Conserving Costa Rica’s natural treasures, together.

Staff Leadership

Executive Director

Andrew Whitworth, PhD

Dr. Andrew Whitworth a wildlife biologist and conservation ecologist who has over 12 years of experience leading non-profits & academic institutions to advance conservation science and protect tropical biodiversity. He leads a science-driven conservation agenda with an emphasis on measuring conservation impact. He completed his doctoral degree at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he investigated the conservation and biodiversity value of regenerating tropical forest systems. With more than 40 scientific publications, he is dedicated to building programs to reduce hunting pressure, to restore rainforest habitat and preserve plant and wildlife species, and to find human-friendly approaches to tackle climate change. He is a National Geographic Explorer and as Executive Director at Osa Conservation he launched the Ridge to Reef Initiative with the goal of restoring forest connectivity to allow wildlife populations to migrate and adapt to climate. He is also leading efforts for the 1.8 million hectare expansion of the Corcovado Marine Reserve to protect marine ecosystems, increase fish stocks, and build a blue economy to sustain coastal communities threatened by climate change.
Costa Rica Director

Melissa Aubert

Melissa is Osa Conservation´s Costa Rican Director of Operations. She has an administrative and economics background with a strong professional career in operations and administration. In addition to her ambitious, practical approach to structure and administrative matters, she maintains a bold vision.
Her love for the natural world and commitment to conservation and her country's own biodiversity encourages her to be a passionate, full-time working mom. She leads by example with integrity, honesty and positivity to constantly empower and encourage OC´s team to give their very best.
Conservation Programs Director

Carolina Soto-Navarro, PhD

Carol is a conservation scientist and practitioner with over 15 years of experience working in Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia across various sectors, including conservation NGOs, academic institutions, the private sector, and multilateral agencies. She has extensive experience designing, managing, and leading landscape-level and species-focused conservation projects and partnerships backed by vast public and private fundraising to effectively tackle complex and challenging environmental issues. She strives for game-changing impact in biodiversity conservation by designing innovative and transdisciplinary conservation action programs based on robust science, cross-sectorial engagement, and knowledge exchange.
As the Director of Conservation Programs, she leads OC’s regional conservation programs. As a senior management team member, she oversees strategic direction, organizational development, and performance during a period of significant growth at the organization.
She is an avid traveler, passionate wildlife illustrator, and graphic designer. After living in Southeast Asia, she has a sweet spot for Asian wildlife, food, and culture.
Conservation Campus Director

Gabriela Vinueza

Gabriela is an Ecuadorian marine ecologist with a Masters degree from University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She has more than 12 years of experience in conservation, primarily in Ecuador. Before joining Osa Conservation, she managed a field station in the lowland Ecuadorian Amazon for five years.
Her role is to ensure the Conservation Campus continues to be a top facility for researchers, student groups, and volunteers, while offering stellar experiences to visitors. Gabriela is passionate about maintaining and protecting over 7000 acres of land supported by an incredible local team.
Gabriela has a particular interest in invertebrates, especially caterpillars and corals. She is also an amateur photographer and certified diver.
Community & Conservation Outreach Manager

Marco Hidalgo

Marco Hidalgo is a Tropical Biologist specializing in natural resource and wildlife management, with an extensive understanding of the human dimension of conservation. He has worked in conservation biology within rural communities for 25 years and has an extensive background in different conservation organizations in Costa Rica and Central America.
He began his first contributions to conservation in the 1990s when he volunteered with sea turtle projects at Santa Rosa National Park. He later consolidated his experience to focus on ecosystem relationships between terrestrial and marine human activities.
In 2022, Marco received the Disney Conservation Fund Award, an honor given to individuals profoundly committed to biodiversity preservation.
Senior Scientist

Chris Beirne, PhD

Chris is a research scientist who studies how wildlife communities respond to anthropogenic disturbance and, ultimately, the implications of such changes. He has spent over 10 years living and working in areas of extreme biodiversity (including Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru and Gabon) or the extreme cold (Canada), and contributed to > 45 scientific publications along the way.
He is now applying his skills to Osa Conservation’s Movement Ecology program - leveraging next generation tracking technology and traditional field techniques to understand how scavenger communities function in the Osa and beyond.
Chris is passionate about open access science, reproducible research and doughnut consumption.
Wildlife Conservation Manager

