Ceiba Staff and Directors
Who We Are


Carolina Toapanta Carolina Toapanta is the Executive Director of the Ceiba Foundation in Ecuador.  She oversees in-country conservation projects, volunteer program, establishes partnerships with local and national governments as well as other non-profits, and raises funds for Ceiba and its projects.


Kelly van Gils Kelly Van Gils is the Science and Volunteer Coordinator at the Lalo Loor Dry Forest.  She is from The Netherlands, but has lived for years in Ecuador.  Kelly oversees the ongoing research projects in the reserve, and coordinates and works day to day with our volunteers and interns.


Yasi Rezai Yasi Rezai is Ceiba’s Administrator in the US.  She oversees the day-to-day office operations, manages the volunteer program, promotes Ceiba’s courses, and supports grant-writing efforts.


Julia Frangul is the Communications Coordinator.  She updates Ceiba’s online platforms and oversees course promotion and marketing efforts.


Mariela Loor  Mariela Loor is the Reserve Manager of the Lalo Loor Dry Forest.  She is from Tabuga, Ecuador, and is the daughter of the reserve’s owner, Sr. Lalo Loor.  Mariela coordinates day-to-day activities at the reserve, organizes environmental education activities with surrounding schools, and strengthens Ceiba’s community outreach.


Board of Directors

Catherine Woodward Catherine Woodward
Ph.D., Botany, University of Wisconsin
Associate Lecturer, University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
(curriculum vita)


Joe Meisel Joe E. Meisel
Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin
(curriculum vita)


Monica de Navarro Monica de Navarro
Former Director, Quito Botanical Garden
Quito, Ecuador


Steve Webster Steve Webster 
Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin


Susan Webster in the paramo Susan Webster 
Masters of Social Work, University of Tennessee
Madison, Wisconsin


Andrea Johnson
Executive Director, Green Empowerment
B.S. Environmental Science, Duke University
Portland, Oregon


James Madden James Madden
M.S. Conservation Biology & Ecology, Florida Institute of Technology
Docent Program Coordinator, California Academy of Science
San Francisco, California