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Meet The Team

Panthera’s Jaguar program spans 14 countries in jaguar range. Our team includes many of the world’s leading jaguar biologists, researchers, site security experts, community educators and organizers who are breaking new ground in the science and strategy of saving jaguars and their habitat. To read more about Alan Rabinowitz, the founder of the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, click here.

Allison Devlin

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Allison studies jaguar movement and presence on ranches in the Brazilian Pantanal to help in the development of research-driven conflict mitigation strategies. Allison started her conservation career as a teenager at the Bronx Zoo. She has worked in Belize’s Cockscomb Basin handling a scat detection dog, and has also studied pumas with Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project.

Ángela M.Mejía,M.S.

GIS Analyst

Ángela channels her training as an illustrator and biologist to analyze GIS data from Panthera’s work with big cats in the Americas. Her focus is on landscape ecology and connectivity in fragmented landscapes, for which jaguars are excellent biological models.

Bart Harmsen, Ph.D.

Panthera Research Fellow, University of Belize

Bart is based in the renowned Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where he conducts his research under the auspices of the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute. Bart spearheaded Belize’s first countrywide jaguar monitoring program, forging networks with scientific researchers, government, and NGOs.

Chia-Yu (Shirley) Chang, M.S.

Financial Administrator

Shirley helps the Jaguar Program team in Belize with a wide variety of tasks, from balancing the books to managing the camera trap photo database. Fluent in four languages, Shirley also maintains communications with our local partners.

Daniel Corrales Gutiérrez

Coordinator, Wild Cats-Cattle Coexistence Project

Daniel is a biologist focused on minimizing the conflict between communities and wild cats. In his role, he implements anti-predatory strategies on farms that have had attacks on their livestock, including coordinating a one-of-a-kind team of officers focused on investigating predation incidents.    

Daniela Araya Gamboa

Field Scientist

Daniela oversees Panthera’s Wild Cats Friendly Roads Project, a science-based initiative to address the threats posed by roads to jaguars and other wildlife throughout Mesoamerica. She’s developing best practices for designing roads and infrastructure projects to reduce their impacts on biological connectivity.    

Diana Friedeberg, MC

Mexico Country Director

Diana works with local NGOs, community leaders, and government to increase protections for jaguars in her native Mexico through science, policy, and innovative partnerships. As an artist, Diana seeks to create cultural connections to the jaguar as a means of raising national awareness of its plight and generating support locally for conservation.

Elisa Bravo, M.S.

Regional Program Manager

Elisa supports general operations for the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, as well as pursuing collaborations with partners who share the Initiative’s vision. Drawing on a background in management, civil society, and engineering, Elisa keeps things running smoothly for the Jaguar Program in Colombia and beyond.

Esteban Payán, Ph.D.

Northern South America Regional Director

Esteban leads Panthera’s programs to protect and increase populations of jaguars, pumas, and other wild cats in the region. Esteban’s expertise in human-wildlife conflict, sustainable land use, and livestock rearing informs conservation action aimed at mitigating threats and implementing the Jaguar Corridor on a large scale.

Fernando Tortato, Ph.D.

Conservation Scientist

Fernando is a researcher with the Pantanal Jaguar Project, focusing on ecotourism development and human-cat conflict. Based at Panthera’s Jofre Velho ranch, Fernando analyzes interactions between jaguars and cattle and develops practical anti-predation strategies that can be applied throughout jaguar range.

Franklin Castaneda

Honduras Country Director

Franklin focuses on preserving connectivity for jaguar populations moving through Honduras and its borders with Guatemala and Belize. He draws on his experience working for public and private entities to engage diverse stakeholders in protecting jaguars and their habitat in this critical area of the Jaguar Corridor.

Howard Quigley, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Conservation Science; Director

In the 1970’s, Howard and Dr. George Schaller began the world’s first comprehensive and ecological study of wild jaguars in the Brazilian Pantanal. On his first day in jaguar habitat, Howard was lucky enough to see a jaguar just 30 feet away, coming toward him on the trail. Thirty years later, Howard reflects, “Jaguars can take over your life; they took over mine.”

Jenny Gallo

Field Researcher

Jenny conducts camera trap surveys in several regions of Colombia, allowing her to develop a valuable rapport with local communities. Jenny’s main interest is in land use and environmental planning to conserve habitat for large carnivores in Colombia.

Mónica Chávez Ramos

Office Manager, Panthera Costa Rica

Mónica is a biologist and graphic designer. She oversees communications outreach for Panthera Costa Rica, creating brochures, posters, environmental education materials, and research reports, as well as handling finance and staffing duties.

Rafael Hoogesteijn, MS, DVM

Conflict Program Director, Pantanal, Brazil

Rafael is an expert on cattle management and serves as the liaison between conservationists, ranchers, and communities in the Brazilian Pantanal and throughout jaguar range. Working with Panthera’s field scientists, Rafael develops and promotes science-based strategies to reduce livestock predation by jaguars, pumas and other carnivores, and reduce retaliatory killing as a result.

Rebecca Foster

Belize Country Director

For more than a decade, Becci has been empowering Belizeans to study and protect the country’s jaguars and their habitat.  She works with students, farmers, hunters, and policy makers to reduce jaguar-human conflict, understand how harvesting wildlife for food affects prey availability, and encourage ecologically responsible land planning.    

Ricardo Ortiz

Field Researcher

Ricardo is a field researcher validating jaguar corridors. He is a trained biologist with experience monitoring mammals and in community engagement.

Roberto Salom-Perez

Mesoamerica Program Coordinator

Roberto identifies areas with the most vulnerable jaguar populations and builds relationships with local communities to ensure the protection of jaguars and their corridors. His work also involves determining the size of jaguar populations in unstudied regions of Mesoamerica and assisting in the development of jaguar conservation initiatives in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

Sandra Hernandez Potosme

Nicaragua Country Coordinator

Sandra studies the distribution of jaguars and works with local indigenous populations to gather data and mitigate human-jaguar conflict. She relies on her experience studying a variety of wildlife and working with local and international environmental conservation organizations. 

Stephanny Arroyo Arce, M.Sc.

Coordinator, Wild Cats Genetics Project

Stephanny is studying the genetic diversity of Costa Rica’s six wild cat species. Her research partner is a Labrador retriever named Tigre, specially trained to locate wild cat scats in the field. Their work collecting new genetic material fills in critical gaps in understanding the connectivity of jaguars and other cat species.