Staff

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.
Cristina Rodriguez
Financial Administrative Assistant
Cristina Rodriguez serves as Financial Administrative Assistant at WCS.
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.
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
Accountant
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.
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.

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