German Forero-Medina
Science Director
Germán graduated in Biology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where he studied the population ecology and natural history of the white-throated mud turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides albogulare), reptile living in the island of San Andrés, Colombia. He obtained an MSc in Ecology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, studying small marsupials from the Atlantic Forest and the functional connectivity in the landscapes where they live. He received his PhD in Ecology and Conservation from Duke University, in North Carolina, United States. 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.
Gustavo A Gonzalez Duran
Amphibian leader
Gustavo graduated in Biology from the Universidad de Caldas, where he studied the diversity of amphibians in an altitudinal gradient. He received an MSc in Biological Sciences from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, where he studied the systematics and evolution of morphology in a group of the genus Pristimantis. His current professional interest is related with the taxonomy, systematics, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles in the Colombian Andes. He presently supports the strategy for amphibian conservation in Colombia’s Natural National Parks.
Igor Felipe Valencia
Turtles leader
Igor obtained his Biology degree from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Cali, Colombia, in 2017. He did his thesis work on Crax alberti, using population viability analysis. His areas of interest are community-based conservation and population modeling. He has experience in turtle conservation.
Isabel Estrada
Project Management Specialist
Isabel is an Environmental Administrator from Universisdad Tecnológica de Pereira. For the past eleven years she has been working to WCS Colombia. Among other positions, he has served as a financial manager (she did so for about six years). At the begining she participated in the GAINS strategy. Also, she was part of the teams to new protected areas, species and strengthening of the WCS program in general. More recently, she manages several projects related to species (mainly amphibians and turtles), biodiversity monitoring and the Proyecto Vida Silvestre –PVS-; with emphasis on technical and financial monitoring of projects with public and private resources. Her academic interests are relate to linking the social context within conservation actions. Also practice diving and hiking.
Itma Selene Torres Rodríguez
Líder en restauración ecológica
Bióloga de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, con una maestría en Gerencia Ambiental de la Universidad de los Andes. Trabaja en la formulación, implementación y monitoreo de proyectos de restauración y conservación en diferentes ecosistemas de Colombia, como páramo, bosque seco tropical, sabana y bosques andinos. Además, ha trabajado en la evaluación de planes de manejo relacionados con las Reservas Forestales Protectoras Nacionales y formulación de su régimen de usos. Actualmente es especialista en restauración ecológica y lidera los aspectos técnicos y operativos de todos los proyectos nacionales relacionados con restauración de Wildlife Conservation Society-WCS.
Ivan Mauricio Vela
Big Mammal Leader
Mauricio completed his bachelor degree in biology and his masters in Biological Sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá. Currently Mauricio is PhD Candidate from the University of Arizona in Wildlife Management and Conservation. Mauricio has worked in mammalian ecology and reproductive biology in agricultural landscapes and protected areas in Colombia. His experience is focused on the effect of agricultural landscapes in species, community ecology and spatial ecology of Carnivores in the tropics besides seeking strategies to improve landscape planning and conservation. Mauricio has published several papers in national and international journals and book chapters as well edited books of carnivores ecology in Colombia and is part of the IUCN Small Carnivore Specialist Group. Mauricio is the Big Mammals Leader in WCS coordinating and leading the partnership Conservamos la Vida in Colombia, a project that aim to maintain habitat and populations of Andean bear in Colombia.
Johana Torres
Program Manager
Johanna is a Business Administrator from the Universidad Libre de Cali. She attended a certification course in Management Skills and Human Talent Management. She joined Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Colombia in February 2015. She is currently project manager in the protected area management field. She has professional experience in the review and preparation of reports, as well as in the technical, administrative, financial and logistic support related with banking institutions.
Johanna Gutiérrez
Program manager
Johanna is an Environmental Administrator from the Universidad Distrital and specialist in Environmental Planning and Integral Natural Resources Management from the Universidad Militar. She is currently studying for an MSc in Sustainable Development Projects. She has professional experience in coordination and monitoring of public and private programs and projects, as well as in their technical, administrative, financial and logistic support. She has, additionally, participated in institutional management processes and in the preparation of environmental management plans for offshore research projects in the hydrocarbons sector. She worked for several years with a Colombian Government office in the generation of knowledge in the fishing sector and has been connected to other public and private institutions developing environmental management and consultancy issues.
Jorge Parra
Protected Areas Coordinator
Jorge joined Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Colombia in May, 2013. He currently coordinates the Protected Areas division. He is a Behavioral Ecologist and a Conservation Biologist with more than 10 years of experience working in conservation projects and research studies. He obtained his BSc and MSc in Biology from Universidad de los Andes, where he studied the social behavior of some species of birds living in the Colombian Andes, Orinoquía and Amazonia. Jorge received his PhD in Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, where he investigated the evolution of reproductive strategies (mating and parental care behaviors) in three closely related shorebird species of the genus Charadrius sp. from Madagascar. Jorge is a member of the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP), a partnership between Wildlife Conservation Society, Fauna & Flora International and BirdLife International, with the Chicamocha project.
José Mauricio Salcedo Cabrales
José Mauricio Salcedo Cabrales serves as Consultant at WCS.

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