Staff

Mara Contreras
Protected new areas coordinator
Mara is a biologist with an MSc in Environmental Sustainability Management. She has 16 years of experience working in protected areas. She currently supports, scientifically, the implementation of the route for declaration of new prioritized protected areas in Colombia.
Maria Antonia Espitia
Magdalena local leader
María Antonia is a psychologist. She joined WCS in 2014 as coordinator of the Wildlife Project in the Magdalena Medio region. She has led the development of participatory, organizational, educational, investigative, deliberative and environmental territorial planning practices within rural communities, with the purpose of enabling them to act as managers of their own initiatives. With her work, María Antonia mainly strives to strengthen the healthy coexistence between man and nature.
Mónica Lozano Hernández
Financial Manager
Paola Andrea Mejía
Marine Leader
Biologist and Doctor in Sciences-Biology from the Universidad del Valle, Colombia. Marine leader of WCS Colombia since 2017. She has been supporting processes for the declaration and management of marine protected areas, as well as strategic planning processes based on community participation and adaptive management, as mechanisms to direct and execute actions towards the sustainability of the resources and their ecosystem services. She has experience in population assessments of fishery resources, based on both life history and demographics and poor data, aiming to contribute to the management of those resources of economic importance and food security of coastal communities.
Silvia Juliana Alvarez
Sustainable Landscapes Coordinator
Silvia is a biologist from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. She has a master’s degree in Biodiversity and Ecology from the University of Göttingen in Germany, where she studied fruit selection by titi monkeys (Callicebus lugens) in the Colombian Amazon. She worked as a lecturer and research scientist at the Universidad de Pamplona. For her PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, she studied the relationship between movement ecology and group dynamics in mammals. Her main research interest is understanding the distribution patterns and spatial ecology and behavior of species and communities, and their responses to changes resulting from human activities. Her work at WCS focuses on the generation of information and tools to support planning and decision-making processes that promote the development of sustainable landscapes.
William Bonell
Wildlife Specialist
William has a degree in Biology from the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas (Bogotá) and has been part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Colombia since 2011. Because of his great interest in field research, he has supported the development of ecology and conservation projects with populations of primates and medium and large mammals. Also, he has participated in monitoring activities of species that are the object of study for WCS and he has coordinated biodiversity inventories in different processes in the axes of species and areas for conservation where he has supported the implementation of the declaratory route for some new protected areas in Colombia.
Zaira Ríos
Production assistant
Zaira is a television producer and photographer. She is assistant of the WCS Division of Information and Communications. She administers the social media, Web page and other virtual channels of our organization.

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