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The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation (SMBC) was formed in January 1996 as a response to the lack in Central America of regional communication forums for professionals in the areas of biology and conservation of natural resources. In fact, the idea of a professional society was born a little earlier, in May 1995, during a symposium on ornithology in northern Central America, held in Williamsburg, Virginia (USA) and in which Oliver Komar participated. Two months later, in July 1995, Oliver took a tour of El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua to discuss the idea with some 100 professionals in these countries. Continue reading “About”


Annual NRM Symposium

Since 2007, the Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation – Belize Chapter (MSBC Belize) has been organizing the annual Natural Resource Management (NRM) Symposium, the leading national focal point for the learning and sharing of conservation science conducted in Belize. The value of this to Belize is difficult to overstate but can be expressed by two outstanding impacts;

  1. The principal forum for the transfer of research derived social and ecological knowledge to the actual managers of Belize’s natural resources
  2. Its role in exposing Belize’s young minds to high quality national and international research, building connections and networking and simultaneously helping to influence their conservation ‘world view’

Science Based Management: It is frequently stated that Belize must strive towards ‘Evidence Based’ or ‘Science Based’ management of its natural resources but bridging this gap remains a challenge in all of Belize’s natural resource based sectors. There is no panacea to this, but one of the proven methods is the regular presentation of scientific information in summarised form to natural resource managers. The NRM Symposium provides the ideal forum for this, with short (15 minute) presentations covering a broad variety of both marine and terrestrial themes. Manager in attendance will leave with a coherent an highly impactful summary of the past years research both within their area of focus but also in other related areas. Like this a genuine research – practitioner community can be fostered, and research targeted to answer the questions most pertinent to Belize’s threats and opportunities.

Belize has got talent: Principally located at the University of Belize, the NRM symposium has helped nurture and fertilize some of the brightest young minds in Belize, influencing a generation of conservation professionals that are already rising rapidly in their fields. In particular, the MSBC executive alumni who have devoted thousands of hours on a completely voluntary basis over the past decade have gone on to an exceptionally high level of employment and achievement in the NRM sector both in Belize and elsewhere in the region. The blend of international and national researchers exposes Belize’s young and aspiring scientists and managers to high quality research initiatives that may be otherwise inaccessible. The NRM Symposium features those Belizeans who have gone on to great things, many of whom benefitted significantly from the knowledge they gained at symposia years past.

See the Call for Abstracts page for details about this year’s symposium.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee of the MSBC Belize Chapter is comprises six elected positions. These positions are held on a voluntary basis for a period of two years.

Said Gutierrez

Said serves as the chapter President. He works as the Science Director at Ya’axche Conservation Trust.

Marvin Vasquez

Marvin serves as the chapter’s Vice President.

Seleni Cruz

Seleni serves as the chapter’s Treasurer. She works at The Nature Conservancy.

Denver T. Cayetano

Denver serves as the chapter’s Communications and Membership Officer. He works as a Forest Biologist at the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute.

Rolando Caballero

Rolando serves as the chapter’s Engagement Officer. He works as a Lab Technician at the University of Belize.

Yasel Acosta

Yasel serves as the chapter’s Secretary.



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