What sets us apart from other organizations is more than our efficiency and ethic, it’s the people who work for us. We are a lean group of devoted conservation experts whose aim is to achieve the greatest results by putting financial and logistical resources where they are needed most – on the ground.

Ecuador Staff ·  Mexico Staff ·  Peru Staff

Ecuador

Renzo Paladines

 Vice President and Director of NCI Ecuador 

Renzo

Renzo has broad experience in the field of conservation. He served as coordinator of the United Nations Geo-Loja report, and was president of the Regional Council of the Catamayo-Chira river basin. In recognition of his efforts, Renzo received the Podocarps Award from Loja’s Provincial Council for his efforts in conservation and environmental management. He holds a Master’s in Zootechnics from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow. Read an interview with Renzo and our founder Ivan Gayler here.

Bruno Paladines

 Community Development 

Bruno

Bruno, an ecologist, directs our programs for community development in southern Ecuador, working on both social and environmental aspects. He also directs our largest project at La Ceiba-Pilares in the dry forests of Zapotillo. Bruno has a Master’s in Ecology from the University of Brussels, Belgium. Listen to Bruno’s song, “The World is Calling Us,” here. 

 Fabián Rodas López

Cuenca Region Coordinator 

Fabián Rodas

Fabián, a biologist, is the regional coordinator for our office and projects in the Cuenca region of southern Ecuador. He has published on bird conservation and on the use of GIS for protected areas. He also served as a university professor from 2000-2002. Fabián has a post-graduate degree in population ecology from the University of Costa Rica.

 Felipe Serrano

Andes and Amazon Program Coordinator

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Felipe coordinates our Biosphere Reserve program as well as our Andes-Amazon initiatives and the community programs at Colambo-Yacuri. He has a Master’s in Management of Tropical Biodiversity from San Pablo University, Spain, and was a university professor from 1999-2002. Felipe is the founder of the Azuay Herbarium and president of Funbotánica.

Eduardo Cueva

Project Coordinator

Eduardo

Eduardo is a forester and botanist who has studied and published on the native fruits of southern Ecuador, the growth of forest species and seeds, and reforestation. He carried out postgraduate work at the National Herbarium of Ecuador in Quito and completed his doctorate studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.

César Aguirre

Project Coordinator

Cesar Aguirre 3

César is a veterinary doctor and environmental lawyer. He worked for several years on conservation projects for the Podocarpus Foundation before joining our team. César created the Protective Forest “Servio Aguirre” over forest lands he owns, and founded a regional organization for landowners focused on conservation. In his free time, César enjoys photography and collecting books and documents about the history of Ecuador and Loja.

José Romero

Project Coordinator

José Romero

José is an agronomist with a Master’s in Agricultural Engineering who coordinates development projects based on sustainable productive use of native species such as the cherimoya and the toronche (a highland papaya) within environmentally-friendly agroforestry systems. The majority of his work takes place in the western part of the Colambo Yacuri Protected Forest, although he’s recently begun supporting our team in Alamos, Mexico.

Pedro Paladines

Administrator of San Francisco and Laipuna Stations

Pedro

Pedro manages operations at our San Francisco Science Station, within the Podocarpus National Park. He also manages our Laipuna Research Station in the tropical dry forest of southern Ecuador. He has a degree in Environmental Management from the Technical University of Loja, and postgraduate studies at the People’s Friendship University in Moscow.

Trotsky Riera Vite 

Zamora Region Coordinator

Trotsky

Trotsky is an environmental engineer who coordinates the activities for our Zamora office. He is a specialist in habitat restoration and community engagement, and conducted his thesis at our San Francisco Science Station. He is also a professor at the Technical University of Loja.

Matthew Clark 

SENIOR ADVISOR

Matthew Clark

Matt led a conservation and watershed management non-profit in his native Portland, Oregon before moving with his wife, Abby and their two sons to Loja, Ecuador in 2015 to work for NCI.  He also has worked for Native American tribal governments in the US supporting their fishing and water rights.  Matt has a Master´s in Environmental Management from Yale University.  He is an avid birdwatcher, a blossoming nature photographer, and an accomplished musician, having written and recorded three albums of children´s music.

Mexico

Jennifer MacKay 

Director of Alamos Office

jennifer

Jennifer guides the overall management plans that focus on achieving our Monte Mojino Reserve’s (ReMM) mission. She and her husband have lived in Alamos for over 20 years, where they have raised their daughters, Salina and Elly. Jennifer is very involved in the Alamos community and sits on several boards that help to promote tourism, conservation, and improving the lives of the people in Alamos.

Lydia Lozano

Coordinator 

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Lydia is involved in the day-to-day operations of ReMM, working closely with the field staff and with NCI’s colleagues at Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP). She has considerable experience working with various Mexican federal agencies as well as the broader Mexican conservation community. She has a degree in Biology with a specialty in Zoology from the Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa. She and her husband, also a biologist, have a daughter, Violeta, who has a keen interest in nature.

Felix García Caballero 

Head of Field Operations

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Felix was born and raised in Sabinito, a pueblo just 10 miles east of Alamos. He began working for NCI in 2006. He supervises the team of rangers, helps implement the reserve’s conservation objectives, leads trips to the field, and facilitates the work of visiting researchers. As a child, Felix worked with his father, raising cattle and growing staple crops of corn, beans, tomatoes, and squash. These skills and knowledge of the landscape acquired from his father are fundamental to the work he does today.

Peru

 Jose Alvarez 

 National Director of Strategy and Sustainability 

Jose Alvarez

Alvarez has spent most of his working life dedicated to the conservation of the Peruvian Amazon. He brings 20 years of experience working with government leaders, native communities, scientists and non-profit groups through the region to NCI. Jose “Pepe” Alvarez is a biologist, researcher and prolific writer. He served from 2012 to 2017 as the General Director of Biodiversity at the Ministry of Environment. In this role, Mr. Alvarez was responsible for strategic planning, environmental policies and conducting national programs to conserve Peru’s most valuable biodiversity.

 Silvia Usuriaga 

Senior Program Manager 

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Now based in the Del Mar, CA office, Silvia served as the staff director for our programs in the Peruvian Amazon for three years, working closely with governments, communities, donors, and the private sector to develop and manage our programs to protect the Amazon rainforest. Born in Iquitos, a major city in the upper Amazon, Silvia is a former international business manager whose personal experience led her to devote her talents to the conservation of ecosystems and ancient cultures. Read her article in the Huffington Post here. 

Alexander More

Head of Northwest Peru Office 

Alex

Alex is a biologist with extensive expertise in biodiversity research and local conservation, and supported the Regional Government of Piura in the development of its first Regional System of Natural Protected Areas. He has conducted biodiversity surveys in northwest Peru since 2002, and has played a key role for the establishment of protected areas like Salitral and Huarmaca of 72,000 acres. Alex enjoys painting and sculpting charismatic species of the Piura ecosystems.

Paul Viñas 

Andean Program Coordinator 

paul

Paul is a biologist who works on initiatives in the Andean Program for our northwest Peru office. He has conducted biodiversity surveys in the mountain ecosystems of the Piura region and has extensive experience working with communities to bring about positive conservation outcomes that benefit local people.