PRESIDENT AND CEO
Matt started with NCI in 2015, as an advisor in the Loja, Ecuador office. For seven years prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, a conservation organization in his native Portland, Oregon and also served as treasurer on the board of an Oregon-wide network of conservation entities. Additionally, he’s worked extensively for Native American tribal governments in the US, supporting their treaty fishing and water rights. Matt first fell in love with Latin America — its vibrant cultures, stunning landscapes and incredible biodiversity — while in Honduras in the 1990s as a Peace Corps volunteer. He has a BA from Stanford University in English Literature and Human Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University.
Executive Director of Latin America
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, 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.
Cuenca Region Coordinator
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.
Andes and Amazon Program Coordinator
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 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 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 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.
Administrator of San Francisco and Laipuna Stations
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.
Zamora Region Coordinator
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.
Director of Alamos Office
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 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.
Head of Field Operations
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.
Director of Peru
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.
National Director of Strategy and Sustainability
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.
Senior Program Manager
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.
Andean Program Coordinator
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.