Staff

Andrey Valencia Cedeño
GIS Analyst
Andrey is a geographer with emphasis on territorial planning at the Universidad del Valle. Finalizing its grade work about the impact of climate change into productive ecosystems in the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 2013, binds as a consultant GIS to WCS, supporting the development of cartography. Currently, a student at the specialization in Geographic Information Systems, from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, while work as an analyst GIS and spatial analysis in different projects. His main interests are geomatics, earth Science, spatial modeling and study of biogeographic processes in the Andean region.
Carlos A. Saavedra Rodríguez
Associated researcher
Biologist with emphasis in zoology, Msc and PhD in Biological Sciences graduated from the Faculty of Sciences of the Universidad del Valle, Colombia. Fifteen (15) years working in population and community ecology, and conservation of mammals, birds, amphibians and snakes through various research and environmental impact studies developed with academic institutions, environmental authorities and NGOs. He has experience in governance issues for the management and protection of natural resources, capacity building with local, indigenous and black communities, relationships with local governments and private companies. He has been a consultant and trainer in the environmental interpretation guided and organized locals and specialist tourism operations. Currently, he is in charge of finding qualified personnel for projects, logistics and security field for researches, biological assessments, monitoring and other activities staff, being the coordinator of operations in WCS Colombia.
Carlos Andrés Ríos
GIS Coordinator
Carlos Ríos completed his Bachelor degree as Environmental Manager at the Universidad Tecnológica from Pereira in 2005. After some jobs, he went to Bogota to carried out an specialization in Geographic Information Systems at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas. While studing, he began to work in DANE (National Statistics Administrative Department) as preparer of digital mapping for the national survey of agricultural performance. Carlos joined the WCS Colombia Program in 2008 as GIS coordinator to support cartographic and GIS requirements from the ongoing projects and new proposals developed by the Program, where he got specially interested on Data Bases and Spatial Modelling.
German Forero-Medina
Science Director
Graduated with a degree in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where he studied the population ecology and natural history of the White-throated Mud Turtle (Kinosternon scorpiodes albogulare) in a Caribbean Island in Colombia. He received his M.S. degree from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, studying small marsupials from the Atlantic forest along with landscape functional connectivity. He received his Ph.D. in Conservation Ecology from Duke University, in North Carolina, USA. His main research interests are tropical ecology, conservation biology, natural history of tropical vertebrates, landscape ecology, climate change effects on tropical ecosystems, and environmental education.
Isabel Estrada
Project Manager
Isabel Cristina Estrada Lasso, was born in Cali, but was educated at Pereira. Her bachelor's degree as Environmental Administrator was obtained at Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira. During the latter seven years she has been WCS - Colombia Program member. Among the other charges she was Financial Manager during almost six years. When she first arrived to the program, was a GAINS member team. GAINS was a strategy leaded by the Global Health Program and was doing a systematic pathogen search on waterfowl and shorebirds, identified as main migratory carriers. Posteriorly, she participated as a team member of private areas planning processes, and local conservation activities. Recently, she is a projects group manager. In her other interests and hobbies, she can count a very strong passion for diving and other sub-aquatic activities, as well as hiking.
Johana Torres
management assistant
Johana Torres has a technical and professional degree in business administration, a diploma in management skills and another in talent management . She has excellent interpersonal skills, proactive , business engagement , organization and work planning, ability to take responsibility , leadership and personnel management , able to identify and solve problems, ability to teamwork, high human qualities and intellectual allowing it to meet its goals and also contribute to solutions in the professional area to achieve the objectives that the organization intends to achieve. She had worked in banks and has extensive experience in the preparation of financial reports.
Johanna Gutierrez
Project Officer
Johanna is now the manager of the line about Business and Conservation in WCS Colombia. She is an Environmental Manager at the District University, a specialist in Environmental Planning and Integrated Natural Resources Management at the Military University. She is currently studying a Master's Degree in Sustainable Development Projects. She has professional experience in coordination and monitoring of public and private programs and projects, as well as technical, administrative, financial and logistical support. In addition, she has participated in institutional management processes and in the preparation of environmental management plans for offshore research projects in the hydrocarbons sector. She worked for some years with an entity of the Colombian Government on issues of knowledge generation in the fishing sector and has been linked to other public and private institutions developing issues of environmental management and consultancy.
Jorge Enrique Parra Bastos, Ph.D
Protected Areas Coordinator
Jorge joined Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Colombia from May, 2013.He is currently the Protected Areas Coordinator at WCS in Colombia. He works on providing guidance in planning, establishment and management of protected areas for the National System of Protected Areas of Colombia (SINAP). Jorge is a behavioural ecologist and conservation biologist with more than 10 year of experiences working in conservation projects and research studies. He obtained his BSc and MSc at Los Andes University Colombia studying the social behaviour of birds in Los Andes, Orinoco and Amazon regions in Colombia. He received his Ph.D in behavioural ecology and conservation form the University of Bath - UK studying the evolution of reproductive strategies (mating and parental care behaviours) in three closely related shorebird species (genus: Charadrius sp.) from Madagascar. His is alumni of the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) a partnership between Wildlife Conservation Society, Fauna & Flora International and BirdLife International with the Project Chicamocha. The project implements conservation actions to safeguard the habitat of two endemic and threaten species of birds: the critically endangered Chicamocha’s wren (Thryophilus nicefori) and the endangered Chestnut-bellied hummingbird (Amazilia castaneiventris). The project has been awarded three times for CLP and other funding schemes. Jorge was also consultant at the research institute Alexander von Humboldt Colombia where he was involved in rapid biological assessments of biodiversity in the Orinoco and east Andes regions of Colombia. Specifically, he used bioacoustic tools to assess the diversity of birds in priority areas for conservation in Colombia.
Leonor Valenzuela
Analysis and Synthesis Coordinator
Leonor joined the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Colombia from March, 2014. She is currently Analysis and Synthesis Coordinator. She leads the monitoring team, landscape species and habitats conservation (e.g. reforestation, biological corridors, community work), biodiversity offsets and decision making, within a framework of adaptive management. Leonor is a biologist from the Universidad del Valle, where she worked with systematic bat. She received her M.Sc. degree and Ph.D. in Ecology from the Universidad Católica de Chile, studying biodiversity patterns of mammals in insular systems at island and archipelago level, focusing on the effect of the spatial arrangement of the islands and the implications of body size on rates of colonization and extinction. Her main research interests focus on the discipline of macroecology, understood as the search for general principles that explain the diversity, in order to apply the results to the conservation of biodiversity and in particular to the analysis of the conservation status of animal species.
Lina Caro
Associated researcher
Lina Caro is a biologist from the Universidad de Los Andes, where she investigated the reproductive success of Tropical Mockingbirds (Mimus gilvus) and its association with social communication. In 2008, she studied for an MSc in Ecology and Evolution at Universidad de Los Andes, producing a thesis on speciation of Grey-breasted Wood-wrens (Henicorhina leucophrys) associated with elevation in populations from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. In 2013, she studied for an MPhil in Conservation Leadership at University of Cambridge, where she designed a conservation strategy based on tourism for Ometepe Island Biosphere Reserve, Nicaragua. She is currently part of the monitoring team working on species and habitat conservation, effect of conservation actions (e.g. reforestation, biological corridors), biodiversity offsets and decision-making.

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