New Latin America and the Caribbean Council Elected

NatureServe Latin American and the Caribbean Director, Miguel Fernandez, announced, “I am honored to welcome our newest LAC Network Council elected by absolute majority. They each bring a unique background, with extremely valuable experiences and expertise, as well as a passion for biodiversity conservation, that make them an asset to the region and to the NatureServe family.”

Dr. Gustavo Zurita (President)

Dr. Zurita is the Vice-director of the Subtropical Biology Institute (IBS), subtropical node of the National Biodiversity Observatory in Argentina. Dr. Zurita got his PhD at the University of Buenos Aires and his main interests are ecological studies and biodiversity monitoring, particularly insects in natural forests and different land uses. IBS has a long history in biodiversity research, including plants and animals, usually regarded as the reference for subtropical studies particularly for the Atlantic forest and the Chaco region. The last few years, in conjuction with the Ministry of Agro-industry and support of the World Bank, IBS has started several lines of longterm biodiversity monitoring, using automatic methods including camera traps.
Dr. Zurita’s vision for the network: “Long-term and large-scale monitoring of biodiversity requires strong scientific and financial cooperation between countries that share ecosystems and cultures. In this sense, a Latin American biodiversity cooperation network offers a unique opportunity to strengthen national and local initiatives.” 

Dr. Carmen Josse (Vice President)

Dr. Josse has a PhD in Biological Sciences with specialization in vegetation and biogeography from University of Aarhus, Denmark. Dr. Josse is the Scientific Director of EcoCiencia, an Ecuadorian NGO dedicated to generating quality information and its dissemination to support the best decisions in favor of the conservation of biodiversity and the welfare of the population. This information covers from biodiversity observations on the ground to analysis of socio-environmental variables, done at local to regional levels and delivered through geo-referenced products. For over ten years Dr. Josse worked as a Senior Research Ecologist at NatureServe leading multiple projects including the Ecosystem Classification of the Amercias. Dr. Josse's vision: “Latin America faces changes that will intensify pressures on its biodiversity and natural resources, along with socio-environmental conflicts. In this scenario, a network of Latin American organizations, drawing on their rich experience, will increase opportunities for the multi-faceted outreach needed to monitor, understand and communicate biodiversity trends and their effects on sustained ecosystem services in the region and globally.”

Dr. Eduardo Dalcin (Secretary)

Dr. Dalcin is a technologist at the Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro (Rio de Janeiro Botanic Garden Research Institute), an institution that's existed for more than 200 years, where he works as a scientific advisor to the Research Directorate (DIPEQ). His experience and professional interests are related to biodiversity information management and delivery, internet-based information systems, taxonomic databases, and biodiversity data analysis and visualization. Dr. Dalcin's vision: “Biodiversity conservation needs partnerships and partnerships between neighbours are stronger. I believe that the essence of the LAC Network is to promote and foster conservation in the neighborhood - the active community in Latin America.”

Dr. Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio (Representative to the Board)

Carlos Zambrana-Torrelio is the Associated Vice President for Conservation and Health at EcoHealth Alliance and a Research Associate at the Bolivian National Herbarium. Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio works on the intersection between animal and human health. He is particularly interested in how biological diversity—from viruses to ecosystems—respond to anthropogenic gradients (e.g. from cities to forests). He works closely on the links between biodiversity and health with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio holds a PhD from Sapienza Università di Roma on Environmental and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Zambrana-Torrelio's vision: “I strongly believe that the future of Latin America relies on a deep and transboundary collaboration among countries. the NS LAC is the best example of this vision. I look forward to support this initiative.”