Meet the team

Mario Espinoza (PhD)

Project Coordinator

Mario is a professor at the School of Biology and a researcher at the Research Center of Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR). He completed his doctorate in marine sciences from James Cook University in Australia, and a master’s degree in marine biology from California State University in Long Beach (USA). In 2016, Mario was appointed co-regional chair of the shark specialist group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and technical adviser to the Convention on Migratory Shark Species (CMS-Sharks). He currently leads several research and conservation projects for sharks and rays in Costa Rica, and is the coordinator of the Project “In Search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica”.

+506 2511-2208

Laura Garcia (MGP)


Laura García is a professor and researcher at the School of Biology at the UCR. Laura has been part of the project “In Search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica” since the beginning, and has been responsible for coordinating the social axis, which aims to integrate the Costa Rican society to a strategy that promotes conservation. In addition, Laura monitors and controls the correct budget execution of the project.

+506 2511-2208

Jorge Valerio (Marine Biologist)

Jorge is a Marine Biologist and a Master’s student at the UCR. His main areas of interest are freshwater fish and coastal species, especially the movements they make between freshwater and marine environments. Jorge has been involved in the “In search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica” project since the beginning in early 2016, and is currently coordinating research expeditions at the Térraba-Sierpe National Wetland in search of the Sawfish.

+506 2511-2208

Jorge Salmerón (Post Graduated)

Jorge Salmerón is a person committed to environmental and social issues, with a great ability to develop environmental education and awareness activities in communities. From the “In search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica” project, Jorge has managed to inform and sensitize children and adults about the situation of sawfish in the country, the threats to the Sawfish, and the ways in which they can help. In addition, Jorge has managed to promote the conservation of the Sawfish in children of the Sierpe area through games, as a method of non-traditional education.

+506 2511-2208

Fabiola Chirino (Biology student)

Biology Student / Community Manager – UCR

Fabiola is a biology student at the University of Costa Rica. Her area of interest is the conservation of wild fauna, focused on the study of endangered species. She collaborates with the Project “In Search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica” by managing social networks and dissemination. In addition, she is also part of the research team of the Veragua Rainforest Foundation that studies the populations of amphibians, mainly frogs, in the Caribbean part of the country.

+506 2511-2208

Esteban Jiménez

Tour Operador – Sierpe

Esteban is a Tour Operator (“Adventures of the Pristis”) and an amateur fisherman in the Sierpe area (South Pacific of Costa Rica). He has been part of the “In Search of the Sawfish – Costa Rica” project, since 2017. His knowledge and skills to navigate the extensive channels of the Térraba Sierpe National Wetland have made him an essential member for the success of our field expeditions.