Nathalia Tirado-Sánchez

Marine Assistant Taxonomist

From the time her family travelled to the islands in the 1980s Nathalia Tirado has never stopped admiring and learning about the beautiful place that is Galapagos and has always been passionate about the sea. She is a Galapagos local who, from the age of 16, became involved as a school volunteer in the marine area of the CDF and later became a scholarship holder. Thanks to this merit, she began her studies within science while at the same time combining them with volunteering experience in topics related to fishery resources, sea lion studies, ecology and providing support to visiting scientists. Later she developed her thesis regarding microscopic organisms (Zooplankton) which are now part of the marine collections. After completing her degree in Biological Sciences at the Central University of Ecuador, she collaborated at the CDF as a research assistant for the marine area (2007-2013), concentrating her first efforts on Zooplankton in the Galapagos Marine Reserve aiming to characterise their variability and relationship with oceanographic factors.

Like anyone with a passion for the sea, she just couldn’t resist diving and this ability allowed her to join the CDF Subtidal Ecological Monitoring team, collecting information on mobile macroinvertebrates (lobsters, sea urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and gastropods, among others) and acquiring skills in database management. This has allowed her to learn extensively about the subtidal environments of the islands and strengthened her commitment to this small geographic point in the world.
Her knowledge of taxonomy and ecology has allowed her to join the Natural History Collections team as Assistant Taxonomist of the Marine Vertebrate and Invertebrate Collection (MCCDRS). From April 2021, after a long period dedicated entirely to her family, she will be rejoining the CDF, and she feels fortunate to be able to contribute her knowledge to the Galapagos Islands and its marine biodiversity.


The mission of the Charles Darwin Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of the world’s most important natural treasures.

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