Julia Carabias Lillo is a biologist and was awarded the Mexican Belisario Domínguez medal in 2017. This recognition is granted by Mexico’s Senate to recognize citizens that stand out for their service to the country and humanity.
From 2001 to 2004 Carabias served on the board of directors of Resources for the Future, an international environmental research organization, and from 2002 to 2004 she served as chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of the Global Environment Facility. She was awarded the International Cosmos Prize in 2004 and in 2005 received the United Nations Environmental Programme Champions of the Earth Prize.
She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). In UNAM she developed scientific research in ecology and education from 1977 to 1994. The focus of her research in ecology has been in the areas of tropical forest regeneration, environmental restoration, natural resource management and conservation, and environmental policy making. In 1994, she was asked by the President of the Mexican Republic, Ernesto Zedillo, to form part of his cabinet as the Ministry of the Environment Natural Resources and Fisheries.
She has published numerous scientific articles, in addition to co-authoring various books. Carabias is currently a member of several consultative councils and forms part of the academic councils of various national and international organizations.