Feature Presentation

Monday, March 22, 2021

6:30pm – 7:30pm

Join us for a featured presentation on the Causes of a Mangrove Dieback in the Galapagos and its Consequences for the Mangrove Finch

Presented by: Dr. Ilka “Candy” Feller, Emerita, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA

Dr. Ilka “Candy” Feller

Dr. Feller is a Senior Scientist Emerita after 20 years at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Since the only mangroves at SERC are in the growth chambers, Candy spent most of those 20 years in the tropics working on mangrove ecosystems around the world. Although retired, she still spends most of her time investigating the consequences of global change on ecological processes in mangrove forests.

Candy will present a travelogue of her recent field trip (March 1 – April 2, 2020) to the Galapagos with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) to investigate a mangrove dieback on Isla Isabel, the largest island in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Candy is collaborating with a team of CDF ornithologists who are working on the Mangrove Finch, one of Charles Darwin's original 14 finches which are obligate mangrove residents that nest in black mangrove and feed in red mangrove. However, the Mangrove Finch is critically endangered with less than 100 individuals remaining.

The bird team is trying to save the remaining individuals and restore populations in other parts of the Galapagos. The major threats to this and other finches in the Galapagos are invasive species including a recently introduced parasitic fly, rats, feral cats, as well as habitat loss. The remaining Mangrove Finches live in two small stands of mangroves on the NE coast of Isla Isabel, where the dieback was first observed by the CDF scientists. Candy's role in the project is to help identify what is causing the dieback and try to stop it.

Wine and Drink

Get Comfortable and Enjoy the Session

This will be an informal evening session, so bring a snack and feel free to enjoy your favorite beverage and relax at the end of the day as Candy tells the captivating story of what she experienced during a 13-day stint on the remote Galapagos Archipelagos.

We will conclude the evening with open Q&A and interactive dialogue so be sure to join us!


The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life.


The Office of Conferences & Institutes is a full service conference planning agency at the University of Florida. OCI was created to support the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) mission to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and to make that knowledge available to people to sustain and enhance the quality of human life.

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