Expedition 2000 to Isla
Exequiel Ezcurra is Director of the Biodiversity Research Center of the Californias at the San Diego Natural History Museum, and is also a member of the National System of Researchers in Mexico. He obtained an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. at the University College of North Wales. He became a researcher at the Instituto de Ecología in México D.F., where he developed the first systematic Environmental Impact Assessments in Mexico. Between 1990 and 1992 he was appointed Coordinator of the Graduate Section in charge of the Doctorate in Ecology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). In 1992 he was appointed Director General of Natural Resources in the Mexican Federal Government (National Institute of Ecology). In February 1994 he was appointed Director General of Environmental Planning and held that position until the end of the federal administration in December 1994. Dr. Ezcurra has received scholarships from UNESCO, the British Council, the Ford Foundation, and the Agency for International Development. He has published more than fifty research articles, has authored two books on the ecology of the Basin of Mexico, and edited a book on the Protected Natural Areas of Mexico.
In 1993 he was awarded the "Faustino Miranda" Medal for Ecological Merit by the Center of Ecology of the National University of Mexico. In 1994, he was given the "Julian Hayden" Award by the Sonoran Alliance, for the work done to protect the Gran Desierto through the creation of the Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, and also in 1994, he was awarded PRONATURA's 1993 Recognition for Conservation, for his work done to protect the vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus) and the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldii), through the decree of the Upper Gulf of California Biosphere Reserve. In June 1994 he was honored with the 1994 Conservation Biology Award, during the Guadalajara meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology. He has also received recognition awards from the U.S. National Park Service (1994), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1995) and the U.S. National Parks and Conservation Association (1994) for his efforts supporting binational cooperation in nature conservation along the Mexico-U.S. borderlands. In December 1994 he was named Chairman of the Scientific Committee during the Ninth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES).