Authors’ biographies

Lead editor and author

Sebastian Herzog, author of the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideSebastian K. Herzog

Born and raised in Germany, Sebastian holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Oldenburg, Germany. His ornithological career began in 1991 as an exchange student at the University of California at Davis, where he worked for over three years under the renowned ecotoxicologist Dan W. Anderson on several projects on the ecology and conservation of California birds. He first came to Bolivia in 1994 and has been studying its birds ever since.

Sebastian was a refounder of Asociación Armonía (BirdLife in Bolivia) in 2002, where he has served as Scientific Director until today. In addition he is a research associate at the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Since 2008 he has also been collaborating with the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research in two projects examining the impacts of climate change on the biodiversity of the tropical Andes.

He has published over 40 research papers in international and Bolivian journals on the ecology, biogeography, distribution, taxonomy, natural history, and conservation of Bolivian birds, and he coauthored Armonía’s 5th edition of the Annotated Checklist of the Birds of Bolivia (published in 2003). Most recently he edited a book on the effects of climate change on the biodiversity of the tropical Andes. His ornithological expertise is in Andean forest birds, but his birding travels have taken him to most other regions in Bolivia as well.


(in alphabetical order)

Juan Ignacio (Nacho) Areta, coauthor of the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideJuan Ignacio (Nacho) Areta

Nacho holds a PhD on the evolution of seedeaters in the Capuchinos group, a topic that fuses his interests in natural history, evolution, and conservation.

He was raised in the northern Patagonian city of Neuquén, Argentina, where he enjoyed walking the barren “bardas” chasing lizards with his brothers without knowing that here he would later find and tape-record there the Argentine-endemic Patagonian Canastero Asthenes patagonica and the White-throated Cacholote Pseudoseisura gutturalis.

A passionate sound recorder since 1999, he has obtained a wealth of recordings of birds from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, and Venezuela. Deeply concerned about natural and cultural conservation, Nacho has worked extensively in a project on the sustainable use and conservation of the Turquoise-fronted Parrot Amazona aestiva in the Chaco region (Proyecto Elé) and participates in a project on the conservation of the Atlantic Parana Pine forest in Misiones province (Proyecto Pino Paraná).

He is currently studying the association of bird species like Temminck’s Seedeater Sporophila falcirostris and White-bearded Antshrike Biatas nigropectus with bamboo in the Atlantic forest, and working on the use of vocalizations to solve systematic riddles of South American birds.

A very proud member of the ornithological anti-system Grupo FALCO, he keeps loyal to their principles, among which birding is a priority together with the conviction that serious science is compatible with huge doses of humor and informality.

Victor Hugo Garcia SolizVíctor Hugo García Solíz

A field ornithologist par excellence, Victor has studied bird communities throughout most of his native Bolivia for well over a decade.

He is currently finishing his undergraduate thesis in biology on seasonal patterns of reproductive activity in birds of the Refugio Los Volcanes at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón in Cochabamba.

Jose BalderramaJosé Antonio Balderrama Torrico

A Bolivian biologist with an MSc in Environmental Sciences, José has been dedicated to the study and conservation of birds from an early age. He has surveyed bird communities throughout the country in all of its nine departments, resulting in several important distributional records, and published a number of notes and articles in both scientific and popular outlets in Bolivia as well as in international scientific journals. He also authored two local Cochabamba bird identification guides and is coauthor of other books in preparation.

José has worked on several projects with Asociación Armonía, is a research associate of the Centro de Biodiversidad y Genética and instructor of the Avian Systematics undergraduate course at the Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Cochabamba, and president of the Asociación Boliviana de Ornitología.

Alex Jahn, co-author of the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideAlex E. Jahn

Alex was born in 1972 in the USA but was primarily raised in Bolivia, as his mother is Bolivian. He has studied birds in Bolivia since 1996, working mainly in the departments of Beni, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz.

He has a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida and has authored or co-authored over a dozen papers on the ecology of birds, mainly in Bolivia.

His recent research focuses mainly on the behavioral ecology of migratory birds in eastern Bolivia. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Aidan Maccormick, co-author of Birds of Bolivia Field GuideAidan Maccormick

Aidan is a British biologist who first visited Bolivia in 1998 as an undergraduate student to conduct bird surveys in the Yungas forests of Cochabamba and visited again in 1999 and 2001 on biological expeditions run by the University of Glasgow.

Aidan lived in Bolivia between 2003 and 2005 helping to organise fieldwork and conduct bird surveys as part of a UK-funded biodiversity inventory of Bolivia.

He returned again in 2006 and 2007 to carry out behavioral research on Neotropical wrens in the Bolivian lowlands and has travelled throughout Bolivia visiting all nine departments in search of birds. Aidan is now based in the UK working as an ecological consultant.

Ross MacLeod, coauthor of the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideRoss MacLeod

Ross is a Scot who first worked in Bolivia in 1999 and 2001, leading student ornithology and biodiversity inventory expeditions to the Yungas. He has lead or participated in 14 biodiversity survey expeditions to Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador and helped organize more than 50 ornithological inventories throughout Bolivia.

After finishing his doctorate in Zoology at Oxford University in 2003 he lived and worked in Bolivia for 2 years surveying birds and organizing a project to identify key areas for biodiversity conservation in Bolivia.

Since then he has returned annually to work with teams of Glasgow University students on Armonía’s threatened bird conservation projects in várzea forest and the Beni savanas.

Van Remsen, coauthor of the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideJ. Van Remsen, Jr.

For those familiar with Bolivian ornithology, Van hardly needs an introduction. From the mid 1970s to the late 1980s he probably was the most active field worker in the country (in both highlands and lowlands), and his field and museum research have led to many publications on the natural history, distribution, biogeography, ecology, and taxonomy of Bolivian birds.

In 1989 he published, together with Melvin A. Traylor, Jr., the first checklist of Bolivian birds in almost half a century, and the book has become a milestone in modern Bolivian ornithology. Van is Curator of Birds at the Louisiana State University’s Museum of Natural Science in Baton Rouge, and he chairs the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

His current research focuses on the biogeography of Neotropical birds and, in particular, diversification in the ovenbirds and woodcreepers.

Ryan TerrillRyan Terrill

Ryan Terrill is currently a PhD candidate at the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science. His research is focusing on the drivers and consequences of molt variation, and documenting patterns and timing of molt in South American birds. In addition, he is especially interested in documenting occurrence and natural history of rare and poorly known birds, and avifaunas of poorly known areas within Bolivia.

Ryan is an avid birder and sound recordist. He was raised in California, where he took an interest in local birds and worked various field jobs in ornithology while completing a BSc degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. Ryan’s work in the Neotropics includes thirteen separate trips, four of which have included extended work in Bolivia, with other trips into nearby parts of Argentina, Brazil, and Peru.

Julián Quillén Vidoz, coauthor and illustrator for the Birds of Bolivia Field GuideJulián Quillén Vidoz

Born in Argentina in 1984, Quillén has lived in Bolivia since 2004 and is currently studying biology at the Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno in Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Inspired by his father, he started watching and painting birds at an early age.

In 1999 he began carrying out bird inventories and guiding naturalist tours, and for the past three years he has been part of an international research team studying the migration of the Fork-tailed Flycatcher in South America.

He has published 10 research papers on the natural history, distribution, and migration of birds in Bolivia. His expertise are in bird communities of the lowlands (Amazonia, Chaco, Chiquitanía, Pantanal, and Cerrado), but he has also watched birds in several other ecoregions.


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