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There are so many reasons to love the Galapagos. Hear from researchers at the Galapagos Science Center and leadership from UNC describe why they love these precious islands and can’t wait to continue making a global impact with their work!

“I fell in love with the Galapagos (from afar) as a child and it was a dream come true to visit San Cristobal Island to attend the World Summit and visit the Galapagos Science Center (GSC). I fell in love again seeing the transformative and exciting research hosted at the GSC and the innovative ways that this work addresses the unique ecosystem and the intricate relationship between the environment, the animals and people who live and visit the archipelago. Seeing first-hand the amazing laboratories of the GSC and hearing from students, staff, and faculty from Carolina and Ecuador was as inspiring and invigorating as experiencing the natural life and biodiversity of the Galapagos.”

Penny Gordon-Larsen, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research, UNC Chapel Hill

”I love the Galapagos because it challenges preconceived notions about how the world works. Penguins at the Equator? OK. Iguanas that dive into the waves for lunch? OK. Fifteen species of giant daisies found only on this handful of volcanic rocks in the middle of the Pacific? OK. Everything about the place inspires a biologist like me to think more clearly and deeply about the ways in which ecology and evolution are intertwined. What a treat to be able to work in this place and share its wonders with students.”

Todd Vision, Associate Professor of Biology, UNC Chapel Hill


“Why do I love Galapagos? It is because its local community is so diverse, yet they can work together to develop research and conservation in the islands.”

Diego Ortíz, USFQ professor and GSC researcher

“As a wildlife veterinarian most people probably think I love Galapagos for the amazing, unique animals found there – and of course I do!  But I also love Galapagos for the people!  I have made some lifelong friends through my work at the GSC and with the National Park.  I also love bringing students and other people to Galapagos for the first time and reliving the magic all over again.”

Greg Lewbart, Professor, Aquatic Animal Medicine, NC State University

“What I love most about my home, Galapagos, are the different tourist places it offers. Each site is unique and biodiverse due to its flora and fauna. The nature of the islands provides tranquility, freedom, and especially helps to reawaken that adventurous-explorer spirit that exists in all of us. Knowing Galapagos is a wonderful experience that reminds us of the meaning of what it is to be alive.”

Kerly Rodríguez, GSC researcher assistant

“I love Galapagos because It is fascinating to do research in the Islands since they are a constant source of inspiration.”

María de Lourdes Torres, USFQ professor, Director of the USFQ biotechnology area, and consultant at the Galapagos Biobank

“I love Galapagos because time does not pass here. I grew up here and I want my daughters to grow up here too. Being an islander is a way of life, and living in the Galapagos inspires me to devote my time to the conservation of its environment.”

Diego Páez, USFQ professor and GSC researcher

“I love Galapagos because it is a fantastic example of people and wildlife sharing a natural space. There are so many unique species in the islands, and community members have so much knowledge to share with travelers and students about how to appreciate and respect them.”

Molly Herring, Class of 2023

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