Justine Villalba

CDS Herbarium Assistant

Justine obtained her bachelor's degree in Biological and Environmental Sciences at the Central University of Ecuador. Her scientific interests are oriented to the study of the Ecology of Neotropical plants and fungi. At the beginning of her studies, she became involved with the National Institute of Biodiversity of Ecuador (INABIO), in the botanical and mycological collections, and she has collected fungi in the northern Amazon of Ecuador. For her undergraduate thesis, she studied the functional diversity of plant communities in dry inter-Andean ecosystems and its relationship with soil quality.

Enchanted by the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands and the conservation projects, in 2021 she joined the Charles Darwin Foundation as a volunteer for the Natural History Collections at the CDS Herbarium and, since March 2022, she has been Assistant Taxonomist for the botanical collections. Together with the Herbarium team, she is in charge of the management, curation and preservation of all historical specimens, taxonomic updating of the specimens and the institutional database, as well as collections and scientific publications. In addition, she collaborates with inter-institutional projects in the field of Botany, Mycology and Ecology.