Research and Internships

Students have joined us from various institutions around the world!

Czech University of Life Sciences (CULS) CZECH REPUBLIC

Deakin University AUSTRALIA


Kent University UNITED KINGDOM

School of International Training (SIT) USA

Universidad San Francisco de Quito ECUADOR

Universitat de Girona SPAIN

University of British Columbia (UBC) CANADA

 Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences NETHERLANDS

Join one or more of our ongoing research projects as a research assistant.
Obtain credits for your university internship, or collect data for your own field research.



Project Coordinator

Alexandra Hoeneisen

Thanks to your donations, 5 cameras have been installed in various areas of the reserve.

Currently, we are in the experimental design and fundraising stages of a long-term study that we hope to begin in 2023. With this study we hope to gain an insight on behavior patterns, diversity and species composition of feline species in the reserve which will inform the municipality’s project: Regeneración del Gran Biocorredor del Puma.

In 2021 we began our investigation with a pilot research project in the La Hesperia with the support of a student from Netherlands. We identified a surprising variety of charismatic species including the cougar (Puma concolor) and the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). So far, we are able to differentiate among individuals relying only on physical characteristics found in our media. We are excited to see what else could we discover with a deeper study.                        You can help us get there!

Impacto Global

The oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus pardinoides) is a particular inhabitant of the reserve since it is registered in the IUCN red list as a species vulnerable to extinction. Thus, in 2022 we decided to join the Small Cats Working Group, a global community and foundation dedicated to the protection of small cats.

Skills Gained

Field work

Walk trails and install cameras

Data analysis

Process information and analysis data

Data collection

Analysis and identification of wildlife records


(Cebus aequatorialis)


Alejandro Rubio M.

This research is carried out in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve, and is an attempt to record the daily activities and social behaviors of the Ecuadorian capuchin monkey (Cebus aequatorialis) sub-populations that inhabit this cloud forest.

This project began in August 2017 as part of the final Master’s work carried out by researcher Alejandro Rubio, which ended in January 2018. However, the information produced in the dissertation generated more questions than answers which motivated us to continue with this research for longer.

Ecological Status

Threatened by high deforestation index due to agriculture frontier expansion and lack of governmental protection


La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve
Universitat de Girona SPAIN

Skills Gained

Data Collection & Analysis

Demographics and feeding habits information


Location of foraging areas and key plant individuals

Seed Collection

Start a germplasm bank with plant species used by monekys and useful for the locals' consumption


Program Coordinator

Alexandra Hoeneisen

In our efforts to support climate change awareness, we want to provide data (otherwise unavailable data) from the cloud forest at the south-west of Quito as a baseline to which we can compare the impacts of our region’s actions.

At the moment we are collecting average temperature and relative humidity data from the lowest elevation site of La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve.

We are hoping to transition to remote monitoring and data collection to obtain information from the less accessible forest types found in the reserve.


Since cloud forests are highly sensitive to climatic changes, they are a great indicators for early climate change effects detection.


La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve

Study Site Characteristics


1400 meters over sea level

Forest Type

Pre-montane Evergreen and Low Montane


Dry: June to November
Wet: December to May

Want to do research in the tropics but don't know where to start?

We provide you with the training, logistics and technical advice so you can be confident investigating what you are most passionate about: flora, fauna, ecology, agro-forestry and more!

We also provide a list of organizations that could potentially fund your research.

Past projects


"Effect of elevation on the composition of the macrofungi community in the Andean Cloud Forest in Ecuador."
Claudia Hertzer, 2019


"Water quality of neotropical mountain streams in the Ecuadorian Andes. The effect of precipitation, fine sediment, ph and temperature on macro invertebrate abundance & richness."
Ingmar Rondeel, 2019


Demographics, daily activities and social behavior of the Ecuadorian capuchin monkey (Cebus aequatorialis), a critically endangered primate, in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve, Pichincha Ecuador.
Master's Thesis Alejandro Rubio, 2019


Inventory of the bird species that can be found at La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve.


"Species diversity in Pre-montane Evergreen, Low Montane and High Montane (cloud) Forest in La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve, Ecuador."
David Brower, 2018


Inventory and guide of the most common butterflies found at La Hesperia Cloud Forest Reserve.

To learn more about any of the above