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June 18, 2012

WiLDCOAST Appoints Dr. Eduardo Nájera Hillman as Mexico Director

Welcome New Executive Director for COSTASALVAjE

WiLDCOAST has appointed Dr. Eduardo Nájera Hillman as the agency’s new Director in Mexico. A distinguished researcher and conservationist, Dr. Nájera will oversee all of the conservation programs and operations in Mexico from the WiLDCOAST office in Ensenada, Baja California.

“Dr. Nájera brings a wealth of valuable conservation experience to WiLDCOAST and I am thrilled that he has joined our team to help conserve some of Mexico’s most biologically important coastal and marine ecosystems,” said Serge Dedina, WiLDCOAST’s Executive Director.

Prior to his new role with WiLDCOAST, Dr. Nájera worked at the Center for Coastal Studies in Bahia Magdalena, Baja California Sur, where he conducted conservation research on gray whales, sea turtles, and sea lions in support of conservation efforts.

Dr. Nájera holds a B.S. in Biology from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a Ph.D. in Conservation Ecology from the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. His New Zealand-based research provided scientific information to assist in the conservation of endangered Hochstetter’s frogs (Leiopelma hochstetteri). Parallel to his doctoral studies he also conducted coastal water quality monitoring at Aqualab NZ Ltd. and was a university lecturer at AUT.

“I am very excited to join WiLDCOAST and work with coastal communities and Mexican federal agencies to conserve globally significant areas such as Cabo Pulmo, Valle de los Cirios, Bahia Magdalena, Laguna San Ignacio and critically important islands of Mexico’s Pacific and Sea of Cortez,” said Dr. Nájera.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Dr. Nájera worked with Mexico’s National Protected Area Commission (CONANP) in the Cancun-Isla Mujeres-Nizuc National Park where he managed coral reef monitoring and restoration programs. Dr. Nájera recently completed a post-doc at the Instituto de Ecologia (INECOL) in Veracruz where he evaluated the sustainable management of whitetail deer in the Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve.

As an added benefit, Dr. Nájera has also worked in southern Oaxaca, one of WiLDCOAST’s new conservation regions. The new Oaxaca program is collaboration with CONANP and indigenous communities to protect coral reefs, mangrove lagoons and some of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches. 

Dr. Nájera’s research has been published in Mexican and international journals such as Revista de Zoologia, Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Endangered Species Research, New Zealand Journal of Zoology, and the Revista de la Sociedad Mexicana de Historia Natural.