Dr. Ariel Espino obtained his degree in Architecture at the Universidad Santa María La Antigua (Panamá), a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Arizona (U.S.), and a Doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at Rice University (U.S.). He has worked as an urban planner in both the United States and Panama, in addition to having taught in university programs in both countries. The principle focus of his work is founded in conservation and the rehabilitation of historical neighborhoods, low-income housing and urban segregation; from his research, numerous publications have emerged concerning his investigation of these aspects of Panama and other locations. From 2004 to 2009 Dr. Espino was the Director of the Casco Viejo Office. At present, he teaches conservation and cultural heritage management for development in the post-graduate program of Central America, in addition to directing his own company in architecture and urbanism in Panama.
Dr. Luis Fernando De León is an evolutionary biologist. He received his diploma in Environmental Biology from the University of Panamá, in the central region of Veraguas, his Doctorate in Evolutionary Biology and a Post-Doctorate at the University of McGill, Canada. His research is founded in the understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes which encourage tropical biodiversity, and human activity that can affect species evolution. He is also interested in understanding how climate change can affect biodiversity in neo-tropical environments. Dr. De Léon is currently a researcher in the Department of Applied Ecology in INDICASAT (Instituto de Investigaciones Científicas y Servicios de Alta Tecnología).
Dra. Luz Romero de Ortega is a doctor and dermatologist with a doctorate in public health from the National School of Public Health-Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil. She has 20 years of experience in biomedical research and is currently Director of Research at the Universidad Santa María la Antigua, Panama. Her current interest is in management of science and technology, particularly in the field of public policies of the National Health Research System (NHRS). The main objective of her investigation is decision making and prioritization processes of setting the national agenda for health research in Panama. The investigative focus includes i) the health research agenda accompanying the health needs of the Panamanian population, and ii ) understanding if plans for science, technology, innovation and development correlate with the health of the Panamanians. This area of study is complemented by research on knowledge management in the university environment, and the challenges which exist in the context of Panama.