats in Texas. He has a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biochemistry from the University of Illinois in 1981 and a Master of Arts in Botany from Southern Illinois University in 1985. His thesis research on vesicular mycorrhizae in revegetated strip mine spoil led to a career in restoration ecology. From 1985 to 1989 he served as an agroforestry extensionist with the U.S. Peace Corps/CARE/INAFOR in Guatemala. From 1990 until 2006, he directed an ecological restoration program at Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge along the U.S. – Mexico border in south Texas. Chris Best has served on the Advisory Board since 2010.