Instituto BIOSFERA | Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Instituto BIOSFERA

College of Biological and Environmental Sciences
About us

BIÓSFERA is an interdisciplinary institute that aims to carry out scientific research in a wide range of academic subjects and in different ecosystems of the biosphere at national and international level.

The BIÓSFERA Institute aims to contribute to the generation of knowledge, management, conservation and restoration of diverse species and ecosystems, and proposes a comprehensive vision that considers ecological, evolutionary, technical, social, cultural, legal and economic aspects.

Research Interests
  • Ecological processes
  • Biodiversity and evolutionary biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental engineering
  • Resource management
  • Socio-environmental studies
Academic staff
Mission

To train professionals and carry out interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research related to the biological and environmental sciences, biology, and ecology of diverse ecosystems of the biosphere, to contribute to the generation of knowledge, the conservation of nature, and the construction of ecologically sustainable development models.

Vision

To be an internationally recognized, interdisciplinary research center and national benchmark, leader in research, service provision and sustainable management of environmental, biological, and genetic resources.

Faculty

Directors

Andrea Encalada
Co-Director
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext .. 1443
Email: aencalada@usfq.edu.ec

Valeria Ochoa
Co-Director
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1208
Email: vochoa@usfq.edu.ec

Coordinators

Maja Celinšćak
Academic coordinator
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1472
Email: mcelinscak@usfq.edu.ec

Members

Gabriel Trueba
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1836
Email: gtrrue@usfq.edu.ec

Lourdes Magdalena Orejuela Escobar
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 2074
Email: lorejuela@usfq.edu.ec

Omar Aguirre
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1206
Email: oaguirre@usfq.edu.ec

Carolina Reyes-Puig
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1383
Email: creyesp@usfq.edu.ec

Carlos Jiménez
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1833
Email: cjimenez@usfq.edu.ec

Giovani Ramón
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1383
Email: gramonc@usfq.edu.ec

Sonia Zapata
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1427
Email: szapata@usfq.edu.ec

Cesar Zambrano
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1451
Email: czambrano@usfq.edu.ec

Bernardo Gutierrez
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1356
Email: bgutierrezg@usfq.edu.ec

Andrea Landázuri Flores
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1374
Email: alandazuri@usfq.edu.ec

Judith Denkinger
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1153
Email: jdenkinger@usfq.edu.ec

Antonio Leon-Reyes
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1190
Email: aleon@usfq.edu.ec

Michel Vargas
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1061
Email: mvargasv@usfq.edu.ec

Stella de la Torre
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1789
Email: sdelatorre@usfq.edu.ec

Margaret Brandt
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1184
Email: mbrandt@usfq.edu.ec

Gonzalo Rivas
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 2217
Email: grivast@usfq.edu.ec

Leo Zurita-Arthos
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1124
Email: lzurita@usfq.edu.ec

Jaime Chaves
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1268
Email: jachaves@usfq.edu.ec

Melanie Valencia
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 2104
Email: mdvalencia@usfq.edu.ec

Laia Muñoz
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1079
Email: ljmunoz@usfq.edu.ec

Diego Cisneros-Heredia
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1446
Email: dcisneros@usfq.edu.ec

Elisa Bonaccorso
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1341
Email: ebonaccorso@usfq.edu.ec

Maria de Lourdes Torres
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1746
Email: ltorres@usfq.edu.ec

Cristina Mateus
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1419
Email: mcmateus@usfq.edu.ec

Esteban Suarez
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1444
Email: esuarez@usfq.edu.ec

Juan Manuel Guayasamin
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1340
Email: jmguayasamin@usfq.edu.ec

External staff
Alina Freire-Fierro
IKIAM
Telephone: (06) 3700040
Email: alina.freire@ikiam.edu.ec

Blanca Patricia Ríos-Touma
UDLA
Telephone: (02) 398 1000 (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 2328
Email: blanca.rios@udla.edu.ec

