© 2017

Darwin, Darwinism and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands

The Legacy of Darwin and its New Applications

  • Diego Quiroga
  • Ana Sevilla
  • Examines past and present applications of Darwinian principles to the study of human societies

  • Analyzes the role of agency as an important factor in the creation of social institutions

  • Explores the way Darwinian principles of emergence, diversity, natural selection, and uncertainty can be used to manage natural resources in sustainable ways


About this book


The book explores how Darwin´s legendary and mythologized visit to the Galapagos affected the socioecosystems of the Islands, as well as the cultural and intellectual traditions of Ecuador and Latin America. It highlights in what way the connection between Darwin and the Galapagos has had real, enduring and paradoxical effects in the Archipelago. This Twenty Century construct of the Galapagos as the cradle of Darwin’s theory and insights triggered not only the definition of the Galapagos as a living natural laboratory but also the production of a series of conservation practices and the reshaping of the Galapagos as a tourism destination with an increasingly important flow of tourists that potentially threaten its fragile ecosystems. The book argues that the idea of a Darwinian living laboratory has been limited by the success of the very same constructs that promote its conservation. It suggests critical interpretations of this paradox by questioning many of the dichotomies that have been created to understand nature and its conservation.  We also explore some possible ways in which Darwin's ideas can be used to better understand the social and natural threats facing the Islands and to develop sustainable and successful management practices.


Charles Darwin Darwinism Evolution Galapagos Islands terrestrial ecosystems

Editors and affiliations

  • Diego Quiroga
    • 1
  • Ana Sevilla
    • 2
  1. 1.Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales y Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y HumanidadesUniversidad San Francisco de QuitoQuitoEcuador
  2. 2.Colegio de Ciencias Sociales y HumanidadesUniversidad San Francisco de QuitoQuitoEcuador

About the editors

Diego Quiroga got his B.A. at the University of California Berkeley and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in anthropology. He has done research on different areas of Ecuador and has written on diverse topics including medical anthropology, development, conservation and political ecology. Besides researching issues such as fisheries and tourism in the Galapagos, Diego is also studying the amazon forest and examining the changes and transformations that indigenous people in the area are experiencing and their response to these new challenges. He is the cofounder of GAIAS, the Galapagos Academic Institute for the Arts and the Sciences and the current director of the Center which is a branch of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in San Cristobal, Galapagos.  Diego is also involved in the administration of the program and teaches classes for the local Galapagos students and in for different exchange programs in collaboration with many universities around the world.

Ana Sevilla is a research associate at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She completed her Ph.D. at Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales and did her postdoctoral studies at Leiden University. Her research interests lie in the area of the history of science; she studies processes of knowledge production in non-European spaces of modernity. Ana has focused her explorations on the reception of Darwin´s ideas in Ecuador and Latin America. She is also involved in the Galapagos tourism industry. She has worked in one of the most important tourism operators of the Galapagos in the area of research and development of new products.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Darwin, Darwinism and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands
  • Book Subtitle The Legacy of Darwin and its New Applications
  • Editors Diego Quiroga
    Ana Sevilla
  • Series Title Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands
  • Series Abbreviated Title Social and Ecological Interactions Galapagos Islands
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Earth and Environmental Science Earth and Environmental Science (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-34050-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-81665-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-34052-4
  • Series ISSN 2195-1055
  • Series E-ISSN 2195-1063
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 164
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Nature Conservation
    Evolutionary Biology
    Marine & Freshwater Sciences
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This thought-provoking work will appeal to environmentalists, evolutionists, and historians of natural history. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; researchers and faculty.” (J. S. Schwartz, Choice, Vol. 54 (9), May, 2017)