Research Project | 2000



CTR believes that building in-country capacity is fundamental to achieving long-term conservation results in Ecuador. In keeping with this goal, we have provided training and collaboration to a broad range of Ecuadorian and international scientists at all stages of their careers. The bulk of this training has occurred in the Chocó region of northwestern Ecuador. As described on the Research in the Chocó page, this area is a global conservation priority of the first rank.

Local Community Members

We have provided hands-on training and full-time employment as field biologists to three local community members, Mr. Jorge Olivo (since November 2003), Mr. Domingo Cabrera (since August 2004), and Mr. Fernando Castillo (since August 2005). Each of these men is the leader of a local community near our study site, which increasing the effectiveness of our education workshops and outreach efforts. All three are now computer literate and gather reliable data from avian, plant, and habitat sampling, radio telemetry, mist netting, blood sampling, and behavioral and ecological observation. 

training training

Left: Victor Arbolera; Right: Domingo Cabrera


Jorge Olivo

Ecuadorian University Students

We have designed, helped fund, and assisted with Honor’s Thesis projects by the following Ecuadorian university students. More detailed information on each student’s project can be found on the Research in the Chocó page.

  • Mr. Luis Carrasco, Universidad Central (9/04 – 9/05): “Avian abundance and diverstiy in relation to habitat type in the Chocó”
  • Ms. Rocio Monobanda, Universidad Central,  (10/03 – 10/04): “Fruit production and phenology in the Chocó”
  • Ms. Jimena Nieto, Universidad Católica (9/04 – 4/05): “Economic analysis of ecotourism development in Dogola”
  • Ms. Maria Fernanda Armas , Universidad Central (7/05 – 12/06): “Pollination biology of Hummingbirds in the Chocó”
  • Ms. Veronica Armas, Universidad Central (7/05 – 12/06): “Pollination biology of Hummingbirds in the Chocó”
  • Mr. Jorge Vargas, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (10/02 – 10/03): “Population biology of Flowepiercers in Parque Metropolitano, Quito”
  • Mr. David Yunes, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (6/03 – 6/04): “Spatial and temporal variation in macaws in the Ecuadorian Amazon”

training training

Left: Luis Carrasco; Right: Rocio Monobanda

International University Students

We have co-designed and assisted with the followingundergraduate, master’s, and doctoral projects:

  • Ms. Ann Ballard. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, Washington State University
  • Ms. Sarah Batterman. Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, Oberlin College
  • Ms. Rachel Buchwalter, PhD Thesis, UCLA
  • Mr. Daniel Carstensen, Arhaus University, Netherlands
  • Mr. Andrew Cook, Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, University of Florida
  • Mr. Mikkel Hogdeson, Master’s Thesis, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Mr. Thomas Pearson, Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, University of Bangor, United Kingdom
  • Ms. Amy Rogers, Ph.D. Thesis, UCLA
  • Ms. Moura Siverbaum, Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, University of Gottenburg, Sweden
  • Ms. Erin Wianko, Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, University of Guelph, Canada
  • Ms. Lauren Woods, Undergraduate Honor’s Thesis, University of Wisconsin

training training

Left: Sarah Batterman and Tob; Right: Mikkel Hogdeson

Established Scientists in Ecuador

We have developed collaborative proposals and projects with Dr. Carlos Cerón of Universidad Central, Dr. David Neill of the National Herbarium and Missouri Botanical Garden, Dr. Michael McColm of Fundación Jatun Sacha, Dr. David Romo of Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and Dr. Susan Poats of Fundacion Randi Randi.

Transfer of Responsibility

We have transferred the day-to-day running of both the scientific research and the education components of this project to Ecuadorians. Research is overseen jointly by previous honor’s student, Luis Carrasco, and local community member Jorge Olivo. The education project is co-designed and fully implemented by Ms. Mónica González.