The Last Survivors


Project staff

Photo of JoeDr Jose Nunez-Mino
Jose is a conservation biologist from the UK working for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and he is the field manager for the project in the Dominican Republic. From implementing the field research programme, managing the field budget, training project staff, writing reports, running an awareness-raising programme, to a variety of other responsibilities, Jose uses his many years of experience to ensure the project runs smoothly on the ground.

Jorge Brocca
IMG_0479Jorge is Director of Sociedad Ornitológica de la Hispaniola and is the main Dominican project partner. Drawing on a wealth of experience of conservation and field research in the Dominican Republic, as well as knowledge of the species, Jorge oversees and guides delivery of the project on the ground. Contact details: jbrocca[at]

Pedro MartinezPedro Martinez
Pedro is a biologist from the Dominican Republic and will work alongside Jose in all aspects of the project – from research design and field surveys, to project management and conservation planning. Pedro will also work closely with Nicolas and LLeyo to learn from their knowledge of the species and to gain experience in finding and tracking solenodon and hutia in the field. With these skills and knowledge, Pedro hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the species and to lead future conservation efforts for these two unique mammals.

Jose Rafael de la CruzJose Rafael de la Cruz
Jose Rafael joined the project in August 2011. He is employed as a full time Research assistant by Sociedad Ornitologica de la Hispaniola as part of the last survivors project thanks to funding provided by the BBC Wildlife Fund. Jose Rafael is based near the Loma Quita Espuela National Park where he gained most of his experience whilst working with a local NGO, “Fundacion Loma Quita Espuela”. His expertise are mainly in forest protection and he loves spending time working in the magnificent forests in the area. Rafael is a very keen learner and is particularly looking forward to developing his mammal tracking skills in addition to running community educational projects.

Ramon EspinalTimoteo Bueno
Timoteo is also employed by Sociedad Ornitologica de la Hispaniola as a Research assistant on the project thanks to BBC Wildlife Fund. He lives in Los Limones which is a small community in the outskirts of Los Haitises National Park – one of the most striking and threatened protected areas in the Dominican Republic. Timoteo has a wealth of experience since he has worked with other conservation projects including many years working with the Ridgeway Hawk – a bird only found in Los Haitises and probably the most endangered vertebrate on the Island. Timoteo is highly respected in his community and is eager to share his knowledge of species and promote conservation across all the communities in the area.

Ramon EspinalRamon “Moncho” Espinal
“Moncho” is a Research assistant on the project and is based in Sierra de Bahoruco. He started with the project in October 2010 and spent two months being trained by Nicolas Corona and Dionis Espinal (our first two research assistants). Moncho has learnt the field skills needed very quickly and has become highly independent. Moncho is definitely an all rounder with huge amounts of energy and enthusiasm. He has become particularly skilled at using a GPS and map reading something he had never done before joining “The Last Survivors” project.

youngDr Richard Young
Richard is Head of Conservation Science at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and is Project Leader. He oversees the delivery of the project, so spends more time on reports and budgets than on research, but does manage the occasional and very welcome foray into the field.

Sam in the museumDr Samuel Turvey
Sam is a conservation biologist and paleoecologist at the Zoological Society of London and works on the EDGE of Existence programm . He assists Richard on leading the project from the UK. He focuses on researching the patterns and drivers of West Indian mammal extinction and co-ordinates efforts to investigate the phylogeography of the Hispaniolan solenodon and hutia.

Daniela Rusowsky
Daniela Rusowsky

Daniela is a visual anthropologist and Director of Funk Productions. She is working to produce a series of short films for the project to help raise awareness of the Hispaniolan solenodon and hutia and of wider environmental issues on the island. Currently based in Jersey, Daniela is from Chile and lived for two years in Puerto Rico. With a long track record in film-making for conservation, she will train the team to produce the films in collaboration with the local community. She will advise on designing the most effective ways to distribute the films to make a difference for the conservation of these species.

mocDr Mark O’Connell
Mark is Director of Ecological Research & Training. Over the next two years, he will be assisting Richard’s team by advising on field data collection methods and protocols. He will also be guiding the analysis of the project’s data using geographical information systems (GIS), and the production of habitat suitability models and maps for the two study species.

Ros Kennerley
Ros Kennerley

Ros is a PhD student at Reading University and she will be examining aspects of the ecology of both the solenodon and hutia. Ros has extensive fieldwork experience working with threatened species, and will bring these skills to this project. Her study aims to investigate patterns of habitat use by the two species along a gradient from native habitat through to primary agricultural land, and to explore human-wildlife interactions in areas of different usage.

YimelYimel Corona
Yimel is the youngest member of the team and joined the project in May 2011 when he started to work with MSc students and has since continued to work with Ros Kennerley. Yimel has become highly proficient at handling and radio tracking solenodons as well as finding their dens. He has always enjoyed spending time in the forest and his engagement with the last survivors project has enabled him to develop his field work skills.

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