Carolina Pinto, PhD

Carolina is an Argentinian community ecologist who has worked in conservation since 2015. She completed her bachelor's studies and Ph.D. at Argentina's Buenos Aires University. As a biology student, she participated in various conservation projects in Latin America, volunteering with sea turtle, monkey, and wildcat programs. After finishing her Ph.D. in 2020, she joined the Osa Conservation team as the Wildlife Program Biologist, after which she became Wildlife Coordinator.
After two years leading our arboreal bridge, camera trapping, and other wildlife monitoring projects, she utilized her significant experience to assume her current role as Wildlife and Conservation Tech Manager. She is currently initiating a rewilding project in Costa Rica, where she works to take our restoration efforts to the next level.
Fundraising & Development Manager

Lucy Kleiner

Lucy Kleiner is a bilingual storyteller who has been on the Osa Conservation team since 2019. Since then, she has helped elevate our communications to reach 10x the annual audience, supported the fundraising of over 2 million dollars annually, and hosts our podcast "The Nature Dilemma" from the frontlines of conservation.
Lucy grew up in the temperate rainforest in the USA Pacific Northwest, where she found her roots in environmental sciences. Prior to moving to the Costa Rican rainforest, Lucy worked as a reporter on science and the environment for numerous news outlets in Oregon. Her work has been featured by National Geographic, The Seattle Times, US Daily, La Nacion, La Republica, and more.
Tropical Forests Program Manager

Rodrigo DeSousa

Rodrigo is a Venezuelan agronomist who graduated from the Central University of Venezuela. He earned his MSc in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Davis, and his MA in Environment, Development and Peace from the UN Mandated University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica. For over 15 years, he has worked in the design, execution and monitoring of landscaping projects, soil stabilization, erosion prevention, reforestation and forest restoration in Venezuela and Costa Rica.
He now dedicates his efforts to community outreach and forest restoration projects in several sites of the Coto Brus Region of southern Costa Rica. Under this project, Rodrigo will lead agricultural sustainability, tree restoration and connectivity between existing forest patches and agricultural landscapes.

Associate Researchers & Advisors

Senior Advisor: Botanics

Ruthmery Pillco Huarcaya

Senior Advisor: Marine

Noelia Hernandez, PhD

Associate Researcher: Movement Ecology & Wildlife

Eleanor Flatt

Eleanor is a wildlife biologist from England. After graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 2014 with a BSc in Wildlife Conservation, Eleanor joined the Osa Conservation team in 2016 as a sea turtle intern. She has worked on the ground on the Osa Peninsula since as part of the field and tree-climbing team. At Osa Conservation, Eleanor has developed a diverse project portfolio, including implementing the largest camera trap grid in Central America, completing the first 3D camera trap assessment of endangered spider monkey sleeping trees, studying dung beetle biodiversity and function surveys across habitat types, designing and installing arboreal bridges, and launching the first Earth Ranger project in Latin America.
Eleanor is a Scientific Exploration Society Explorer, and currently works on our Movement Ecology program in Peru and Costa Rica, where she aims to understand predator and scavenger movements, wildlife health, and ecological interactions in two landscapes. She is currently completing a master's degree in Biodiversity, Wildlife, and Ecosystem Health at the University of Edinburgh.
Associate Researcher: Veterinary

