Today, we bid adieu to German Lopez and Celso Cawich, two of our long time biologists. Both German and Celso have been awarded scholarship opportunities to pursue master levels studies.
German is one of two Belizeans selected as recipients of scholarship awards under the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus program and is now in the United Kingdom completing a two-year master’s in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management at Bangor University. During his time at the ERI, German worked as a Botanist under the Darwin Initiative funded project: Conservation of the Lowland Savanna Ecosystem in Belize. Under this project, he led the re-curation of Belize’s national herbarium where he was successful in mounting and databasing over 2000 specimens. He was also involved in the establishment and re-measurement of permanent sampling plots throughout Belize including within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.
Celso is heading to the University of South Pacific in Fiji to pursue his degree in Marine Science under the Caribbean-Pacific Island Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS) Program. Like German, Celso joined the ERI in 2010. He took the role of Marine Biologist responsible for implementing marine monitoring programs at Turneffe Atoll, leading training sessions and assisting in monitoring throughout Belize including the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Synoptic Monitoring Program and SeagrassNet. During his time at the ERI, he was responsible for training and managing over student volunteers for research & monitoring activities out at the CCFS. As Marine Biologist, Celso represents the ERI on several national committees including the Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network, the National Coral Reef Monitoring Network and the Spawning Aggregation Working Group.
“Celso is an enthusiastic and dedicated field biologist; at home in the marine realm.” ~ Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts, Administrative and Science Director (Marine)
Both German and Celso have been valued additions to the ERI team and we know that they’ll be great representative throughout their studies.
Since establishment in 2009, the ERI has experienced tremendous growth while keeping true to its mission of build national scientific capacity for the effective management, sustainable use and conservation of Belize’s natural resources. Of course, all this could not have been possible without the outstanding contributions of our dedicated staff. To them we say: thank you!
“These gentlemen are very knowledgeable and passionate in what they do. I’ve had the pleasure of working with them in both the office and field settings and there never seems to be a shortage of knowledge to share. I’ve learnt plenty from them both and wish them the best in their studies.” ~ Denver Cayetano, Student assistant & Volunteer.
"They were the duo that made everyone laugh at the ERI; German with his sarcasm and Celso with his laughter. They will surely be missed but we know they are embarking on a new journey in life and we’re excited to see where it will take them. Do us proud guys." ~ Yahaira Urbina, Wildlife Biologist