Biodiversity Institute Fellows Profiles

Juan M. Guayasamin


PhD, 2007
Advisor: Linda Trueb
Dissertation title: Phylogeny, Taxonomy, Character Evolution, and Biogeography of Glassfrogs (Amphibia: Centrolenidae)
Home country: Ecuador
Current position: faculty member, Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica in Quito, Ecuador. 

Why did you choose to study at KU?
I went there because of its long-term history and impact in the study of Neotropical biodiversity. 

What did you gain from the opportunity to conduct fieldwork?
I conducted fieldwork mainly in Ecuador and Venezuela. We visited amazing places such as the Great Savanna of Venezuela, Andean cloud forests, and the Amazon basin.  Field work is surely the best way to get to know the biodiversity that surrounds us, with all its beauty, as well as problems.

How would you describe the academic atmosphere for graduate students at the Biodiversity Institute? 
It was just incredible. When I was a student at the Biodiversity Institute, the group of graduate students included people from Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, United States, Equatorial Guinea, Romania, Malaysia, Thailand, and China. I could not do any of my current work if I hadn't studied at KU. 

Where do you work now, and what is your role there?
I work at Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, where I teach and conduct research. I am the head of the Centro de Investigación de la Biodiversidad y Cambio Climático.

Photo: Juan Guayasamin and fellow alumna and spouse Elisa Bonaccorso (PhD 2007) while conducting fieldwork in Oyacachi, East Andes, Ecuador.