Jorge Rojas

Associate Researcher: Wildlife

Juan S. Vargas Soto, PhD

Conservation Programs Team

Maria José Mata Quirós

Botanical Conservation Coordinator

Bárbara Sellés Ríos

Sea Turtle Conservation Coordinator

Jose David Rojas

Lowlands Restoration Coordinator

Rodrigo Benavides

Highlands Restoration Coordinator

Leonardo Alvarez

Botanical Conservation Co-Coordinator

Sarah Wicks

Movement Ecology Operations Manager

Guido Saborio

Rewilding Coordinator

Karla Quispe Ramos

Youth Education Coordinator

Socorro Avila Araya

Citizen Science Technician

Kenneth Barboza Navarro


Christian Peralta

Mangrove Restoration Coordinator

Yvonne Kemp

Wildlife Conservation Coordinator

Johan Ortiz

Rewilding & Technology Technician

Linda Lopez Abuchar

Mangrove Co-Coorinator

Huberth "Chonga" Almengor Mora

Farm Coordinator

Eduardo Fabrizio Tubelli

Movement Ecology Veterinarian

Douglas Nuñez Marin

Farm Field Crew

Laura Palacin

Marine Biologist

Alejandra Chumbimune

Sea Turtle Program Coordinator

Fraydany Rodriguez Duran

Botanic Field Staff

Paulina Rodriguez

Conservation Technology Strategist

Dailyn Souder

Communications Coordinator

Paco Vega

Movement Ecology Field Biologist

Rosio Vega

Movement Ecology Field Biologist

Diego Rolim

Movement Ecology Veterinary

Alvis Aragón Hernández

Restoration Field Crew

Arnoldo Sibaja Madriagal

Restoration Field Crew

Jordan Jiménez Solano

Restoration Field Crew

Juan Carlos Torres Zuñiga

Restoration Field Crew

Leander Umaña Prendas

Restoration Field Crew

Yeudin Perez Mora

Restoration Field Crew

Jonathan Carpio Elizondo

Restoration Field Crew

Jesús Morales Delgado

Restoration Field Crew

Renzo Ruben Rosales Soto

Restoration Field Crew

Greivin Chacon Coronado

Restoration Field Crew

Elías Eduardo Obando Guevara

Restoration Field Crew

Jesús Adonay Vargas Jiménez

Restoration Field Crew

Alexander Eduardo Obando Vargas

Restoration Field Crew

Kevin Carballo Gonzalez

Restoration Field Crew

Hafet Rosales Umaña

Restoration Field Crew

Conservation Campus Team

Rocio Llamas

Conservation Campus Coordinator

Emilia Morales


Andy Diaz Moraga


Carol Umaña Corrales

Assistant Chef

Eduardo "Pipo" Jiménez


Christian Dagoberto Hidalgo

Sierpe Field Site Operations

Gilberto Cerdas

La Gamba Field Site Operations

Jose Angel Montiel

La Gamba Field Site Operations Assistant

Mariela Prendas

Lead Housekeeper

Isela Cambronero


Ronald Baltodano

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Juan Vega

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Mauricio Vega

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Isidro Bogantes

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Kenneth Baltodano

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Santiago Bogantes

Conservation Campus Maintenance

Administrative & Financial Team

Jose Luis Orlich

Finance Manager

Fernelli Araya Brenes


Johanna López Morales

Purchasing & Operations

Jorge Agüero

Administrator & Human Resources

Bree Johnson

US Administrative Associate

Board of Directors

Board Chair

Erin Lebbin

A non-profit development specialist, Lebbin has ten years of fundraising, programmatic, and management leadership experience in Latin American wildlife conservation and habitat restoration. She worked for eight years in development at American Bird Conservancy, and is currently the Director of Program Development at Global Forest Generation.
Vice Chair

Will Nesbitt

President of Riverside Advisors, Nesbitt has 30 years of principal investing, corporate development, and advisory experience across a wide range of industries. Since 2007, he has served as a senior executive, investor, board member, and advisor within the renewable energy and environmental opportunities sector. He is also a pole vault coach at the Hudson Valley Flying Circus and a Master level competitor.

Federico Castro Kahle, MBA

A partner at Caoba Legal, Castro specializes in environmental law and public-private partnerships. Castro earned his MBA from Imperial College in London, where he developed his expertise in carbon forestry and climate change mitigation mechanisms. Throughout his life he has been involved in conservation endeavors in the Osa Peninsula; nowadays he is part of a family-owned organization that protects over 2500 acres of primary forest in the area through private preserves.
Board Member

Gloriana Mejia-Gund

Born and raised in Costa Rica, Mejia-Gund has over 12 years of experience sustainable and regenerative architecture and design. She is an advisor to non-profits in Costa Rica and the U.S. including the G.Frederick Gund Foundation and Electric Planet. Along with architectural training in Costa Rica and Copenhagen, she is a certified ashtanga yoga instructor who lives with her husband and daughter in California.

