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.
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.
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.
Mayra Romero Calles
Communications Specialist
Mayra Romero Calles serves as Communications Specialist at WCS.
Pablo Viteri
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.
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.

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