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Nature and Culture International is dedicated to the conservation of biological and cultural diversity. We act locally to protect highly biodiverse and threatened ecosystems through concrete actions with local staff.

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Senior Staff


Byron Swift

Byron Swift, President, has worked with local partners throughout Latin America for over two decades to improve land and resource conservation and environmental policy. An environmental lawyer, Byron is an expert in private lands conservation and has published widely on biodiversity, industrial pollution and climate change. He has directed the energy program at the Environmental Law Institute (1994-2004) and the US office of IUCN - World Conservation Union (1998-2004), and has served as a private foundation officer.

Mike McColm

Mike McColm, International Director, is an expert in conservation, reforestation, sustainable development and environmental education. He worked for over 20 years in Ecuador as Development and then Executive Director of the Jatun Sacha Foundation, leading it to become one of Ecuador’s preeminent conservation organizations. He has a doctorate in Administration from the University of California and a Masters in Environmental Studies. Mike enjoys leading natural history study groups, teaching, and is a musician.

Lisa Cassidy

Lisa Cassidy, Accountant and Executive Assistant, has 3 AAs and is currently attending UC San Diego. She is studying for a major in Communications and a minor in Environmental Studies. Working at NCI has inspired a passion in her for both environmental and cultural conservation. She loves reading, dancing and music.

Sara Dozier

Sara Dozier, Secretary and Treasurer, has held an Officer position as a volunteer with NCI since its founding in 1997. She has worked in the accounting field for 20 years with Del Mar Partnership, Inc.

NCI Ecuador
Renzo Paladines

Renzo Paladines, Director of Nature & Culture-Ecuador, has led our program in Ecuador since 1996. Renzo has broad experience in conservation, served as Coordinator of the United Nations Geo-Loja report, and was President of the Regional Council of the Catamayo-Chira river basin in 2003. Renzo received the Podocarpus Award of Loja’s Provincial Council for his efforts in conservation and environmental management and has a masters degree in Zootechnics from the People’s Friendship University, Moscow.
Priscila Dávila

Priscila Dávila, Head of Finance, has worked at Nature & Culture International since 2000. Previously, she was head of control for the Banco de Loja (1999-2000) and credit officer at Banco del Austro. Priscila has a Doctorate in accounting.
Bolívar Tello

In Memoriam, Bolívar Tello, founding member of NCI, Director of the NCI Zapotillo office, and life-long conservationist. Admired by all for his love of life and his dedication to the local communities he worked with.

Bruno Paladines

Bruno Paladines, Ecologist, directs Nature & Culture International’s programs for community development in southern Ecuador, working on both social and environmental aspects. He also directs Nature & Culture International’s largest project at La Ceiba-Pilares in the dry forests of Zapotillo. Bruno has a degree in Ecology from the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Eduardo Cueva

Eduardo Cueva, Forester, has studied and published on the native fruits of southern Ecuador, the growth of the forest species and seeds, and reforestation. He carried out postgraduate work at the National Herbarium of Ecuador in Quito, and completed his Doctorate studies at the University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Fabián Rodas

Fabián Rodas, Biologist, is a regional coordinator of DarwinNet and the Laipuna Reserve. He has published on bird conservation and on the use of GIS for protected areas. He has also served as a university professor (2000-2002). Fabián has a post-graduate degree in Population Ecology from the University of Costa Rica.
Felipe Serrano

Felipe Serrano is Coordinator of the Biosur project, the Biosphere Reserve program, and the community programs at Colambo-Yacuri. He has a Masters in Management of Tropical Biodiversity from San Pablo University, Spain, and was a university teacher (1999 - 2002). Felipe is the founder of the Azuay Herbarium and president of Funbotánica.
César Aguirre Torres

César Aguirre Torres is a veterinary doctor and environmental lawyer. He worked for several years on conservation projects for the Podocarpus Foundation before joining Nature & Culture International. Cesar created the Protective Forest “Servio Aguirre” over forest lands he owns, and founded a regional organization BOPRISUR for conservation landowners. In his free time, César enjoys photography and collecting books and documents about the history of Ecuador and Loja.
Galo Carrillo

