Tjitte de Vries

General Assembly Member of CDF

Tjitte is a biologist who arrived in Galapagos in 1965 with UNESCO as an Associate Expert in Ecology (1965-1968) and under the leadership of Roger Perry (Director at the CDRS at the time) became involved in various conservation programs with many excursions to enhance information on presence and distribution of giant tortoise populations, bringing the last remaining Española tortoises to breeding enclosures at the CDRS; establishing permanent vegetations quadrats, as well as assisting in flamingo and periodic sea-bird census. During this time, he also started an ecological study of the Galapagos Hawk (1968-1971) that later, financed by the Dutch Government, led in1973 to his doctorate at the Free University in Amsterdam.

By the end of 1973, he returned to Galapagos now with a WWF project to start and supervise Ecuadorian university students with their bachelor's degree thesis. During this 10-year period, he was also sometimes involved in administrative duties, as sub-Director or Director in charge of the CDRS.

In 1976 he changed his residence from Galapagos to Quito and became Principle Professor in Ecology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador in Quito (1976-2017) which allowed him to start field research in the Andes and the Amazon and continuing with many outings with students to the Galapagos.

Presently he is retired, enjoying reading, listening to organ music, gardening, finishing up some scientific papers, and playing with his grandchildren.


1965-1970: days of discovery, institution building, start of tortoise rearing, tourist design and first park officials

Very few students in biology after finishing their Masters have had their university professor and tutor calling in to his office saying: “UNESCO” needs an ecologist for Galapagos and I think,...

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