Co-Director, Galapagos Science Center, San Cristobal, Ecuador
Director, Galapagos Research, USFQ
Director and Professor, Institute of Geography, USFQ
Adjunct Professor, Geography, UNC-CH
GSC Advisory Board, Ex-officio
Dr. Carlos Mena is the Founding Director of the USFQ Institute of Geography and founding Co-Director of the Galapagos Science Center. Carlos F. Mena is a Professor of Geography in the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at USFQ and an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) and has been doing research in the Amazon and Galapagos Islands for more than 20 years.
As a is a geographer, he is interested in a wide variety of issues that emerge from the interaction between social and natural systems, including the impacts of extractive industries (oil and mining), land use and land cover in the tropics, climate change and infectious diseases, and tourism research. Methodologically, his research uses a combination of social survey methods, remote sensing & spatial analysis, complex models (Agent Based Models), and participatory/community methods of data collection.
His work has been funded by the US Academy of Sciences, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NASA, The Inter-American Institute for Global Change, HIVOS, the Ecuadorian Government, USAID, and USFQ.
Launched a Book Series on the Galapagos Islands, with Springer Nature, Series Editors (S.J. Walsh & C.F. Mena); Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands (2012):
- Science and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands: Frameworks & Perspectives (2013), Stephen J. Walsh & Carlos F. Mena, Guest Editors
- Evolution from the Galapagos: Two Centuries after Darwin (2013), Gabriel Trueba & Carlos Montufar, Guest Editors
- The Galapagos Marine Reserve: A Dynamic Social-Ecological System (2014), Judith Denkinger & Luis Vinueza, Guest Editors
- Darwin, Darwinism and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands (2017), Diego Quiroga & Anna Sevilla, Guest Editors
- Sustainable Energy Mix in Fragile Environments – Frameworks and Perspectives (2018), Mary E. Tyler, Guest Editor
- Disease Ecology: Galapagos Birds & their Parasites (2018), Patricia G. Parker, Guest Editor
- Understanding Invasive Species in the Galapagos Islands: From the Molecular to the Landscape (2018), Maria de Lourdes Torres & Carlos F. Mena, Guest Editor
- Urban Galapagos – Transition to Sustainability in Complex Adaptive Systems (2019), Thomas Kvan & Justyna Karakiewicz, Guest Editors
- Land Cover/Land Use Change on Islands: Threats to Sustainability (2020), Stephen J. Walsh, Diego Riveros-Iregui, Javier Arce-Nazario, Philip H. Page, Guest Editors
- Water, Food, and Human Health in the Galapagos, Ecuador (2022), Amanda L. Thompson, Valeria Ochoa-Herrera, Enrique Teran, Guest Editors
- Island Ecosystems: Challenges to Sustainability (2023), Stephen J. Walsh, Carlos F. Mena, Jill R. Stewart, Juan Pablo Munoz Perez, Guest Editors
- Sampedro, C., Pizzitutti, F., Quiroga, D., Walsh, S.J., Mena, C.F. (2018). Food Supply System Dynamics in the Galapagos Islands: Agriculture, Livestock, and Imports. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 33(1):1-5.
- Pizzitutti, F., Walsh, S.J., Rindfuss, R.R., Reck, G., Quiroga, D., Tippett, R., Mena, C.F. (2017). Scenario planning for tourism management: A participatory and system dynamics model applied to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(8): 1117-1137.
- Walsh, S.J. and Mena, C.F. (2016). Interactions of social, terrestrial, and marine sub-systems in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Sackler Colloquium on Coupled Human and Environmental Systems (Social Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Sustainability Science), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(51): 14536-14543.
- Walsh, S.J., Carter, R.W., Quiroga, D., Mena, C.F. (2014). Examining Threats to Iconic National Parks through Modeling Global Change, Biocomplexity, and Human Dynamics. The George Wright Forum, A Special Issue on “Global Change and the World’s Iconic Protected Areas,” (P. Eagles & P.A. Taylor), 31(3): 311-323.
- Pizzitutti, F., Mena, C.F., Walsh, S.J (2014). Modeling Tourism in the Galapagos Islands: An Agent-Based Model Approach. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 17(1): 1-25.