Scientist Presentations

The World Summit brought together invited speakers from UNC, USFQ, and international partners to discuss how to ensure healthy island ecosystems for future generations. Please take a look at a variety of presentations below.

Marjorie Riofrio-Lazo

University San Francisco de Quito

In this presentation, Marjorie explains why resource management is essential for the balance of ecosystems.

Trophic Web Structure and Ecosystem Attributes of the Galapagos Islands Shelf

Kathy Townsend

University of the Sunshine Coast

Kathy talks about Lady Elliot Island and its importance as a refuge for species that migrate due to heat waves that develop in the ocean. This island is located in the south of the Great Barrier Reef.

Critical knowledge to support resilience-based management of the Great Barrier Reef

Jaime Ocampo

University San Francisco de Quito

Jaime tells us how the GSC works closely with the community in search of improvements in the health system of the archipelago, in order to meet objective 3 of the UN sustainable development plan, which refers to health and welfare.

Advances in the Galapagos Health System Telemedicine, research and medical assistance

Andrés Pazmiño

University San Francisco de Quito

Andrés presents his research on the mapping of the most valued attributes of the Galapagos ecosystem by decision-makers and leaders, In his talk he also shows us how this assessment influences the formulation and implementation of public policies within the archipelago.

If we want the participation of the community, we must listen to it and know it

Diana Pazmiño

University San Franciso de Quito

Diana presents about the Barcode project, which unites science with the community to create the genetic database of the Galapagos biodiversity. The Barcode project aims to record the unique genetic fingerprint of each species.

Creating a genetic database of the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands - Barcode

Carolina Carrión Klier

Charles Darwin Foundation

Carolina tells us about her vegetation mapping project in the Galapagos Islands. In her investigation, Carolina observes the endemic forests of Scalesia and how they have been reduced by the invasion of the wild blackberry.

Mapping the Shrinking Scalesia Forest and Blackberry Invasion in Galapagos

Alexi Schoenborn

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alexi's presentation explains how understanding the major drivers that influence soil bacterial and fungal communities is essential to mitigate the impacts of human activity on vulnerable ecosystems, like those found on the Galápagos Islands.

How the microclimate can predict the nutrients that exist in the soil

Xiao Ming Liu

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In her lecture, Xiaoming explains how her research work looks at lithium isotope evaluation on San Cristóbal Island to understand the different climatic zones in relation to weathering, mineralogy and soil chemistry. Xiaoming explains in her talk how chemistry and mineralogy help to understand the composition of soils and rocks in order to understand the different climatic zones in the archipelago.

Chemical and Mineralogical Composition of Soils on San Cristobal Island

Soledad García Ferrari

Edinburgh College of Art

Soledad expounds on how her interdisciplinary research aims to build collaborative strategies and future partnerships for climate change adaptation, addressing renewable energy, sustainability, sustainability, and resilience within the archipelago.

Building resilience and innovation in Galapagos

Gregory Lewbart

North Carolina State University

Gregory researches the wildlife that inhabits the Galapagos and shares more about his research into the health and importance of conservation for the biodiversity of the archipelago. Through technology and teamwork, he monitors and studies species in the Galapagos. Gregory and his team X-ray marine iguanas to understand their anatomical and physiological mechanism.

From 2014 to 2022 Wildlife Health and Conservation in the Galapagos

Carlos Valle

University San Franciso de Quito & University of South Alabama

Carlos tells us about the study that he and his collaborators carry out on seabirds and fish (tuna) in the Galapagos. The study shows that, despite its geographic isolation, Galapagos marine ecosystems are exposed to global pollutants such as mercury, whose levels appear to increase with the intensity of marine upwellings during La Niña scenarios.

Does Geographic Isolation Shield Them Against Global Pollution?

Jen Jones

Galapagos Conservation Trust

Jen shows how researchers, the community, NGOs, and political actors are coming together to increase ocean protection, tackle plastic pollution, and inspire action to mitigate the effects of climate change on the archipelago.

How Community are Coming Together to Improve and Inspire Climate Action

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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!