Expedition Team

Our team is the key to your incredible adventure


Explore the islands and undersea in the company of top experts. Benefit from the knowledge of our Galápagos Island travel guides —team specialties include marine and terrestrial biology, botany, geology, and more—and passion for the Galápagos to observe and understand more of all you’ll see.  And enjoy their company; you’ll find them highly engaging and fun to share a drink or dinner with, as well as a trail hike.


Meet the expedition team for this departure

Or
  • Celso Montalvo

    Naturalist
    Celso was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. At the age of nine he arrived in the Galápagos for the first time and he was profoundly touched by nature, observation, and isolation.  When he saw the sharks, rays and turtles swimming in the bay, he was triggered by a sense of wonder that he did not feel before.  Celso believes education is key to preservation. After graduating from the Naval Academy at the age of 17 he moved to New York to continue his education.

    Read More
  • Christian Saa

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Christian was born on the island of Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago. He grew up on a farm and had a magical childhood devoid of cars, electricity, telephones—just pure nature and playful sea lions along the beach. At the age of seven, he moved with his family to Santa Cruz Island, the economic hub of the Galápagos Islands. His father began to work in tourism and took Christian around the islands during school vacations. It was during this time that Christian learned to love and understand the real value of this unique archipelago, and he decided to devote his life to its stewardship. A lifelong passion for nature and its creatures took root in his heart, and he eventually decided to become a naturalist, which he has now been doing for 18 years now.

    Read More
  • Gianna Haro

    Undersea Specialist
    Most of Gianna´s memories seem to be dreams, made on flawless white sandy beaches with black lava rock contours and gorgeous turquoise ocean waters. Most of it happened while barefoot, in an enchanting place that some people regard as an ideal natural laboratory, the Galápagos Islands. For her it was home. Gianna grew up going to the beach nearly every day, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, playing with wild flowers, having sea lions steal her ice cream, observing marine iguanas, and identifying invertebrates. The latter was by no means technically accurate—she dubbed each new discovery with its own made-up scientific name. At some point during those early years, being an observer became an innate ability and she knew she wanted to be a biologist. 

    Read More
  • José Guerrero

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    José Guerrero Vela is an Ecuadorian permanent resident of the Galapagos. His mother was born in the islands and his grandfather was one of the first generation of teachers in the Galapagos, which has always inspired him to promote education as the main path to protect the archipelago.

    Read More
  • Juan Carlos Avila

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Juan Carlos was born in Quito, Ecuador. He spent part of his elementary schooling in the province of Cotopaxi, a beautiful area in the Ecuadorian Andes ringed by volcanoes. In 1989 his family moved to the Galápagos and settled in the highlands of Santa Cruz, the second largest island in this archipelago. It was here that Juan Carlos finished high school and gained his deep love for nature.

    Read More
  • Kelly Blais

    Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
    Kelly Blais is a seventh-grade science teacher and summer STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) coordinator at David R. Cawley Middle School in Hooksett, New Hampshire. She is pursuing a doctorate in education at Northeastern University in Boston, which she hopes to put to use working in a teacher preparation program as a mentor to new teachers. In the classroom, Kelly is passionate about creating authentic learning opportunities for her students. She strives to help her students make connections between what they’re learning in class and what they’re experiencing in their own lives. She believes that by helping students make that personal connection to the curriculum, they will develop a sense of ownership of their education. Prior to working as a science teacher, Kelly worked as a research scuba diver based out of the Isles of Shoals in New Hampshire, a chemical oceanographic researcher, and a researcher at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station in St. John studying Diadema antillarum, the long-spined black sea urchin. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and oceanography and a master’s in secondary education from the University of New Hampshire.

    Read More
  • Paula Tagle

    Expedition Leader
    Paula grew up in Guayaquil where she obtained an undergraduate degree in geology from the Polytechnic University of Guayaquil. She enjoyed many field trips all around Ecuador and during her vacations traveled in Central and South America in the hope of learning more about her people and culture. The last year of her studies she worked at a mine looking for a more ecologically responsible way of recovering gold. Interested more in volcanoes than in raw materials, she came to Galápagos, a mecca for geologists, in 1992. She was bewitched by the other wonders of the islands and became a naturalist guide for the Galápagos National Park.

    Read More
  • Ruth Smith

    Grosvenor Teacher Fellow
    Ruth Smith teaches all eighth-grade subjects at Hepburn School in Saskatchewan, Canada. She has attended the Parliament of Canada’s teachers’ conference in Ottawa, Canada, the Canadian Space Agency’s teachers’ conference in Montreal, Canada, and the American Middle Years Conference in Minnesota. In 2015, she was part of Project Overseas with the Canadian Teacher’s Federation for which she traveled with five other teachers to Guyana for three weeks to conduct workshops for teachers. In 2018, Ruth traveled to Germany with the Transatlantic Outreach Program for teachers to experience modern Germany. Ruth uses these experiences to bring the world to her classroom through activities, pen pals, global education, pictures, and entertaining stories. She hopes to inspire her students to do their own traveling and experience other cultures and environments as global citizens.

    Read More
  • Salvador Cazar

    Naturalist
    Salvador Cazar studied biology at the Universidad Nacional Del Sur, Bahía Blanca, in Argentina and at the Catholic University of Ecuador. Between 1988 and 1994, Salvador worked as a naturalist and tour leader for several national and international tour operators, leading groups of visitors across the Ecuadorian rain forest, Andean forest, and to Galápagos.

    Read More
  • Socrates Tomala

    Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor
    Socrates was raised on Santa Cruz Island located in the heart of Galapagos Archipelago.  After a childhood filled with swimming, scuba diving, rock climbing and volunteering in conservation projects, he grew very passionate about the outdoors and the natural world. 

    Read More

Get our newsletter

Join us for updates, insider reports & special offers.

Privacy Policy