Management Team

We are currently actively recruiting for our Advisory Board. If you are interested in joining our team, please send a cover letter and resume/CV to Ryan Lynch, Executive Director.


Ryan L. Lynch

Position: Executive Director
Ryan has a B.A. in Ethnobiology and an M.S. in Wildlife Ecology. Previous to joining TMA, Ryan spent years traveling and working across Ecuador on a variety of biological research projects.  Working out of the Yanayacu Biology Station in the Eastern Andes in 2005, Ryan studied the nesting ecology of a variety of birds, diversity and natural history of Lepidopterans, and tri-trophic interactions across an elevational gradient spanning from the Amazon all the way up to the high Andes. Ryan also has a special interest in reptiles and amphibians after spending years working with frogs, alligators, crocodiles, and the notorious Burmese python in the Florida Everglades. Ryan joined the TMA team as Executive Director in 2014 after spending two years working with partner NGO The Biodiversity Group. Ryan's current goals include the dramatic expansion of the Jama-Coaque Reserve via a conservation corridor and to grow the international conservation recognition of TMA.


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Nick Slobodian

Position: Director of Agroforestry
With a B.A. in Agroecology and Latin American Studies from UC Santa Cruz, Nick has been working in Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Education for the past seven years. He studied permaculture design at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, CA and received his Permaculture Teaching Certificate from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute. For the past two years he has worked as a Horticultural and Vocational Therapist for adults with the developmental disabilities, designing and facilitating an individual learning plan in edible landscaping, land management, and construction for a young man with Autism and a Project Leader for an Aquaponic Farm that serves as a job training program for adults with disabilities. Nick is excited to continue to enhance the Permaculture Design Course and contribute to the overall Agroforestry Plan at the Jama-Coaque Reserve.


Mike Ellis

Mike Ellis

Position: Director of Research
In 2012, after several years of traveling, working on various research and education initiatives, and chasing birds, Mike got his first taste of the Jama-Coaque Reserve. An initial two-month stay as a reforestation intern quickly snowballed into a full year spent surveying birds and designing research projects. Afterwards, Mike briefly joined a migratory bird banding station in New York before pursuing an M.S. in wildlife science at Oregon State University. His thesis research uncovered precipitous declines in riparian obligate bird species and has important implications for the conservation of birds and riparian zones in a changing climate. Mike rejoined Third Millennium Alliance in 2016 and is throwing himself into all things science, conservation, and bird-related. When not walking around with binoculars or a camera pressed to his face, Mike can usually be found plucking away at one instrument or another.



Jennifer Navarra

Position: Research & Internship Manager
Jennifer has a B.A. in Anthropology and M.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida. Having an academic background in anthropology and biology, Jennifer’s overarching research interest has focused on how humans influence and alter the ecology of natural systems. Prior to joining TMA, Jennifer worked as a plant ecologist in Central Florida to restore and preserve an endemic-rich, critically endangered habitat unique to Florida. While much of her past research and field experience has been with rare species monitoring and restoration ecology, she also has a long standing interest in ethnobotany. Having traveled through much of South and Central America, Jennifer is excited to join the TMA team and work in the tropics to conserve another critically endangered habitat. Jennifer is motivated to continue the development of the internship and research programs at the Jama-Coaque Reserve and eager to mentor young scientists at the start of their careers.


Phinease Ellis

Phineas Ellis

Position: Permaculture Operations Manager
Phineas studied Environmental Social-Work at UC Santa Cruz and was a student leader in the campus gardens. He received his Permaculture Design Certification in 2009 and volunteered as staff for two PDC’s run by the Regenerative Design Institute.  Phineas worked as an assistant garden teacher at  Waldorf Elementary in Santa Cruz and apprenticed with master artisanal stonemasons, Eckerman Studios, for four years.   With Mesa Verde Gardens, a community gardening and social-justice non-profit in Watsonville California, he held the orchard manager position for three years in a bilingual work environment.  Phineas has traveled extensively, is an avid backpacker, surfer, sailor and salsa dancer.  He is a homesteader at heart with skills in fruit tree pruning and grafting, beekeeping, and food gardening.  More recently, Phineas was a volunteer agricultural consultant in Mozambique Africa, as part of the Farmer to Farmer program, Cultivating New Frontiers In Agriculture. Phineas is dedicated to creating healthy thriving relationships between people and places and have fun while doing it.


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Katherine Theus

Position: Web Design, Social Media
With B.A. in Journalism and Spanish from Boston University, Katherine joined the TMA team in 2013, and spent the majority of the year working from our base in Quito. Originally from Northern California, she manages our donor communications, web content, and social networking. A traveler at heart, she has called many places home, including Ghana and New Zealand, and spent the beginning of 2015 exploring Southeast Asia. Currently in the San Francisco Bay Area, she splits her time between working with TMA, Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, and exercising horses, including two of her own, Spritz and Houdina. If she's not on a horse, you can find her on her motorcycle!


Uver Vaca, TMA's Field Operations Manager.

Uver Vaca

Position: Manager of Field Operations
Uver was born in the local community of Camarones, earned his high school degree in Quito, and later returned to Camarones to play a central role in TMA's field staff. As Manager of Field Operations at the Jama-Coaque Reserve, Uver oversees wildlife monitoring, trail building and maintenance, and all other field work. In the community of Camarones, Uver is the lead instructor for the PEEK program, jointly implemented with The Biodiversity Group, which teaches local children and youth how to use photography as a means to study and document wildlife, particularly amphibians.


Edilberto Marquez, TMA's Head Park Ranger

Edilberto Marquez

Position: Head Park Ranger
Edilberto was born and raised in the local community of Camarones. He is the Head Park Ranger for the Jama-Coaque Reserve and also leads various other field activities, such as trail design, trail building and reforestation activities. His wealth of knowledge about native plants and wildlife, and his patient and kind demeanor, have allowed him to develop into an excellent field research guide. Edilberto led the construction of the Three Forest Trail and all other trails within the Jama-Coaque Reserve, and was certified as a Nature Trail Guide in 2011.


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Daniel Fabricio Murillo Morales

Position: Field Assistant
Daniel (Dany) was born and raised in the local community of Camarones, and works part-time as a field assistant in wildlife monitoring, trail maintenance and park operation, agroforestry and reforestation activities, and sustainable systems/permaculture land management in the Jama-Coaque Reserve. He is a remarkably fast learner and an extremely versatile member of our team, and is part of TMA's youth group in Camarones. He was certified as a Jama-Coaque Reserve Nature Trail Guide in 2011.


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Wouter Hantson

Position: GIS Expert
With an MS from Wageningen University (Netherlands), Wouter is a  Geo-Information expert specialized in high resolution remote sensing and unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) imagery processing and analysis to support spatial risk modeling at the landscape scale. Wouter develops GIS training courses and teaches geographic information systems for ecology, epidemiology and vector mapping, and is teaching a course at the Jama-Coaque Reserve during the Winter 2015 session.