About

Short Bio

I am an ecologist and conservation biologist. My day-to-day work usually involves fieldwork, birds, and spatial analysis. Most of my career has been devoted to the conservation and restoration of the tropical Andes and the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) San Antonio cloud forest in particular.

Here is my Curriculum Vitae.

Impact

My research and conservation work has had considerable impact, for instance:

  • The study on 100 years of biodiversity change in the San Antonio cloud forest lead to the purchase of 53 ha of land for conservation, and the proposal to establish a biological corridor to improve habitat connectivity. To support this work please go to the website of my NGO Fundacion Ecotonos.

  • My paper on the seed dispersal network of the San Antonio cloud forest (2016) has been cited over 40 times and helped develop further work using network analysis for community ecology in other areas of Colombia.

  • The list of the birds of Cali (2017) has inspired the creation of a new field guide for the city, the conservation of its natural resources and its promotion as an ecotourism destination.

  • Research on biogeographic regions in the tropical Andes (PNAS front-cover 2018) has been cited over 74 times and has been influential to increase our understanding of evolutionary patterns in the Andes.

  • My work in 2015 restoring the habitat of the endangered Dahl’s Toad-headed Turtle has been the basis for an on-going successful conservation project for the species, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Short Manifesto

The Quest for Truth is a Sacred Pursuit - Cloud Forests are heaven on Earth - Conservation is the Wildly important - Honor and Skin in the Game.

A Man of No Rank

I shun academia’s obsession with credentials. How many publications do you have? what’s your H score? which are the awards you have gotten? This creates perverse incentives and reduces the tremendous impact that research can have on the real world.

“I trust those who are greedy for money a thousand times more than those who are greedy for credentials." – Nassim Taleb

I focus on making a contribution. I’d rather help save species from extinction than get tenured.

“little to no credit is given by academic institutions for important conservation activities that do not have a dollar value (…) It is unlikely that an academic institution would grant tenure to faculty whose primary achievements contributed to saving a species or ecosystem." (Parsons and Cigliano 2020)

Political Views

Echo-anarchism (deep ecology), bioregionalism and localism.

Our world will better with systemic alternatives that are based on ecological principles and social systems of cooperation, instead of relying on ideologies and the exploitation of other people and species.

I favor organic bottom-up approaches, instead of top-down control from governments. I value freedom and I am a privacy advocate in the era of mass-surveillance and people being sold as a product on the Internet.