Apparently, living in the Galapagos Islands was not exotic enough. So we moved to Darwin.
I was born in Cuenca, Ecuador and moved to the Galapagos Islands in 1995. I was as a marine biologist in my previous life with sea cucumbers (trepang or beche-de-mer) as my main area of expertise. I worked on sea cucumber biology and their management both locally and internationally (with FAO and CITES). I have also been part of incredible research groups working on marine protected area design and management, ecotourism, biosecurity and terrestrial and marine invasive species.
Being in Galapagos for all these years, made me realise that the two biggest threats to the Island's wellbeing (human growth and invasive species) need to be tackled together. So I decided to evaluate how humans (and our goods and services) are vectors to introduced species. My thesis entitled "The impact of human mobility in the arrival and dispersal of alien species in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador" aims to use data gathered from the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park, the Biosecurity and Quarantine Agency for the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism, amongst others, to evaluate the link between our mobility to, from and within the Island with the probability of the arrival and dispersal of introduced species in the Galapagos National Park. Eventually, the results will inform local and national decision makers to help them manage human movement flows within the Islands in order to help keeping Galapagos as one of nature's wonders.