Adrian Naveda-Rodríguez
Wildlife Biologist
Adrian is a technician in Renewable Natural Resources by the Instituto Universitario Tecnológico de Yaracuy (2001, Venezuela) and has a Master of Biodiversity by the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (2013, Spain). Since 2001, Adrian has worked as a field ornithologist in management and conservation projects, mainly in northern South America. His interest group are birds of prey, including scavenger. Since July 2015, Adrian works at Wildlife Conservation Society-Ecuador, as a technician in the research and monitoring of wildlife.
Alexis Kovach
Field Biologist
Alexis earned her Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in 2017, where she specialized in ecosystem science and community-based conservation. Prior to this, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guinea, West Africa. Serving as an agroforestry extension agent, she worked with rural subsistence farmers to promote sustainable agricultural practices to increase food security. She also taught environmental education at local schools and collaborated with communities on reforestation projects that focused on natural resource management and environmental stewardship. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012. As a field biologist for the WCS Ecuador team, Alexis supports the development of conservation projects and encourages the participation of indigenous communities in conservation initiatives.
Daniela Racines
Communications Coordinator
Daniela Racines is a Multimedia Journalist from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), and she has a Master in Ecology with a focus on Amazon Studies, also from USFQ. Daniela has worked in several branches of the mass media, including newspaper, magazines, and a radio station. She joined WCS Ecuador in 2015 as our communications manager, promoting WCS’s conservation work through social media and other channels, as well as assisting with the dissemination of environmental education messages to local and indigenous people.
Diana Paredes
Coordinator of the Landscape Ecology Department
Diana Paredes is the coordinator of the Landscape Ecology Department. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Geographic Engineering and the Environment from the Escuela Politécnica del Ejército, and worked for 3 years as a geographic consultant before graduating. She supports WCS Ecuador’s technical team with analyzing and modeling to create social and biological maps of our landscapes. Diana also works on issues of strengthening control and monitoring system of Ecuador's protected areas with the SMART tool.
Edison Molina
General Services Assistant
Edison Molina has been working for WCS Ecuador since 2008, supporting the entire staff in his role as messenger and driver. He has more than 25 years of experience in NGO administration.
Fernando Anaguano
Wildlife Biologist
Fernando Anaguano joined WCS Ecuador in 2013, and works primarily in Pastaza and Orellana provinces of Ecuador’s Amazon region on biological monitoring and wildlife conservation activities. Fernando has a degree in Biological and Environmental sciences from the Universidad Central del Ecuador, and has worked on various research projects in both the coastal and Amazon regions of Ecuador since 2010. He specializes in freshwater fish.
Francis Ordoñez
GIS Specialist
Francis Ordoñez graduated in 2012 with a degree in Geographic Engineering and Environment from the Escuela Politécnica del Ejército. She participated in the definition of a biological corridor connectivity; she has also participated in the development of a thematic mapping at national level. Francis was part of the team that conducted the studies for the implementation of an Early Warning System for Floods in the Cañar River Basin, Ecuador. Francis is part of the GIS WCS team, working in analyzing and modeling to create social and biological maps of our landscapes.
Gabriela Zambrano
Gabriela got her degree in Accounting and Auditing CPA at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE). In 2019, she earned her master's degree in Finance and Accounting, with a specialization in Controlling at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. She has experience working in Accounting, Budgeting, and Taxation, in different institutions, such as the Ecuadorian Red Cross, and the Census National Institute of Ecuador.
Galo Zapata
Science Director
Galo Zapata Ríos is another veteran member of WCS Ecuador. Since 2001, he has conducted fieldwork on a range of taxa (plants, insects, small and large mammals) and systems (Chocó wet forests, Andean ecosystems, and Amazon rainforests). He has also led the design and implementation of several large-mammal surveys and community-based wildlife management programs, in addition to training numerous conservationists ranging from university students to local indigenous people. Galo earned his BS in Biology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in 1997 and his master's degree in Landscape Ecology and Conservation Biology from Ohio University in 2001. In 2014, he finished his PhD in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida.
Hernan Alvarez
Coordinator of the Human Dimensions Department
In 2010, Hernan got his BS degree in biology at Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, looking at sexual dimorphism of birds. Over time he has developed his professional interests in conservation planning, the involvement of local people in conservation initiatives and human-wildlife conflict and interactions. As a consultant, Hernan has worked with indigenous communities, mainly with Kichwa and Waorani, involved in environmental education and monitoring programs in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Additionally, Hernan has worked as the Assistant Directors of Tiputini Biodiversity Station of Universidad San Francisco de Quito, a position that has involved him in the conservation of Yasuní National Park and Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. He joined the University of Florida in 2013 and received his master's degree in the fall of 2015 in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation.
