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Many of the plant and animal species on the Galapagos are not found anywhere else on earth, including 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic. With such a rich biodiversity, many species have yet to be discovered in the Galapagos. However,  many species are also being threatened with extinction due to human activities or natural hazards, putting this special biodiversity at risk.

Our projects include topics in:

  • Endemism
  • Evolution
  • Biobanking
  • Micro and Molecular Biology
  • Invasive Species

On land, Galapagos research is focused on the distributions and effects of plant and animal species, communities, and their interactions with humans in a changing physical environment. Even the giant tortoises of the Galapagos are ecosystem engineers, shaping the archipelago’s terrestrial ecology. Interactions between Galapagos and the mainland occur via man-made air and sea pathways, and are the focus of species mobility studies, invasive species research, and programs to restore altered ecosystems. Our terrestrial ecology researchers examine succession studies, evolution and adaptive radiation, invasive species and eradication, and habit stress, recuperation, and restoration.

Watch this video about the GSC Biobank:

Research Projects

Trees, namely a guava tree in the front, line a dirt road.

Hybridization and introgression in endemic and invasive plants in the Galapagos Islands

People: Bryan Reatini, María de Lourdes Torres, Hugo Valdebenito, and Todd Vision
Departments: Biology


Pale grasses sprouting amongst a rocky terrain

Grass Genomes X Environments: A Hypothesis/Discovery-based Approach Connecting Genome with the Phenome of Plant Habit and Behavior in Natural Settings

People: Corbin Jones and Alan Jones
Departments: Biology


Small grey fish swim under mangrove roots near the bottom of a body of water.

Assessing the role of mangroves as essential juvenile habitat for snappers (Lutjanidae) on Isabela Island

People: F. Joel Fodrie, Jeffrey D. Plumlee, Matthew D. Kenworthy, Rachel K. Gittman, Danielle A. Keller, Emma E. Garnett, Leandro Vaca-Pita, and Lindsey A. Carr
Departments: Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences

Tall brush, trees, and other brown-toned vegetation on Santiago Island.

Using the distribution, habitat use, and diet of rodents to inform the restoration of native fauna on Isla Santiago

People: Carlos Carrión, Paul Taillie, Ana Carrión, Daniel Armijos Vega, and Cristian Sevilla
Departments: Geography


Explore other areas of research: Environmental Change, Community & Human Health, Conservation, and Oceans.