February 7th – 9th, 2022.

GALAPAGOS archipielago, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands.

International Symposium “Galapagos-Israel, Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: 21st Century and Beyond”

Over the course of the 7th to the 9th of February 2022 and situated in the Inspiration Complex of the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), the Second International Symposium “Galapagos-Israel, Sustainability in the Galapagos Islands: 21st Century and Beyond” took place in the presence of renowned Israeli and local scientists, with the objective of strengthening collaboration and research between Ecuador and Israel.

The main objective of the symposium was to strength collaboration and scientific research between the academic sectors of Ecuador and Israel on issues of relevance to the Galapagos, such as evolution, environment, genetics, climate change, food security, invasive species, sustainability among others.

Representatives of prestigious institutions gathered at this symposium:
Danny Rueda, Galapagos National Park Director. Marilyn Cruz B., Executive Director of the Galapagos Biosecurity Agency.  Rakan Zahawi, Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation. Noa Shenkar, Proffesor at the Tel Aviv University. Inti Keith from the Charles Darwin Foundation. And the Nobel Prize Prof. Ada Yonath from the Weizmann Institute of Science.

February 7th & 8th, 2022.

GALAPAGOS archipielago, Santa Cruz Island.

On February 7th and 8th, the delegation of Israeli scientists visited the Charles Darwin Research Station, located in Santa Cruz Island, in the Galapagos Archipelago, where, they met with CDF scientists to exchange their knowledge on the research being done by for the mutual benefit of both countries: Ecuador and Israel.

Presenting on behalf of the CDF were Rakan Zahawi, Executive Director; María José Barragán, Science Director; Dr Inti Keith, Principal Investigator of the Marine Invasive Species Project alongside her research team William Bensted-SmithJorge Ramírez and César Viteri, Principal Investigators of the Fisheries Project; Ainoa Nieto-Claudin, scientist from the Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Program and Heinke Jäger, Principal Investigator of the Terrestrial Invasive Species Project.

Participation of the key note speaker, the scientist Ada Yonath, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2009, and Hellen Deller Klein, ambassador for Ecuador in Israel also took part in the event virtually.

WORK TABLE, Santa Cruz

On Tuesday, February 8, from 14h35 to 15h30, we held a workshop in Puerto Ayora to generate ideas on the lessons learned and messages obtained from the event. The moderators of this workshop were Dr. Inti Keith and Dr. Ma José Barragán, from the Charles Darwin Foundation. Among the main topics discussed were conservation, threats, sustainability and innovation. At the end of the workshop ideas, next steps, administrative requirements and concluding remarks were established.

February 9th, 2022.

GALAPAGOS archipelago, San Cristobal Island.

Within the framework of the symposium, on February 9th, twelve scientists from various Israeli universities and institutes visited the facilities of the San Francisco de Quito University in Galapagos and diverse academic activities were performed in concomitance with the local academic staff.

Proffesors and students from the San Francisco de Quito University – Galápagos Extension and members of the community participated in the activities. All of them fundamental for the development of the proposed projects and the proper achievement of the stablished goals.

Among the USFQ professors who participated we can mention César Zambrano, María de Lourdes Torres and Juan Manuel Guayasamin.


10:00 AM
In the morning, the participants toured the facilities of USFQ Galapagos Extension and the Galapagos Science Center. They were able to visit the facilities and the laboratories and observe the tools and equipment that the institution has for the development of research in the fields of terrestrial, marine and social ecology.

2:00 PM
In the afternoon, through work tables, the visit sought to create opportunities for the exchange of ideas among the participants, and thus generate programs that can be carried out through future inter-institutional collaboration between the institutions involved in this conference.



Moderator: Oliver Carrick

In this table participants analyzed and explored different mechanisms to successfully and productively implement student exchanges, as well as, research and investigation projects between Israeli universities and USFQ.


Moderator: Diana Pazmiño & Alex Hearn

The discussion at the science table was stablished aiming on finding common themes to, in the future, collaborate in the development and conclusion of scientific research projects.

Links with Communities

Moderator: Andrés Pazmiño

In the third table, participants analyzed and discussed mechanisms to link and integrate education and science with the Galapagos community and thus progressively generate ecological awareness and promote the conservation of the environment in the islands.


Among the main conclusions reached by the symposium participants, the most important one was to identify common research projects to promote student exchange and, is such way, be able to develope greater inter-institutional exchange.
They identified as the ideal mechanism for this purpose the creation of a virtual space that enables the exchange of ideas and knowledge, through conversations in real time and that facilitates the sharing of documents and files.

And this is how this space was born, to allow the continuity of what began in the 2022 Galapagos symposium.
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