© Archipielago Films

Interdisciplinary research projects

International and local students participating in research.

Community members benefited by GSC science and education.

Welcome to the Galapagos Science Center!

The Galapagos Science Center (GSC) was founded in 2011 between the University San Francisco of Quito, Ecuador and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, USA as a hub to coordinate scientific research projects between local, national and international scientists to benefit the Galapagos and the world of science. We are the first and only academic research center in the archipelago.

GSC has three pillars with the following activities in 2019:

© Ashleigh Klingman

I. Inter-disciplinary research

  • Over 66 research projects
  • 7 research areas
  • 6 Flagship Projects led by local researchers with citizen science components
  • 4 formal agreements with local institutions including the Municipality of San Cristobal, Galapagos Governing Council, Galapagos National Park Directorate and Oskar Jandl Hospital.

Read more on Our Researchers page

© Anita Carrión

II. Education Through Science

  • More than 150 international students participate in field courses, at university level as research assistants and pre-university level as “Junior Scientists”
  • 67 local students participate in the second annual summer day camp “Discovering awareness through science”
  • Over 30 local university students participating in the “Join Science!” program
  • Nine local K-12 teachers participate in the “Connecting with Nature Program”
    • Read more on Our Educators page

    © Archipiélago Films

    III. Community Outreach

    • 45 research briefs presented in the IV Annual Galapagos Conservation and Research Symposium in June with the Galapagos National Park Directorate
    • Over 350 families benefitted through school workshops and community science events through the “Connecting with Nature Program”
    • Over 3,000 local citizens informed through bi-annual magazine and weekly radio shows featuring interviews of GSC researchers and participating students.
      • Read more on Our Community page

      About Us

      © Archipielago

      We are an international team with offices located in Chapel Hill, USA, Quito, Ecuador and San Cristobal, Galapagos. Learn more about our team and infrastructure in the About Us tab: Our team to meet our staff and Infrastructure to learn about lab resources and services.

      Latest News


      Local conditions influence thermal sensitivity of pencil urchin populations (Eucidaris galapagensis) in the Galápagos Archipelago

      A research paper by Isabel Silva, John Bruno, Nyssa Silbiger and Margarita Brandt.
      What is striking about this study is that it suggests that short-term exposure to extreme temperatures influences the thermal sensitivity of marine invertebrates, even exceeding possible adaptations to long-term average temperatures.

      Reactivating the Galapagos community through science

      GALAPAGOS SCIENCE CENTERThis last year...

      Female Power in Science

      GALAPAGOS SCIENCE CENTERThe gender gap...

      Darwin and Wolf, The home of the Vampire Finches


      Summary of PI Amanda Thompson’s study on immune development and gut microbiome in Galapagos

      “Amanda Thompson, UNC researcher and GSC collaborator, published an important article to inform public health policy around the world, based on research in Galapagos, in the scientific journal American Journal of Human Biology.

      First Ever Maps of AgroEcosystems in Galapagos by UNC and USFQ Researchers

      What percentage of land cover is dominated by invasive …

      Want to get involved? 

      There are multiple ways to contribute to GSC research. Here are a few:

      1. Do you have a research proposal? All project proposals are reviewed with local environmental and social science authorities to ensure they comply with research permit regulations. Please contact Ana Lucía Carrion, Assistant Director, Galapagos Science Center, Research Coordinator: acarrion@usfq.edu.ec.

      2. Are you a faculty member wanting to co-teach a course on the islands or a student wanting to be a field assistant? We can help you explore options to integrate your skillset into our current projects. Please contact Silvia Zavala, Experimental Education Coordinator, Galapagos Science Center: szavalam@usfq.edu.ec.

      3. Do you enjoy collecting data as a citizen scientist? We have several projects in Marine Ecology with a citizen science component. Please visit the Our Community tab to learn more or contact Daniela Alarcón, Special Education Projects Coordinator, Galapagos Science Center: dealarcon@usfq.edu.ec.

      Sea Turtle Photo-Identification Project

      © Juan Pablo Muñoz