Skip to Main Content

Brian Machovina

Title: Advisory Board Member

Department(s): Dean's Advisory Board, College of Arts, Sciences and Education

Dr. Brian Machovina received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from FIU (’92, ’94), where he studied reptiles and amphibians in Everglades National Park and then seagrass communities in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as a research assistant. Brian moved to Los Angeles to establish Oasis Preserve International, a conservation organization founded by actor Woody Harrelson, which protected rainforests in Costa Rica and Peru. Subsequently, he worked for several years with Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products, where he helped pioneer a rainforest-harvested tea, Guayaki Yerba Mate, as a model of market-driven conservation and reforestation. He was also the Executive Director of the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a coalition of environmental advocacy organizations protecting coastal ecosystems. As an owner and manager of Essential Living Foods, he imported organic and wild-harvested commodities from Latin America. Brian also co-invented Yonanas®, a kitchen appliance sold worldwide that churns out a dessert with the taste and consistency of ice cream using only frozen fruit. He returned to FIU to complete a doctorate in biology (’14) where he studied ecological issues related to human diets and agriculture in the lab of Dr. Ken Feeley. He is currently studying similar topics a Postdoctoral Associate at FIU in the lab of Dr. Eric von Wettberg, teaching Conservation Biology, and continuing to develop entrepreneurial ventures and serves on the FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education Dean’s Advisory Board.