Julia Salvador Maldonado
WCS
Telephone: (02) 2249763
Email: jsalvador@wcs.org

Paulina Dalgo
WCS
Telephone: (02) 223-7377
Email: pdalgo@wcs.org

Luis Vinueza
Telephone: n / a
Email: lvinueza@usfq.edu.ec

Karla Estefanía Rojas
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 1286
Email: krojas@usfq.edu.ec

Diego Mosquera
Tiputini Resident Administrator
Telephone: 098731682
Email: dmosquera@usfq.edu.ec

Professors

Sofia Carvalho
Full-time professor
Telephone: (+593) 2 297 1700 ext. 2155
Email: scarvalho@usfq.edu.ec

Research

Project (line or lines) Coordinator or Principal Investigator

Discover Napo River (Evolutionary biology, phylogeny, and biodiversity; Ecology applied to conservation and development)

Elisa Bonaccorso

The páramos as generators of biodiversity: comparative biogeography and implications in climate change scenarios (Evolutionary biology, phylogeny, and biodiversity)

Elisa Bonaccorso & Juan Manuel Guayasamin

Characterization of the Canchalagua population (Chiton goodallii and Chiton sulcatus) on San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos, Ecuador, for the recommendation of management measures (Ecology applied to conservation and development) 

Margarita Brandt

Pilot study of the fauna of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) associated with populations of Alouata palliata (Primates: Atelidae) in two localities of the province of Manabí (Ecology applied to conservation and development)

Giovani Ramón
Diversity along the Napo Basin (Evolutionary biology, phylogeny, and biodiversity; Ecology applied to conservation and development) Andrea Encalada
E-fish Citizen Science 

(Evolutionary biology, phylogeny, and biodiversity; Ecology applied to conservation and development)

Andrea Encalada
Andes Amazon Dams project 

 (Ecology applied to conservation and development) 

Andrea Encalada
Rios Vivos Andinos: Region-wide collaboration for conservation of free-flowing rivers 

 (Ecology applied to conservation and development) 

Andrea Encalada

Water, Biodiversity and Global Change: from the Ecosystemic to the Productive and Social (Ecology applied to conservation and development)

Andrea Encalada
ECUGUAYCO: Towards the Construction of an EcoHidrological Classification of Streams of Ecuador (Ecology applied to conservation and development) Andrea Encalada
Monitoring of Oil activities in Ecuador: a cross-disciplinary approach between Environment, Health and People – MONOIL (Ecology applied to conservation and development) Andrea Encalada
CELLDEX- CELLulose Decomposition EXperiment in streams and riparian zones across the Earth’s major biomes (Ecology applied to conservation and development) Andrea Encalada
Dimensions: Collaborative Research: An integrative traits-based approach to predicting variation in vulnerability of tropical and temperate stream biodiversity to climate change (Ecology applied to conservation and development) Andrea Encalada
 Cristina's project with Poligrants  

Publications

Akcali, C. K., Adán Pérez-Mendoza, H., Salazar-Valenzuela, D., Kikuchi, D. W., Guayasamin, J. M., & Pfennig, D. W. (2019). Evaluating the utility of camera traps in field studies of predation. PeerJ, 7, e6487. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6487 .

Amador, L., Soto‐Gamboa, M., & Guayasamin, J. M. (2019). Integrating alpha, beta, and phylogenetic diversity to understand anuran fauna along environmental gradients of tropical forests in western Ecuador. Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5593 .

Atkinson, C. L., Alexiades, A. V., MacNeill, K. L., Encalada, A. C., Thomas, S. A., & Flecker, A. S. (2019). Nutrient recycling by insect and fish communities in high-elevation tropical streams. Hydrobiologia, 838(1), 13–28. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-03973-9 .

Bremer, L. L., Farley, K. A., DeMaagd, N., Suárez, E., Cárate Tandalla, D., Vasco Tapia, S., & Mena Vásconez, P. (2019). Biodiversity outcomes of payment for ecosystem services: lessons from páramo grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28(4), 885–908. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-019-01700-3.

