Ignacio Chapela. A scientist by conviction and aspiring biologist by craft. Associate Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a Senior Researcher at GenØk, the National Center for Biosafety, Norway. Born as first-generation Mexico Cityan from the mix, common to that country, of indigenous, indigenized and immigrant stocks. Not a science-fiction buff, Ignacio belongs to the group of practicing scientist who find more wonderment in what exists than in what someone can write onto a page. This can create some trouble, since it tends to make people like him acutely sensitive to the loss of diverse biologies, ideologies, imaginations. They are also prone to stare at things beyond polite limits, and to have an affinity for complexity and non-linear storylines, the stuff of real ecology.
Ignacio has worked as a biologist at various levels of commitment with a large range of institutions including: indigenous communities in Latin America, public education and public research institutions (in Mexico, Wales, the US, Norway, costa Rica and Venezuela), private industry (in Switzerland), public policy national and multinational bodies (UNDP, Panamerican Health Organization, World Bank), and multiple foundations and think-tanks.
In ecology, he is committed to the synecological approach to story-telling, just as he is committed to the local approach to ecological policy-making. How to perform synecological research on microbes seems to have been his life-long occupation.