Jaime Palacios
Wildlife Biologist
Jaime Palacios joined WCS Ecuador in 2012. He has a degree in Biological and Environmental sciences from the Universidad Central del Ecuador, and has been studying Ecuador’s mammalian fauna since 2007. His undergraduate thesis examined the effects of temperature on bat activity in Sangay National Park. At WCS, he conducts biological monitoring of mammals, collects and analyzes mammal data, and has organized several workshops on the monitoring and conservation of land mammals.
Julia Salvador
Wildlife Biologist
Julia Salvador received her bachelor's degree in Biology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in 2011. In January 2014, Julia moved to Gainesville to start her graduate studies at University of Florida in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation under the guidance of Dr. John Blake. In December 2015, Julia received her master's degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Julia was hired by WCS to work on the process of updating Ecuador’s Red List for endangered species. These species include four groups of fauna (Birds, fresh water fish, beetles, and spiders) and one group of flora (Palms). As a second activity, she is in charge of a preliminar descriptive analysis of paiche (Arapaima gigas) in the Amazon region of Ecuador, in what is probably the first study on this species in eastern Ecuador. Finally, Julia is organizing existing databases of biological monitoring collected by WCS-Ecuador.
Pablo Viteri
Finance Manager
Pablo Viteri joined WCS Ecuador in 2009 and is our current Financial Manager. He leads the administrative-financial team, which is in charge of measuring and supervising the efficient use of resources. He has a degree from Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial in Accounting and Auditing.
Paulina Dalgo
Field Anthropologist
Paulina Dalgo joined WCS Ecuador in 2014. She has a background in Agronomy Engineering, but is currently getting a degree in Applied Anthropology. From a young age, she has been involved in social causes and has extensive experience encouraging community participation and building capacity for improved management and protection of natural resources.
Rubén Cueva
Wildlife Biologist
Rubén Cueva has worked for WCS since 2008 as field biologist. Rubén has a degree in Biology from the Universidad Central del Ecuador, and more than 14 years of experience in mammal and bird research and monitoring natural resource use in the Neotropics. In recent years, Rubén has been helping to develop and manage WCS’s river turtle (Podecnemis unifilis and P. expansa) conservation program in the northwest part of the Yasuni National Park.
Sebastián Valdivieso
Program Director
Sebastian coordinated the mitigation Project in Ecuador and is the current Program Director. He holds an environmental engineering degree from the Universidad SEK (1998, Ecuador) and a master's degree in sustainable energy development from the University of Calgary. His experience is mainly related to environmental management, social responsibility and sustainability in the oil industry. Sebastian has worked in the oil industry for 18 years in technical and executive positions. He has worked in oil operations in Ecuador and Syria, and as consultant in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
Viviana Narvaez
Wildlife Biologist
Viviana Narváez is part of the biological team, and she will be working on wildlife management and conservation projects. Viviana studied biology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. She did her master’s degree in Conservation and Wildlife Management at the National University of Costa Rica. Her thesis was focused on measuring the potential distribution of the wildlife conflict between humans and the North American racoon (Procyon lotor). She worked as a research assistant in a project to assess the status of knowledge from local people at the north part of Costa Rica about emblematic species like jaguars and pumas. She returned to Ecuador and worked at Universidad Católica del Ecuador as a researcher at the section of mammalogy. She has experience working on bioinformatics analysis of the biodiversity at Podocarpus, Sangay, Yacuri and Llanganates National Parks. She was also part of a group of researchers who wrote the draft of the National Bats Conservation Action Plan.
Walter Prado
Local Technician
Walter is a local technician in logistical support, taking data in the field and help WCS with efforts in the Ministry of Environment in Coca. Walter is also our canoe motorist.
Yolanda Chávez
Projects Manager
Yolanda got her BS degree in Biology at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (PUCE, 2012). In 2015, she completed her master's degree in Conservation Sciences at the University of Queensland in Australia, where she looked at the effects of climate change on early life history of invertebrate species from the Great Barrier Reef. Some of her main fields of expertise are taxonomy of opisthobranchs, embryology, animal physiology, marine biology, forests ecology, sustainable development, and human-wildlife conflicts. She has worked as a Science Researcher at PUCE and the State University of Santa Elena (Ecuador). She has almost ten years of experience working with public institutions and private companies as a Leading Environmental Consultant. Finally, she held a position as Director of Projects in a national NGO, which conferred her proficiency in projects design and management, as well as elaboration of grants and funding proposals.

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