Lenin E. Oviedo Correa, MSc (Project Coordinator/ PI)

Lenin has nine years of experience directing or assisting in numerous marine biodiversity and habitat analyses projects, in his home country Venezuela, Costa Rica and Africa with emphasis on cetacean ecology. He has also been working with populations in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Tropical Pacific. Currently he has published ten peer-reviewed publications, with five more in the evaluation stage (Aquatic Mammals, Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK, Revista de Biología Tropical, Cetacean Research and Management). His research focus is on habitat assessments through behavior, trophic and spatial ecology of small odontocetes. His PhD thesis aims to determine the ecology of coexistence of sympatric dolphins in the tropics, including critical habitat of cetaceans in Golfo Dulce.

David Herra Miranda (Researcher/ Undergraduate)

David is the field-work wizard of the project. He is currently undertaking his major in wildlife management from UNED Costa Rica. He was born in Osa Peninsula and has developed a passion for scientific research with cetaceans. David is an excellent photographer and has been co-author to one published article and to several other manuscripts currently under review. David has also been involved in several other wildlife surveys in his home area, including frogs, birds, and lately big cats.

Luis E. Vargas-Castro, PhD (Researcher/ Bioacoustics Specialist)

Luis has ample experience recording and analyzing natural sounds since 2007. He obtained a BSc in Biology and a Licenciatura (specialty degree) in Zoology from the University of Costa Rica. More recently, he completed a PhD in Biology at the University of Miami, where he studied the ecology and evolution of low-amplitude signals in songbirds. Luis has participated in various courses focused on natural sounds in Costa Rica and USA, encompassing diverse taxa, and has published scientific papers on song learning and vocal plasticity, behavioral ecology of acoustic communication, animal cognition, spatial patterns of vocalizations and sound propagation. He is also co-producer of a soundscapes album of the Osa Peninsula. Luis joined the CEIC to conduct research on marine bioacoustics and record the acoustic behaviors of dolphins and whales.

Juan Diego Pacheco Polanco, BSc (Researcher/ MSc candidate)

Diego was the project’s first intern, once he got his undergraduate degree from the School Biological Science at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica (UNA); he actively became involved with research on bottlenose dolphins in our study area and wider Osa Peninsula. Diego has been a recipient of the Society for Marine Mammalogy - Small Grant. Diego is currently a Master candidate with the Graduate Program for Tropical Coastal Areas Integrated Management of Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR). He is working towards producing his Master Theses on bottlenose dolphins ecology and threat assessment applied to management and conservation in Golfo Dulce.

Amaru Marquez Artavia, BSc (Co-Researcher)

Amaru is in charge of the oceanographic component of the habitat assessment and the acoustic surveys. He finished his undergraduate dissertation on a preliminary assessment of Humpback Whale distribution and habitat use in Golfo Dulce. He has also participated in several oceanographic surveys in front of Cocos Island, Costa Rica.

María Gabriela Silva, BSc (Research Associate)

Gaby did her undergraduate degree at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and has been working with marine mammals, especially cetaceans, since 2006. Her different study sites were located in the Caribbean (Central coast of Venezuela), in the Pacific (Southwestern coast of Costa Rica) and in the Gulf of Maine (Cape Cod and Nova Scotia), and she was able to collect a variety of scientific data; including density, distribution, habitat use, behaviour, photo identification, acoustics, DNA sampling, conservation, among others. Her expertise ranges from species like Bottlenose-, Pacific and Atlantic Spotted-, and Common Dolphins till baleen whales, such as Humpback Whales. She had the opportunity to acquire a broad variety of field skills and lots of knowledge working with various scientific teams and educational programs such as ISV (International Students Volunteers), Vida Silvestre Golfo Dulce, PCCS (Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies), and Proyecto Delphinus in Venezuela. Her goal is to generate as much valuable scientific information as possible, e.g. about the ecology of different cetacean species, and especially from those that are threatened and endangered, in order to promote their conservation.

Christine Figgener, MSc (Research Associate / Webmaster)

Chris has completed her graduate degree with University of Würzburg in Germany, and has been working in marine conservation in Costa Rica, especially sea turtle conservation, since 2007. Chris has been able to gather important experiences in research and conservation already at an early age, and as versatile as in zoological settings as well as in the wild, e.g. German Coasts, Red Sea-Egypt, Sierra Nevada-United States. In Costa Rica she has been running different sea turtle conservation projects in the Caribbean and on the Pacific coast, mainly in community-based approaches. Her research interest lies in the conservation and reproduction biology, especially of Leatherback Sea Turtles, and Humpback Whales.

Taboga (Captain)

Doña Azucena and Don Jorge (Logistical support – El Chontal Ecolodge managers)

Scientific Advisors:

Dora Ingrid Rivera Luther
Hilda Viquez Mora
Miguel Iñiguez