Quito, October 28 (Andes). - The Ecuadorian biologist Eugenia Del Pino is among the ten most outstanding female scientists in Latin America, according to the BBC documentary "100 Women: Half the world speaks."
This film looks at the achievements and challenges faced by women throughout history and as part of that, spotlights the 10 most celebrated female scientists in Latin America. The Ecuadorian researcher is known for her pioneering studies comparing the development of a marsupial frog (Gastrotheca riobambae) typical to Ecuador to other tropical frogs.
The work of this Ecuadorian woman has opened a new line of research in the scientific world. In addition, the BBC highlighted her efforts in the conservation of the Galapagos Islands.
In 2006, Pino became the first Ecuadorian to be a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. Emory University (USA) cites her scientific research in the reproductive and developmental physiology of the marsupial frog, unique to Ecuador, as an important contribution to the field of vertebrate development.
The biologist earned her degree at the Universidad Católica de Quito [Catholic University of Quito] (PUCE), then won a scholarship to do a Master’s degree in Science at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie (New York). Later, she won another scholarship to Emory University in Atlanta. There in 1972 she obtained her doctorate (PhD). In that same year she returned to Quito as a professor at the Universidad Católica.
The researcher, who is also an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, said she chose the study frogs because these are very similar to humans at the molecular level, and therefore, studying them helps us to understand human development and could help prevent disease.
Pino developed a scholarship program giving Ecuadorian students a chance to conduct research in the Galapagos and have access to a better scientific training. In 1986, the World Wide Fund for Nature Conservation awarded her a diploma for her work on behalf of the islands, and in 1999, the Charles Darwin Foundation gave her a medal in recognition of her work in the conservation of the Islas Encantadas [as the Galapagos are also known].