Office: B62 Riley Robb Hall
Advisor: Todd Walter
Degree Program: PhD
Background and Research Interests
I graduated in 2003 as an Environmental Engineering from Universidad SEK in Quito, Ecuador. My undergraduate thesis investigated the rate of change of mercury accumulation in a seasonal lagoon complex of the Cuyabeno rain forest. In 2004 I joined the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador and received a scholarship for the Operational Hydrology, Applications and Management Training in Norkoping at the Swedish Meteorology and Hydrology Institute. Since my training I was able to find relationships between flow variations and invertebrates in streams in tributaries from the Guayllabamba and Papallacta watersheds. I obtained a Master of Science in Ecology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in 2010, where I investigated the relevance of hydrology and hydraulic conditions in regulating stream habitats to set environmental flow recommendations.
My current research and projects
Over the last three years, I have developed macroinvertebrate habitat suitability models for streams at a range of altitudes and in various physiogeographic regions (i.e., coastal, highland, Amazonian rainforest). An important conclusion of my research is that rapid analysis is necessary to generate environmental flow recommendations, but long term research is needed to understand changes and adaptation of stream features. I am therefore most interested in developing process-based models to predict the effects of flow on physical variables that control ecological processes in streams. The establishment of environmental flow recommendations as a tool for maintaining hydrogeomorphic processes is necessary for the restoration and conservation of rivers and streams, but requires interdisciplinary research with a strong ecohydraulic perspective that allows to propose a template for future environmental flow standards.