Brito, J., Tinoco, N., Curay, J., Vargas, R., Reyes-Puig, C., Romero, V., & Pardiñas, U. F. J. (2019). Unexpected diversity in the Andes of Ecuador: phylogeny of the Thomasomys “cinereus” group and description of a new species (Rodentia, Cricetidae). Neotropical mammozoology, 26(2), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.31687/saremMN.19.26.2.0.04.

Carvajal-Endara, S., Coloma, L. A., Morales-Mite, M. A., Guayasamin, J. M., SzéKely, P., & Duellman, W. E. (2019). Phylogenetic systematics, ecology, and conservation of marsupial frogs (Anura: Hemiphractidae) from the Andes of southern Ecuador, with descriptions of four new biphasic species. Zootaxa, 4562(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4562.1.1.

Cordero–Rivera, A., Sanmartín–Villar, I., Sánchez Herrera, M., Rivas–Torres, A., & Encalada, A. C. (2019). Survival and longevity in neotropical damselflies (Odonata, Polythoridae). Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 293–300. https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2019.42.0293.

Encalada, A. C., Flecker, A. S., Poff, N. L., Suárez, E., Herrera-R, G. A., Ríos-Touma, B., … Anderson, E. P. (2019). A global perspective on tropical montane rivers. Science, 365(6458), 1124–1129. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aax1682.

Encalada AC, Guayasamin JM, Suárez E, Mena CF, Lessmann J, Sampedro C, Martínez P, Ochoa-Herrera V, Swing K, Celinšćak M, Schreckinger J, Vieira J, Tapia A, Serrano C, Barragán K, Andrade Alexiades A, Troya MJ. (2019) The Rivers of the Andean-Amazon Basins: Invertebrate Tools and Guide for the Effective Design of Monitoring Programs. Trama, Quito, 224 pp.

Gabela-Flores, M. V., Sanmartín-Villar, I., Rivas-Torres, A., Encalada, A. C., & Cordero-Rivera, A. (2019). Demography and territorial behavior of three species of the genus Hetaerina along three tropical stream ecosystems (Odonata: Calopterygidae). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2677691.

Guayasamin, J. M., Cisneros-Heredia, D. F., Vieira, J., Kohn, S., Gavilanes, G., Lynch, R. L., … Maynard, R. J. (2019). A new glassfrog (Centrolenidae) from the Chocó-Andean Río Manduriacu Reserve, Ecuador, endangered by mining. PeerJ, 7, e6400. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.6400.

Guayasamin JM, Hutter CR, Tapia EE, Culebras J, Peñafiel N, Pyron RA, et al. (2017) Diversification of the rainfrog Pristimantis ornatissimus in the lowlands and Andean foothills of Ecuador. PLoS ONE 12(3): e0172615. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0172615.

Hargreaves, A. L., Suárez, E., Mehltreter, K., Myers-Smith, I., Vanderplank, S. E., Slinn, H. L., … Morales M., P. A. (2019). Seed predation increases from the Arctic to the Equator and from high to low elevations. Science Advances, 5(2), eaau4403. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau4403.

Hoorn, C., Guayasamin, J. M., Ortega-Andrade, H. M., Linder, P., & Bonaccorso, E. (2019). Celebrating Alexander von Humboldt’s 250 th anniversary: Exploring bio- and geodiversity in the Andes (IBS Quito 2019). Frontiers of Biogeography, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.21425/F5FBG44178.

Jiménez-Robles O, Guayasamin JM, Ron SR, De la Riva I. Reproductive traits associated with species turnover of amphibians in Amazonia and its Andean slopes. Ecol Evol. 2017;7:2489–2500. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.2862.

Mateus, C., Guerrero, C. A., Quezada, G., Lara, D., & Ochoa-Herrera, V. (2019). An Integrated Approach for Evaluating Water Quality between 2007–2015 in Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Archipelago. Water, 11(5), 937. https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050937.

Maurice, L., López, F., Becerra, S., Jamhoury, H., Le Menach, K., Dévier, M.-H., … Schreck, E. (2019). Drinking water quality in areas impacted by oil activities in Ecuador: Associated health risks and social perception of human exposure. Science of The Total Environment, 690, 1203–1217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.089.