Bill Abraham

Bill Abraham is the founder and CEO of Central America-based recycling oil company, Metalub. Prior to founding Metalub, Bill was the GM of Intel Costa Rica, logging a tenure of 25 years at Intel. He is additionally a Stanford electrical engineering graduate.
Board Member

Dennis Troper

Product Director for Android at Google, Troper joined Google in 2003 and has worked on several product areas including building consumer, advertising and enterprise products with multidisciplinary teams. Prior to Google, Troper held positions at Oracle, Concur Technologies, and Deloitte Consulting. Troper grew up in Costa Rica and also serves on the board of Amigos de Costa Rica. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS in Applied Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He lives in Los Altos, California with his wife and five children.
Board Member

Esteban Brenes-Mora, MSc.

Costa Rican Conservation Scientist, president and director of Costa Rica Wildlife Foundation, and lecturer at the University of Costa Rica, Brenes-Mora has experience working on wildlife research and conservation in Central America, South-East Asia and Europe. He works with local communities to develop conservation solutions and productive activities that allow people to coexist with wildlife.
Emeritus Board Member & Chief Science Advisor

Adrian Forsyth, PhD

The founder of Osa Conservation, Amazon Conservation Association, and the Andes Amazon Fund, Forsyth has dedicated his life to conservation throughout the world's tropics through extensive fieldwork, research, teaching, and more. Among North America’s finest natural history writers, he is the author of nine books, including Tropical Nature, Portraits of the Rainforest, and more. He received his Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Harvard University under renowned biologist E.O. Wilson.

Local Field Guides

The Osa Peninsula is home to an incredible array of biodiversity, and our team works closely with local guides to encourage immersive experiences in nature. Contact us ahead of your visit to reserve these excellent guides. Because their schedules fill quickly, we recommend reserving a guided session during your initial booking, or as soon as possible.

Dionisio (Nito) Paniagua

Dionisio was born and raised in the community of San Vito in southern Pacific Costa Rica, the fifth son in a family of eleven children. He is better known by his nickname, Nito (pronounced “Neetoh“). He received his degree as Tourism Guide (specializing in Nature) from the Colegio Universitario de Alajuela.
In 2003, he worked for a Stanford University avian research study which took place in his home town, San Vito. The study sparked a new interest and passion in him: birds. Since then, he has worked as a Nature Guide with an emphasis on bird watching in the Osa Peninsula.
Whenever possible, he's traveled to other countries in order to increase his knowledge of flora and fauna.
He is a birding specialist and an environmental educator.
Since he was born and raised in this area of Costa Rica, he is also very knowledgeable about all the nature that surrounds the Osa Peninsula, including plants, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. He can identify a great majority of what we see in our tours, and he can tell you about their behavior and life cycle. Please never hesitate to ask questions, as it is one of his biggest pleasures to share knowledge and learn even more.

Frank Chaves

Frank Chaves was born in Puerto Jiménez in the late 1960s. He grew up in an area with no bridges and no highway connecting the Peninsula to the rest of the country when the area was like a small island. He spent part of his childhood mining for gold from local rivers, including in what is now part of Corcovado National Park. He was also a farmer, which gave him essential knowledge about plants. Little by little, the transformation took place in his mind, from being a predator of natural resources to becoming a protector.
He is a naturalist guide at the Lapa Rios Lodge Hotel and has a general guide license. He has knowledge about flora and fauna of the Osa Peninsula, as well as its history and culture. He does bird tours, nature walks, night walks, and some cultural tours. He is in the process of specializing in birds and herpetology. He is also specializing in photography and video to run photo tours. In his free time, he works as a freelance guide.
He is currently an active member of the Osa Forest Protectors group, and he is also an AD Honorem Park Ranger. His favorite tours are bird watching and night walks.

