We are scientific leaders and social entrepreneurs focused on effective coral reef conservation. More than twenty years of experience assessing and monitoring marine and coastal ecosystems such as estuaries, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. More than 10 years of combined international experience in the formulation and implementation of citizen science programs aimed at the conservation and restoration of coral reefs. Five years of experience developing professional and technical training programs in large-scale coral reef restoration.

We are the Reef Check Coordinator for Colombia and members of the Coral Restoration Consortium, the Society for Ecological Restoration, the Colombian Network of Ecological Restoration, the technical and scientific partner of the Large-Scale Coral Reef Restoration Program in the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve (Reef For All).

Core Team

Meet Our Team

Phanor H Montoya Maya
Executive Director and Founder

Phanor H Montoya Maya, Ph.D.

I am a Marine Biologist and SCUBA diving Instructor with a keen interest in coral reef ecology, genetic connectivity, and restoration. I have specialized in curriculum development and implementation of professional training programs in coral restoration using the concept of coral reef gardening. You could call me an entrepreneurial marine biologist. I have more than 20 years of international experience in the conservation of tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems (seagrasses, estuaries and coral reefs) in the Western Indian Ocean and the Caribbean; some six years of international experience in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of large-scale coral reef restoration actions, with presence and collaboration in five countries and four oceans. My goal is to increase the scale of coral restoration internationally, in so doing I organize and conduct professional training programs from which leaders and projects in large-scale coral gardening emerge. I have a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, an MSc in Ecology from Rhodes University, and a degree in Marine Biology from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. I am member of the Colombian Network of Ecological Restoration (REDCRE), the Society for Ecological Restoration, the International Coral Reef Society, and an Editorial Board member of the Restoration Ecology Journal.

Lina Maria Barrios Head of Research Corales de Paz
Head of Research

Lina Maria Barrios, Ph.D.

I am Marine Biologist, with experience in population and community ecology of tropical and temperate marine organisms (comparative ecology and ecological genetics), conservation biology, biodiversity, ocean acidification (climate change), sustainable development, and their interaction with social aspects. I am currently a Lecturer Ecology/Research Associate at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), PhD & MSc Co-Director at Universidad Nacional-UNAL (Colombia), and MSc supervisor & Visiting Researcher at Universidad de Cartagena-UNICARTAGENA (Colombia). I am also a Divemaster and an anemone lover!

Angela Alegria Ortega
Reef Science Manager

Angela Alegría Ortega, M.Sc.

I am a Biological engineer by profession, graduated from the National University of Colombia. I finished my Master of Biology in 2019 after working with the LimnoBase and Biotamar Research group at the University of Antioquia. My research work was on population genetics of coral metapopulations in the area of ​​the Gulf of Morrosquillo and Isla Fuerte. This opportunity allowed me to gain experience in coral monitoring techniques and the characterization of fauna associated with these ecosystems. I have participated in coral reef restoration projects in the Tayrona National Natural Park (Colombia) and with sexual propagation in the Puerto Morelos Natural Park (Mexico). I am a SCUBA Diver since 2012, Dive Master since 2015, and certified as Reef Check EcoDiver in the Tayrona Expedition 2017. As a conservation enthusiast and diver, my role as Coordinator of the Reef Science Program is to promote and foster research projects aim at improving coral reef science and conservation.

Andrea Caicedo Gonzalez
Reef Check Manager

Andrea Caicedo Gonzalez, M.Sc.

My experience and interest lie in the conservation of the coastal marine ecosystem. I like to break the barrier between science and coastal communities in order to work together for the environment and the sustainable socio-economic development of the inhabitants of the Colombian coasts. I have worked mainly in the Colombian Pacific with IIAP, CVC, and WWF among other organizations, in various projects related to marine conservation processes through community co-administration and environmental education. However, my love for the sea and diving were born in San Andrés Islas, where I was certified as a diver in 2009 and in 2018 as a rescue diver and EcoDiver. Now I have the opportunity to return to her beloved island to contribute her knowledge in favor of the archipelago or other destinations where Corales de Paz´s projects take her.

Alba Lucia Daza
Administrative Director

Alba Lucia Daza Huertas

I am a Business Administrator who graduated from the Universidad Santiago de Cali, a specialist in Finance from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali. My professional career has been focused on the administrative area, coordinating projects of process systematization platforms, implementation of the process cycle and administrative control; In the financial area, I have participated in the implementation of budgetary flows and financial management. I have participated in committees with the aim of promoting the active participation of employees, favoring the appropriation of business identity, and articulation between work teams. I joined Corales de Paz in December 2019, seeking a better quality of work and to strengthen the organization from its administration and management. I hope to contribute to the growth of the organization with my experience leading and managing the international mobility of academic staff, as well as in the promotion and development of international events.

¿Thinking about being part of our team?

Start by becoming an Active Member of our organization and build your career in participatory conservation.