Ramón, G. M., Pérez, R., & Jarrín, P. (2019). Francisco Campos-Rivadeneira and Roberto Levi- Castillo: Their lives and contributions to the study of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Ecuador. Biomédica, 39, 172–198. https://doi.org/10.7705/biomedica.v39i3.4415.

Reyes-Puig, J. P., Reyes-Puig, C., Ron, S., Ortega, J. A., Guayasamin, J. M., Goodrum, M., … Yánez-Muñoz, M. H. (2019). A new species of terrestrial frog of the genus Noblella Barbour, 1930 (Amphibia: Strabomantidae) from the Llanganates-Sangay Ecological Corridor, Tungurahua, Ecuador. PeerJ, 7, e7405. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.7405.

Salerno, P. E., Páez-Vacas, M., Guayasamin, J. M., & Stynoski, J. L. (2019). Male principal investigators (almost) don’t publish with women in ecology and zoology. PLOS ONE, 14(6), e0218598. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0218598.

Scheele, B. C., Pasmans, F., Skerratt, L. F., Berger, L., Martel, A., Beukema, W., … Canessa, S. (2019). Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity. Science, 363(6434), 1459–1463. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aav0379.

Seena, S., Bärlocher, F., Sobral, O., Gessner, M. O., Dudgeon, D., McKie, B. G., … Graça, M. A. S. (2019). Biodiversity of leaf litter fungi in streams along a latitudinal gradient. Science of The Total Environment, 661, 306–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.122.

Suarez, E., & Zapata‐Ríos, G. (2019). Managing subsistence hunting in the changing landscape of Neotropical rain forests. Biotropica, 51(3), 282–287. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12662.

Tiegs, S. D., Costello, D. M., Isken, M. W., Woodward, G., McIntyre, P. B., Gessner, M. O., Zwart, J. A. (2019). Global patterns and drivers of ecosystem functioning in rivers and riparian zones. Science Advances, 5(1), eaav0486. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav0486.

Zambrano-Romero, A., Herrera-Moreno, N., Trueba, G., Sierra-Alvarez, R., León-Reyes, A., & Ochoa-Herrera, V. (2019). Construction and operation of a low-cost anaerobic chamber for the seeding and cultivation of reducing sulfate bacteria. Advances in Science and Engineering, 11 (2). https://doi.org/10.18272/aci.v11i2.1303.

Services

BIOSFERA Service Laboratory offers comprehensive biological and physical-chemical analysis of environmental samples:

  • Identification of aquatic invertebrates
  • Water quality assessment
  • Physics and chemistry of rivers, lagoons, and natural springs
  • Physical and chemical wastewater

Alliances

The Gordon and Betty Moore.
Country: USA.
Collaboration Type: project financing Discover Napo river.

Fulbright scholars Leah Gerber, Ph.D. and John Sabo, Ph.D. (Arizona State University).
Country: USA.
Collaboration Type: academic collaboration and research, teaching.

Wildlife Conservation Society.
Country: USA.
Collaboration Type: Discover Napo river project.

Sr3 Invent Cía. Ltda
Country: Ecuador and Switzerland.
Collaboration Type: Stockholm Junior Water Prize Of Ecuador (Sjwp - Ec).

Workshops, conferences, events

HUMBOLDT 250 International Congress;
Quito August 05-09, 2019.

Lab Meetings BIOSPHERE;
Quito March and April 2019.

Monoil Event: Environmental Monitoring, Health, Society and Oil in Ecuador;
Quito March 19, 2019.

Presentation of the Book "The rivers of the Andean-Amazon basins: tools and invertebrate guide for the design of monitoring programs";
Quito September 19, 2019.

AQUATROP Congress: Tropical Aquatic Ecosystems in the Anthropocene;
Quito July 23-26, 2018
http://riostropicales2018.org/.

TNC-USFQ Course: Training in Monitoring Data Management with RBIS;
Quito, October 25-27, 2017.

Workshop: Environmental Leadership Short Course;
5-8 January 2018.

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