Diego has led the research and international programs at USFQ for over 10 years. His vision contributed to make USFQ accomplish Number 1 post in Latin America in internationalization (Times Higher Education). His most recent position was Dean of Research and International Affairs as well as Co-Director of the Galapagos Campus in San Cristóbal, Galapagos.
Diego obtained his Ph.D. in Anthropology of University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign. His research focus is Urban Ecology, Political Ecology and Medical Anthropology in the Galapagos, Amazon basin y the Andes. Diego has been working constantly in biodiversity and vulnerability research as well as traditional medicine in the region.
Diego believes that the role of universities is to be a part of the innovation ecosystem and that it should be tied to the community needs to develop public policy and support the private sector. His work philosophy is based in Liberal Arts, which promote inter disciplinary groups of work where each person contributes with its area of expertise to go forward in research.
Andrea C. Encalada is an Ecuadorian ecologist with over 30 years of experience in the fied of river conservation as well as the species living in them. Andrea obtained her Bachelor degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and did her Ph.D. at Cornell University, USA. In 2004 she founded the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory at USFQ and in 2016 the BIOSFERA-USFQ Research Institute. In this institute, she has developed a wide high range research program with international cooperation that has produced more than 70 peer reviewed publications, six book chapters and 2 books. Due to her contribution to Ecuador´s research, she earned the “Matilde Hidalgo” National Award and was admitted to the Ecuador Scientific Academy. Additional to her research work, her teaching practice and her devotion to mentor young scientists, Andrea has led several regional conservation initiatives. One of the most prominent is her role as Co-chair of the Science Panel for the Amazon which is a global project to develop and compile the best scientific information possible to promote the amazon basin conservation in a long term. As a scientist, Andrea seeks to develop and use scientific information as a tool to promote biodiversity and ecosystems conservation, sustainable development, and social-environmental issues mitigation. As a professor and Vicerector at USFQ, it is her dream to contribute to a new generation of young professionals with high moral values and dedication to academic excellence, humanism, and solidarity within the framework of Liberal Arts.