Scientific Support and Research
Every conservation project needs a scientific supervision because the good will has to be directed in the right direction. This is why all our decisions are carefully planned and consulted. We were very fortunate to be able to count on the generous support and advice from several scientists.
In the beginning we have to mention Walo Moreno, an experienced field technician associated to the Biological Station of Doñana, currently working on the Egyptian vulture recovery project. Walo is sort of a “godfather” of Desert Watch. He helped us with the organization of the quadrants and he is always available for any of our questions.
Another of our gems is Laura Gangoso, a leading specialist on the research of Eleonora falcons in the island Alegranza north of Lanzarote. Her profound knowledge and her enthusiasm are inspiring. Her lectures are legendary. We are very lucky to have her on our side.
Jaime Gil & Marta Peña
Jaime Gil and Marta Peña are our plant mentors. Both renowned ethnobotanists, their knowledge of wild plants and agriculture is incredibly vast. They are also the authors of Lanzarote´s most comprehensive and complete guide of vascular flora, which is our plant reference bible. However it is not only about plants we learned from them. We are very grateful to Jaime for introducing us to the world of insects and other interesting topics.
Our profound thanks to Claudia Schuster from GREFA (Group of Rehabilitation of Injured Fauna) for making available to us the knowledge about the small animals of El Jable: the shrews, lizards and geckos. Thanks also for not allowing us to be complacent and making us think twice about everything.
Ulrike Strecker & Horst Wilkens
The Hamburg University scientists, Professor Horst Wilkens and Dr. Ulrike Strecker started research on Lanzarote with the blind crabs in the Jameos del Agua. Their love of our island and their keen observations resulted in the editing of some very useful and interesting guide books about the nature of Lanzarote. Their practical advice to the functioning of the association in invaluable and they are essential for the existence of our association.
Anja & pawel oglecki
Warszaw´s University of Life Sciences professor Pawel Oglecki and his wife Anja have been with us from the beginning and we are very grateful for all the support, friendship and encouragement. Anja and Pawel are big fans of our island´s nature and they have been very our mentors ranging from very specialised consultations to helping us with the rubbish cleanup.
Our most intense cooperation is with the University of Chester thanks to Professor Cynthia Burek. Her energy and no-nonsense attitude made it possible that a lot of new interesting information about El Jable was revealed to us through her students. Cynthia’s specialisation is geoconservation (she is the director of GeoMon Geopark) and ever since she has been in our lives, there is not a single Desert Watch volunteer who doesn’t know that “Geodiversity underpins biodiversity”, a famous Cynthia phrase.
Recently the Chester connection has been enriched by the presence of Dr Matthew Geary, a Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology of whom we hope to see a lot in the future.
Our profound gratitude to Juan Cazorla from the Biosphere Reserve office, who patiently answers all our consultations on different topics any time we stumble upon a doubt and who encouraged us from the very beginning. Among other things, Juan opened our eyes to the fascinating water culture on the island and he makes us reflect on the search of sustainable living.