Scientist Presentations

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.

Alex Hearn

University San Francisco de Quito

Alex tells us about the challenges to take the first steps of his investigation within the Galapagos Islands. Part of his job is to persuade the participatory management system on how to sustainably use the island's marine resources.

What is the role of a marine reserve such as Galapagos for migratory species?

Susana Cárdenas

University San Franciso de Quito

Susana tells us about the benefits of the existence of the marine reserve and how they are related to the sustainability of the archipelago.

Targets and economic benefits from Marine protec

Adrian Marchetti

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Adrian conducts behavioral studies of phytoplankton, they are essentially the ocean's primary producers; they take energy from the sun and create chemical energy dispersed throughout the food chain. In his lecture, Adrian tells us about the importance of understanding the ecological dynamics of microorganisms in the oceans and islands.

The ocean life depends directly or indirectly on the phytoplankton

Corbin D. Jones

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Corbin conducts a study looking at how the environment shapes the genomes of Galapagos grasses. In his talk, he tells us about how pastures deal with different climatic and environmental variables, and how understanding their natural history allows us to improve cultivation processes.

Environmental sculpting of genomes: Lessons from the grasses of the Galapagos

María de Lourdes Torres

University San Franciso de Quito

In Dr. Lourdes' talk, we learn more about the coexistence between endemic plant species and introduced plant species. In the Galapagos Islands, we have more than 1400 species of plants, of which more than 800 have been introduced.

Unraveling the interactions between endemic and invasive plant species

Stella de la Torre

University San Francisco de Quito

Stella carries out her study with the help of Isabel Villarroel; together they study land snails and their ecological role in relation to land use. Galapagos land snails are a very diverse and endemic group that have been severely affected by land use change.

Galapagos land snails and environmental sustainability

Leonardo Zurita

University San Francisco de Quito

Leonardo is part of the Petrel project, his research tries to help preserve this species in the long term. It works directly with farmers who are close to where these seabirds nest. In his talk, Leonardo tells us about the causes that endanger these birds and what can be things that help preserve their habitat.

Galapagos petrels conservation retributing towards a sustainable future in the islands

Amanda Thompson

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Amanda's presentation talks about the importance of the quality of food and water on the health of the population in San Cristóbal.

The health impacts in vulnerable environments such as Galapagos

Gina Chowa

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In her lecture, Gina tells us about the first stage of her research on the social situation of the archipelago community. Gina conducts research at the intersection of economic security, workforce development, social protection, and financial inclusion and their impact on marginalized people in the Global South.

Understand the social issues affecting the wellbeing of people of the Galapagos Island

Jill Stewart

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In her lecture, Jill tells us about how her research helps generate a greater understanding of environmental conditions, which affect human health, and how humans influence this process. Jill develops novel techniques to detect and track pathogens in water. She is particularly interested in understanding the interactions between ecosystems and the health and well-being of communities.

Water quality in the Galapagos Islands: linking human and environmental health

Enrique Terán

University San Franciso de Quito

Enrique conducts his research on human health in the Galapagos Islands. In his talk, we can understand why gastrointestinal diseases are related to water and sanitation facilities.

One Health approach to understanding human health on Galapagos Island

Margarita Brandt

University San Francisco de Quito

Margarita conducts research that helps us understand how marine species respond to ocean warming.

Species respond in different ways to climatic changes, some adapt, others don't

Scroll to Top

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!