Publications

The time is now to tackle climate change

Historically, the Galapagos Islands have been used for studies in a variety offields. However, when we talk about climate change and its repercussions on ecosystems, population, and infrastructure of the islands, little is known.

Exploring prenatal stress and its influence on maternal placental physiology and infant development in Galapagos

Recent UNC PhD graduate Dr. Hannah Jahnke and team including UNC’s Dr. Amanda Thompson and USFQ’s Dr. Enrique Teran have published a paper in Placenta titled “Maternal stress, placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2, and infant HPA axis development in humans: Psychosocial and physiological pathways.” This was a collaborative effort with Oskar Jandl Hospital on San Cristobal, Galapagos.

Darwin and Wolf, The home of the Vampire Finches

Jaime Chaves, professor at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and a researcher at the Galapagos Science Center (GSC), has been studying finches in the Galapagos Islands for several years. A few days ago, along with Kiyoko Gotanda and Daniel Baldassarre, he published the article titled, “Vampire finches: how Galapagos birds evolved to drink blood” in the digital magazine, The Conversation.

Summary of PI Amanda Thompson’s study on immune development and gut microbiome in Galapagos

Introduction: GSC Researcher Amanda Thompson, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with three other collaborators, published an article about human health in Galapagos in the American Journal of Human Biology on December 28th, 2018. The title of the article is “Pathways linking caesarean delivery to early health in a dual burden context: Immune development and the gut microbiome in infants and children from Galapagos, Ecuador.” This publication is based on two studies coordinated with the Hospital Oskar Jandl and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health.

New Publication from the Galapagos Science Center

Fernando J. Astudillo, from the Galapagos Science Center, is the author of the article “Soil phytoliths as indicators of initial human impact on San Cristóbal Island, Galápagos” published by Elsevier in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

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In 2022, the Galapagos Science Center (GSC) and the broader UNC & USFQ Galapagos Initiative will celebrate its 10th Anniversary. We are proud to announce the World Summit on Island Sustainability scheduled to be held on June 26–30, 2022 at the Galapagos Science Center and the Community Convention Center on San Cristobal Island.

The content of the World Summit will be distributed globally through social media and results documented through papers published in a book written as part of the Galapagos Book Series by Springer Nature and edited by Steve Walsh (UNC) & Carlos Mena (USFQ) as well as Jill Stewart (UNC) and Juan Pablo Muñoz (GSC/USC). The book will be inclusive and accessible by the broader island community including scientists, managers, residents, tourists, and government and non-government organizations.

While the most obvious goal of organizing the World Summit on Island Sustainability is to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the GSC and the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, other goals will be addressed through special opportunities created as part of our operational planning of the World Summit.

For instance, we seek to elevate and highlight the Galapagos in the island conservation discourse, seeking to interact with other island networks in more obvious and conspicuous ways to benefit the Galapagos Islands, the UNC-USFQ Galapagos Initiative, and the world. We will seize the opportunity to further develop the I2N2 – International Islands Network-of-Networks. Further, we wish to highlight and emphasize multiple visions of a sustainable future for the Galapagos Islands and we cannot do this alone. Therefore, engaging the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Tourism, the Government Council of Galapagos, the Galapagos National Park, and local Galapagos authorities, including government and non-government organizations and local citizen groups, is imperative.

The Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal Island, Galapagos

Borrowing from Hawaii’s and Guam’s Green Growth Program and the Global Island Partnership, we wish to examine existing global programs that emphasize island sustainability and their incorporation into life, policies, and circumstances in the Galapagos Islands. We will also seek to enhance our connections with the institutional members of our International Galapagos Science Consortium and expand the Consortium through the recruitment of other member institutions. We will also work to benefit islands and their local communities by working with citizen groups as well as important NGOs who seek to improve the natural conditions in the Galapagos and diminish the impact of the human dimension on the future of Galapagos’ ecosystems.

Lastly, we will use the World Summit to benefit UNC & USFQ and our constituencies through a strong and vibrant communication plan about the World Summit, creating corporate relationships as sponsors, identifying funding goals through donors, and benefiting our study abroad program for student engagement in the Galapagos Islands. We plan to develop and issue a Galapagos Sustainability Communique after the World Summit that includes the vision and insights of all its participants for a sustainable Galapagos with applicability to global island settings.

We are eager to hear your perspective and have you join us at the World Summit on Island Sustainability!