Known for inspiring Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, the unique and diverse species of the Galápagos Islands are facing new challenges to adapt. On this Nat Geo Night, discover the remarkable islands—and the threats they face—with marine ecologist PELAYO SALINAS DE LEÓN and Emmy Award–winning filmmaker GREG MARSHALL.
Photograph by Pelayo Salinas de León
Pelayo Salinas de León
Marine ecologist Pelayo Salinas de León, Ph.D., has a keen interest in marine protected areas, shark ecology, and communicating science with the public. He serves as a National Geographic Pristine Seas conservation scientist and as senior marine ecologist with the Charles Darwin Foundation. His research and conservation efforts around the Galápagos’s Darwin and Wolf Islands were pivotal in inspiring the Ecuadorian government to create, in 2016, a 40,000-square-kilometer totally protected marine sanctuary, which will safeguard the largest global shark biomass recorded to date as well as unique deep-water ecosystems. Based in the Galápagos, Pelayo researches sustainable fisheries management, documents the biodiversity of seamount (underwater mountain) ecosystems, and studies the ecology of highly migratory shark species. Prior to working in the Galápagos, Pelayo worked on research and conservation projects in Spain, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Cuba.
An inventor, biologist, conservationist, and Emmy Award–winning cinematographer, Greg Marshall has dedicated his life to studying, exploring, and documenting animal life in the world’s oceans and across the globe. Greg’s most celebrated contribution to the scientific community is the invention of the Crittercam—a small, lightweight, streamlined camera that has the remarkable ability to travel unobtrusively with its animal hosts, capturing never-before-seen footage of the private lives of wild animals. Footage using Crittercams has been used in over 70 National Geographic films, including March of the Penguins, and numerous television episodes and specials, including on PBS.