Tomas Ridings Muñoz

Tomás Ridings Muñoz grew up in Dos Brazos de Río Tigre, very close to the Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula.

He forged his roots by hunting and artisanal gold mining. He grew up in the forest with his grandfather, who taught him everything he knows today. He turned his life around in 2011 by working as an independent tour guide.
He is Guide certified by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute and has guided throughout the country, especially in Corcovado. He volunteered at the Sirena Biological Station in different research projects with biologists and various university collaborations. In 2018, he participated in the Osa Conservation Healthy Rivers project that works to improve ecosystem health in degraded watersheds and increase local watershed conservation leadership through advancing education, monitoring, and restoration.
He is passionate about tracking animals and has extensive knowledge of mammals, birds, reptiles, and plants, especially in the Osa Peninsula. He especially enjoys touring with families as well as night hikes.

Jeisson Figueroa

Jeisson Figueroa Sandi is from San Vito. He speaks both English and Spanish. Since 1999, he's worked as a research assistant, contributing to prestigious universities such as Stanford and Cornell. In 2011, he began work on a research project in Borneo in conjunction with Colorado State University. He also worked as a tour guide in Corcovado National Park from 2008 to 2014. From 2014 to 2016, he collaborated with a research project using camera traps in the Las Tablas protective zone in Coto Brus and Punta Banco Pavones. He spent the next seven years as a naturalist guide in Las Cruces. He has 25 years of experience in bird watching, skillfully identifying birds by sight and sound, and he can imitate some bird songs. He has Basic knowledge of plant and tree identification and is knowledgeable about amphibian and reptile identification.

Henry Jose Sandí Amador

Henry Jose Sandí Amador is originally from the mountains in San Vito, close to the Panama border. His interest in nature began as a child when he visited a biological station close to his house, the Organization for Tropical Studies. He started going to the station as a volunteer and later worked for the organization for several years with researchers worldwide. Here, he learned the vital role each organism plays in natural ecosystems.
He is currently a freelance guide in Corcovado National Park and surrounding areas. He specializes in ornithology and herpetology.

In Memoriam

These late conservation heroes were formative to Osa Conservation and our far stretching impact. We remain eternally emboldened by their leadership and contribution to us and the natural world. To this day, they inspire us to look, touch, learn, and care for nature.

Board Member

Álvaro Ugalde

The late Álvaro Ugalde, co-founder of the National Park Service in Costa Rica, was a pioneer in the field of land conservation and an inspiration to all who knew him. As a biologist and world-renowned conservationist, Álvaro’s work helped transform Costa Rica. His vision and passion for the Osa Peninsula were contagious and he continued to fight for the Osa and Corcovado National Park until his last day.

His tenure on the board of Osa Conservation made us a better organization and we are forever grateful for his leadership and his contribution to us and to the world. Osa Conservation has created the Ugalde-Forsyth Fellowship program to honor the memory of Alvaro and to continue his life’s work. The fellowship provides grants to early-career researchers and conservationists to be immersed in the wilderness of the Osa Peninsula. Click the hands below to donate to the fund today.

Team Member - Botanic

Marvin Lopez Morales

Marvin Lopez was raised on the Osa Peninsula and was a long-time member of the Osa Conservation family. Marvin developed an incredible knowledge of the local flora, and is remembered as among the most dedicated botanists in the region. For years, he worked as a field botanist for some of the most prominent international science teams from around the world before going on establish Osa Conservation's Rare and Threatened Trees program that would not only plant 10’s of thousands of trees to restore rainforest throughout the region, but that also gave focus to the rarest and most threatened species. Some are so rare that they are fast facing the risk of extinction. It was these that Marvin treasured and cared for the most.
To read more about Marvin and his incredible dedication to the natural work, click the link below.
Team Member - Administrative Leader

Dennis Vásquez Gallo

The Osa Conservation team remains permanently grateful to Dennis, whose skills as an administrator helped lay the foundation so Osa Conservation could grow into the thriving nonprofit it is today. Dennis leaves behind a legacy of responsibility, teamwork, commitment to this team that he helped build and dedication to the protection of his home country.