Galo Carrillo, Education Coordinator, has trained a generation of environmental activists in southern Ecuador, where he has taught high school since 1970. Galo works with Nature & Culture International to implement the national and binational Science Fairs, the Encounters of Children’s Creativity program and the network of Loja EcoClubs. He has a degree in Education.
José Romero

José Romero, Agronomist, has a degree in Agricultural Engineering and coordinates development projects based on sustainable productive use of promising native species such as the cherimoya and the toronche (a highland papaya) within environmental friendly agroforestry systems. The majority of his work takes place in the western part of the Colambo Yacuri Protected Forest.
Luis López

Luis López, Coordinator of Valladolid project.
Pedro Paladines

Pedro Paladines is Administrator of the San Francisco Scientific Station. He has a degree in Environmental Management from the Technical University of Loja, and postgraduate studies at the Peoples Friendship University, Moscow.
Juan Ordoñez

Juan Ordoñez, Chief of Administration, is a public accountant with a degree in Business administration. He has been a financial director for over 26 years within the Ecuadorian Subcommision, and the Provincial Councils of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe. Juan also has experience as the head of the Municipality of Loja’s tax department, and was a university professor for two years at the Technical University of Loja.
Trotsky Riera Vite

Trotsky Riera Vite, Environmental Engineer, coordinates Nature & Culture International’s Zamora office. Trotsky is a specialist in habitat restoration, and conducted his thesis at Nature & Culture International’s San Francisco Scientific Station. He is also a professor at the Technical University of Loja.
Jason Kreiselman

Jason Kreiselman, Peace Corps Volunteer, has a BS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. After working as a project manager in the wind energy industry for six years, he is currently assisting NCI with the development of a number of print and electronic communications materials including websites, e-newsletters, and brochures. Outside the office, Jason enjoys hiking, cycling, cooking, and traveling.
Jason Kreiselman

Sarah Nelson, Peace Corps Volunteer, studied International Business, German, and Spanish at Augustana College. Sarah's work at NCI is concentrated on small business development and environmental education in the communties surrounding the La Ceiba and Cazaderos reserves.
NCI Peru
Luis Alban

Luis Alban, Director of Nature & Culture-Peru, initiated our Peru office in 2003. He is a Biologist (University Ricardo Palma of Lima), with twelve years experience in projects dealing with conservation and development, especially in relation to forest genetic resources. Luis served as scientific director for reforestation at the University of Piura (1994-2004), President of the Regional Environmental Commission of Piura (2002-2004), and Coordinator of the Piura working group on paramos (2001-2004).
Alex Moore

Alex Moore, Biologist, is Administrator of DarwinNet and coordinator of Nature & Culture International’s program at the El Angolo Reserve in Peru. Alex has conducted biodiversity surveys in northwest Peru since 2002, and has worked on information management systems with the Institute for Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP).
Paul Viñas

Paul Viñas, Biologist, coordinates the Andean Program for Nature & Culture International’s NW Peru office. He has conducted biodiversity surveys in Piura’s mountain ecosystems and has extensive experience in community work.

Walter Ruiz, Engineer, coordinates Dry forest program for NCI – Peru in Piura. He has experience in community development and marketing, and has postgraduate studies in agricultural business.
Noam Shany

Noam Shany, Ornithologist and Conservationist, is co-author of Birds of Peru and Nature & Culture International’s liaison to the Program for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of the Regional Biodiversity of Loreto (PROCREL).
Wagner Guzman

Wagner Guzman, Director of Nature & Culture-Amazonas, is an agricultural engineer with a Masters degree from the Catholic University of Chile and Bachelors from La Molina National Agrarian University of Peru. Wagner did post graduate studies at the Alcalá University of Spain. He is a specialist in environmental economics and planning, and also works for the Institute for Investigation of the Peruvian Amazon (IIAP) and as a university professor.




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