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Ecuador. What is Operation Wallacea ? Tropical scientific expeditions in 15countries 200+ academics running more than 120 projects Results published in peer-reviewed journals. What is Operation Wallacea? 30 new vertebrate species to science discovered

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What is Operation Wallacea?

Tropical scientific expeditions in 15countries

200+ academics running more than 120 projects

Results published in peer-reviewed journals

What is Operation Wallacea?

30 new vertebrate species to science discovered

Large temporal and spatial data sets obtained from tuition fee funded model

Data used to assess the performance of conservation management programs

Global Research and Conservation Strategy

Stage 1 - Assessing ecosystem diversity and function

Stage 2 - Monitoring ecosystem change

Stage 3 - Monitoring socio-economic change

Stage 4 - Establishing & monitoring the effectiveness of conservation management programs


Team Members

Principal Researchers

Assistant Researchers

Visiting Academics

Dissertation Students

Research Assistants

General Surveyors

Operations Staff

Medical Staff


Biodiversity Hotspots*: Choco Tumbes & Tropical Andes Hotspot

  • Definition of Hotspots:
  • Contain at least 0.5% (or 1,500 of the world's 300,000 plant species as endemics)
  • Lost 70% of primary vegetation.

*Myers et al (2000) Nature


Neo-tropical Forest Ecology course

  • Tropical rainforests: what are they and why are there so many species
  • Plant life of the cloud forest
  • Birdlife of the cloud forests
  • Mammals, reptiles and amphibians of the cloud forest
  • Conservation challenges in a biodiversity hotspot

Jungle Training Skills

  • Dangerous plants and animals
  • Disease and health
  • Safe working Practices
  • Establishing jungle camps
  • Emergency protocols

Puma – Puma concolor

Biodiversity surveys – camera trapping


Jaguarundi– Puma yagouroundi

Biodiversity surveys – camera trapping


Ocelot – Leopardus paradalis

Biodiversity surveys – camera trapping


Paramo Wolf – Lycalopex culpaeus

Biodiversity surveys – camera trapping


Spectacled Bear – Tremarctos ornatus

Biodiversity surveys – camera trapping


Galapagos Academic Institute

for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS)


Galapagos Island Ecology course

  • Voyage of the Beagle and Darwin’s insight
  • Endangered plants, goat eradication and invasive plants
  • Darwin’s finches and other birds of the Galapagos
  • Tortoise and iguana evolution and ecology
  • Sea lion ecology
  • Marine ecology of the islands
  • Threats to Galapagos biodiversity

Health & Safety

  • Training of students in safety procedures
  • Risk assessments
  • Medical cover
  • Communications
  • Emergency evacuation plans
  • BS8848 compliant
  • Medical statistics published each year
Links to Exams, Course Work, and University Entry

Relevant practicals and lectures for IB, AP , A level or Highers

IB – extended essay, CAS, PSOW

Stand alone extended project EPQ

UK universities – University Award or CoPE

US universities – course creditUniversity applications and interviews

Example research questions for IB, EPQ or CoPE

What are the differences between lowland forest and cloud forest?

Are carbon credits a viable option for protecting forests?

How can we estimate the population number of tropical wild cats in the Santa Lucia Reserve?

What is the social structure and ecological requirements of brown-headed spider monkeys?

Why are there so many species in South American tropical forests?

Can ecotourism provide a viable alternative income for the community at Tesoro Escondido?

£1150 ($1850) for expedition costs

International flights and in-country travel