Agteca staff profiles

  Dr. Thomas T. Cochrane

I am a tropical land resource specialist, soil and agricultural scientist with over 55 years of experience in the evaluation of the soil, land-use potential and the management and conservation of land in tropical America, especially Amazon forest and savannah lands. –I have personally dug and studied many thousands of soil profiles. My co-author Thomas A. Cochrane and I have recently published via “” a book titled “Amazon Forest and Savanna Lands, a guide to the climate, vegetation, landscapes and soils of central tropical South America”. -Refer to the AGTECA web-site for more details.

As a result of studying the “Cerrados” (savannah) lands of Central Brazil in the 1980s, I discovered that the soils of the well-drained savannahs have a Ca/Mg imbalance in comparison with those under forests; this finding is of basic importance for the successful use of the very extensive “Cerrados” of Brazil for crop cultivation, to avoid the felling of Amazonian forests.

In addition to my land resource work (incidentally, my pioneering digital land resource work led to the development of the FAO-ISRIC “World Soils and Terrain Digital Database SOTER” program), I have developed three new equations for universal agricultural use, viz: 1) An improved equation for liming acid mineral soil. 2) A differential equation to facilitate the estimation of fertilizer needs for crops. 3) A new equation for calculating osmotic potential. -This latter equation provides an insight into solution flow through the soil-plant continuum. It also explains the roles of potassium in the mechanism of stomata aperture modulation, and other physiological phenomena. Summaries of these equations together with some novel technologies for agriculture are summarized in the appendix of the book “Amazon Forest and Savanna Lands”.

Over the years I have published over 70 peer-reviewed papers and 4 technical books resulting from my work. During the course of my field expeditions, I came across many interesting finds, including that of a recently killed Anaconda snake over 19 meters in length! -I have also been privileged to have been able to fly my “Piper Super-cub” over a large part of Amazonia during a phase of my studies. I continue to supervise AGTECA’s ecological savannah and forest reserve. 


 Dr. Timothy J. Killeen

I am a conservation scientist with expertise in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem ecology, and climate change studies; efforts to map biodiversity with remote sensing technology led to research on the impacts of deforestation on carbon stocks in natural and anthropogenic landscapes.  Most of my research has focused on the Andes and Amazon regions  where I have also engaging the private and public sectors in environmental evaluations of mines, pipelines, highways and hydroelectric facilities.
My recent work has focused on understanding the causes of environmental degradation, particularly the economic and social drivers of change on the agricultural frontier and to evaluate alternative development options in their economic, social and environmental dimensions.  Currently I am evaluating how revenues from carbon markets can be leveraged with traditional development assistance and private investment to promote  economic development and reduce poverty  in Southeast Asia and the Amazon.

Specialties: Biodiversity & Ecology, Protected Area Design, Remote Sensing and GIS, Deforestation Monitoring and Modeling, Carbon Monitoring and Measurement, Sustainable Biofuels, Corporate Sustainability, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Strategic Environmental Evaluation (SEA).

Visit Timothy J. Killeen's Linkedin profile.

View Dr. Killeen's book "A Perfect Storm in the Amazon Wilderness: Development and Conservation in the Context of the Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA)"


  Prof. Tom A. Cochrane

I am a environmental and natural resources engineer, trained at Purdue University in agricultural and biological engineering (BSc., MSc. and PhD).  My expertise include agricultural systems, hydrology, hydropower and water infrastructure, ecological impacts, GIS modelling of land and water resources, irrigation, and soil erosion.  I am a full professor in the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where I teach undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervise PhD and masters projects, and lead research projects dealing with conservation of natural resources in New Zealand, South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. 

Visit my research profile.





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