Luis E. Fernandez a tropical ecologist specializing in the impacts of illegal artisanal gold mining in rainforest areas. He is the Executive Director of the Wake Forest University Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation, and is also the Director of the Carnegie Amazon Mercury Project at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.
During the last 15 years, Luis has led research studies on the effects of mining-related mercury contamination in Peru, Colombia, Brazil, and Madagascar. Previously Luis held positions at the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Michigan. His research on artisanal mining has been profiled in the Washington Post, NPR, the PBS NewsHour, Associated Press, and Buzzfeed News. In 2009, EPA 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.