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Karla Barrientos Muñoz
Karla Barrientos Muñoz

Karla is the Co-Founder and Director of the Fundación Tortugas del Mar. She is a Biologist from the University of Antioquia. She is the Coordinator for Colombia of WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network). She has been a member of the International Society of Sea Turtle Specialists since 2011. She has worked in conservation, research and environmental education projects with these turtles for more than 16 years in different countries. She has spent over a decade identifying potential nesting, feeding and foraging sites in Colombia, Central America, and the Caribbean. She has extensive experience in the field, which includes the design and conduct of marine and terrestrial studies, capture and manipulation of sea turtles, collection of samples, management of volunteers, research assistants; and training in field and research techniques to different government organizations, both private and community. She leads the project to stop the illegal trafficking of hawksbill crafts in the country, strengthening regulatory entities in the application of the law, and disseminating the problem through written and spoken media and national and foreign tourists. She has promoted citizen science projects in Puerto Rico and Colombia. She currently leads the Science project with the Navy of the Republic of Colombia. She has also participated in more than 50 national and international congresses and symposia as a speaker and organizer. She has been an organizer and supporter of environmental festivals, such as the Turtle Festival (Isla Fuerte), Migration in Colombia (Pacific), and the Turtle Festival in Costa Rica. She is the author, along with two colleagues, of the current files on the Sea Turtles of the Red Book of Reptiles of Colombia of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute and the University of Antioquia, as well as of several scientific and popular articles. Her research interests include the effect of climate change on the sexual proportions of sea turtles and mitigation plans, population dynamics, population genetics, conservation and management plans. Since 2016, she has been a member of the Seaflower Scientific Expedition, a project led by the Government with Science in the Biosphere Reserve as a model of sovereignty. She participates in the series ColombiaBio de Colciencias in the documentary La Tierra del Agua. She is a reviewer of scientific articles.

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The Eastern Pacific Leatherback Turtle Conservation Network started in 2012 when over thirty researchers, NGOs, and regional experts came together to develop an action plan to stabilize and restore the leatherback turtle population in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.