Byron Swift

President

Byron Swift has dedicated the majority of his career to helping build local capacity for land and resource conservation throughout Latin America. Over the past 35 years, he has worked to catalyze the creation of protected areas and support innovative programs in watershed protection, sustainable development, and environmental policy. He has also been widely published on the themes of biodiversity, natural resources management, climate change, and industrial pollution. An environmental lawyer, Byron has previously directed Nature and Culture International, the United States office of IUCN – the World Conservation Union, and Rainforest Trust, which he also founded.

Lucila Castro

Lucila Castro

Director, Argentina

Lucila Castro is a biologist, having graduated from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina, with interests in conservation biology, ecology, and protected areas. She is currently a PhD candidate working on mammal conservation ecology in the Chaco Forest, Central Argentina. Since 2010, Lucila has been a member of the High Andean Flamingo Conservation Group (GCFA), where she coordinates aerial flamingo census at Mar Chiquita Lake, in the Cordoba Province. Lucila is also member of the Flamingo Specialist Group and the Connectivity and Conservation Specialist Group of IUCN. She is a board member of the International Society on Salt Lakes Research, and a collaborative researcher at the National Mexico University’s Institute of Ecology. During 5 years she was the head of the South America Program of the NGO Pacific Biodiversity Institute and in recent years she has participated in numerous research and training projects in the United States, Australia, England, Mexico and Argentina.

Staff

María Laura Steffolani

María Laura Steffolani

Conservation Biologist

Maria Laura Steffolani is a biologist with interests in conservation and biological behavior, and is a project manager of several Natura International conservation projects. Maria holds degrees from the National University of Córdoba (BS) and the University of Salamanca, Spain (MS).

Imanol Cabaña

Conservation Biologist

Imanol Cabaña joined the Project of Biodiversity and Wildlands of South America (a PBI project) in 2014 as a scientific advisor. Now part of Natura International, Ima works on the evaluation of protected areas, and helps manage specific conservation projects and coordinates tasks with local communities. Ima is a biologist and PhD candidate in Biological Sciences at the National University of Córdoba, focused on animal behavior, population genetics and herpetology.

Andrea Michelson

Andrea Michelson

Conservation Biologist

Specialist in Ecology graduated from the National University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has been working on biodiversity and conservation for more than fifteen years, especially focused on the design and development of projects, strategies and policies related to the creation of protected areas. Andrea specializes in large-scale projects (regional, eco-regional, national). She has worked for different government areas and for NGOs in Argentina, also in South American Regional Office (IUCN). She is an active member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

Agustina Di Pauli

Agustina Di Pauli

Conservation Biologist

Agustina Di Pauli works to evaluate potential protected areas, manages specific conservation projects and their relations with local communities, and carries out Geographical Information System work. In her previous career, Agustina has focused on bird ecology and biological interactions, and also worked with environmental education, ethology, and wildlife management in the Horco Molle Experimental Reserve in Tucuman Province, and on shorebird and turtle conservation in Uruguay. Agustina holds a Biology degree from the National University of Tucuman, Argentina.

Victoria Lassaga

Victoria Lassaga

Project Manager

Victoria Lassaga a is a biology student at the National University of Córdoba with an emphasis on conservation and ecology. She is now finishing her thesis about mammals in southern Córdoba province, and has done volunteer work with turtles in La Coronilla, Uruguay. Victoria manages Natura International’s internal organizational processes and project monitoring.

Agustina Conci

Social Communicator

Agustina currently manages Natura International’s both internal and external communications, as well as collaborating with diverse digital media composition.  She has worked as an environmental journalist, mainly focusing on Cordoba Province’s socio-environmental conflicts.  She documented the advancement in Cordoba’s forest clearing on radiophonic and published paper works.  She is a Social Communicator graduate from the National University of Cordoba.

Advisory Committee

Gerardo Ceballos, PhD

Gerardo Ceballos, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Dr Ceballos is a distinguished researcher in Ecology at the University Autonomous of Mexico (UNAM) and member of the Mexican Academy of Science. Dr Ceballos’s research program is the conservation of species and ecosystems. Throughout his research at the UNAM he has made great effort to link the advances made in basic research with solutions to environmental problems. He is an ecologist and conservationist with numerous books published in Mexico and articles published in the best scientific journals. His work has been honored with multiple awards in different parts of the world.

Fernando Barri, PhD

Fernando Barri, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Fernando Barri  is a researcher and professor at the National University of Córdoba, in Argentina, where he was the director of the Vaquerias nature reserve belonging to the university. He is now in charge of the project Actions for the Conservation of the Southern Portion of the Great American Chaco in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Fernando has a Master’s degree in Wildlife Management and a PhD in Biological Science.

Enrique J. Derlindati, PhD

Scientific Advisor

Enrique Derlindati is a professor and researcher at the National University of Salta. He has extensive experience studying high Andes flamingos and wetlands, and also researches the responses of forest birds to human activities. He received his PhD from the National University of Tucumán, Argentina.