Roberto A. Wolf Webels, Executive Director

Roberto has been dedicated to animal care since childhood, when he volunteered at the Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City. After studies in philosophy and veterinary medicine, he held curatorial positions at Africam Safari Zoo in Puebla, Tamatán Zoo in Tamaulipas, and served as the director of fauna at El Nido sanctuary in Ixtapaluca. Roberto participated in conservation advisory groups for the Mexican and U.S. governments related to the Mexican gray wolf, ocelot, and California condor. With an emphasis on wolf reintroduction, he worked for SEMARNAT (Mexico’s federal wildlife agency) and CONANP (natural protected areas commission), including experience with binational conservation in Sonora. As executive director since 2021, Roberto continues the Northern Jaguar Project’s work to create cooperative solutions for the conservation of jaguars.

Cholla Rose Duir, Assistant Director

Cholla Rose Duir was born in Tucson, AZ, and has lived throughout the Southwestern region. Cholla’s nonconformist parents instilled a deep appreciation for the environment, art, and social justice in their children. Cholla received an AS degree in Veterinary Technology (2003) and a BA in Sustainability Studies (2019) from Colorado Mountain College. She has always felt a kinship with animals and began her career with animals as a veterinary technician with a particular interest in wildlife. After more than a decade in the veterinary medicine field, she decided to pursue a degree in sustainability with an emphasis on wildlife conservation. Over the past five years, Cholla helped manage the Borderlands Wildlife Preserve in Patagonia, AZ. She joined Northern Jaguar Project in October 2023 and is excited to be a part of a team dedicated to working with people and jaguars.

Carmina E. Gutiérrez González, Ph.D., Research Coordinator

Carmina received her M.S. from the Instituto de Ecología, studying mammalian carnivore communities and camera trapping in arid ecosystems. She particularly likes to work with GIS, landscape ecology, and population dynamics related to carnivore species, and has led camera training for the Yaqui community in the Sierra Bacatete. Carmina started working on the Northern Jaguar Reserve in 2008, and in 2016, received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro based on her jaguar research on the reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches. She has participated in carnivore projects in Querétaro, Sonora, Sinaloa, Jalisco, and Belize. Carmina finds each trip to the reserve to be an adventure within its ever-changing and unique wilderness landscape.

Miguel A. Gómez Ramírez, M.Sc., Reserve Manager

Miguel has worked with wildlife conservation projects in Querétaro, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Colima, Chihuahua, and Sonora. He enjoys nature photography and loves spending time in the field. Miguel previously collaborated in training the Yaqui indigenous community in the use of motion-triggered cameras, confirming jaguar presence in the Sierra Bacatete. He also worked with Naturaleza y Cultura Sierra Madre to design a camera monitoring strategy to study jaguars near Alamos. Miguel began working on the Northern Jaguar Reserve in 2008. In 2015, he received his M.S. in Biological Resources from the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro focused on ocelot densities on the reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches.

Heraclio “Laqui” Duarte López, Field Technician

Laqui started as a resident vaquero on the Northern Jaguar Reserve, along with his father, brother, and nephew. He has assisted visiting researchers since 2010, with particular interest in studying birds on the reserve. Laqui is trained in camera placement and maintenance, and today is responsible for checking motion-triggered cameras on the reserve and Viviendo con Felinos ranches. He also has experience with restoration techniques and tractor operation, and helps with gabion construction and invasive species removal as available. His son, José Ezequiel, participates in our Eco-Guardian program. Laqui is a recipient of the Disney Conservation Hero award.

Helí Coronel Arellano, Ph.D., Photo Database Technician

Helí received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from the Universidad Autónoma de Hidalgo and later studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, where he received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Biological Sciences. Helí’s primary interests are related to medium and large mammal ecology and conservation, and he has worked with more than 20 projects involving Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, black bear, white-tailed deer, and gray fox. He has experience in natural protected areas as well as urban environments. Following completion of a post-doctoral study at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Helí joined our team to share his passion for wildlife in 2020.

Braulio Duarte López, Vaquero

Braulio is the eldest of our vaquero Laco’s sons and inherited his father’s work ethic and knowledge. He has an inner drive to work hard as a skilled albañil (handyman) and produces quality results. As a fulltime vaquero on the Northern Jaguar Reserve since 2015, Braulio builds with adobe, wood, and stone, collects rocks to make gabions, helps repair and install fencing, and assists with motion-triggered camera maintenance as needed. Braulio likes to spend time working as a leather artisan, making belts, scabbards, and repairing saddles.

Heraclio “Laco” Duarte Robles, Vaquero

Laco, who works alongside his sons and grandson, patrols the Northern Jaguar Reserve to keep trespassers out and maintains fences to prevent wandering cattle from coming in. He is a traditional Sonoran vaquero, originally from Arivechi, and worked as the lead vaquero on these ranches since 1982. Laco has seen jaguars on more than a dozen occasions and knows this terrain better than anyone. He is also a local artisan and makes traditional leather lassos.

Braulio J. “Junior” Duarte Arvayo, Vaquero

The younger Braulio enthusiastically joined our field team in 2017. He rapidly developed the skills to help with motion-triggered camera operation, as well as a passion and knowledge for wildlife. In addition to maintenance and restoration activities, Braulio helps with biological monitoring. While working on the Northern Jaguar Reserve, he has overcome his fear of snakes and can handle non-venomous reptiles, if needed, to move them out of harm’s way.

Leonardo Verdugo Figueroa, M.Sc., Project Manager
With a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and a Masters of Science in Environmental Management and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources, Leonardo is currently working on his Ph.D. in Environmental Biotechnologies. He has worked as a consultant for state agencies and an environmental policy design NGO. His work in regional management for Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) focused on promoting collaboration among diverse stakeholders toward conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development in Northwestern Mexico. Personal interests include endurance sports, playing bass guitar, and spending time in nature with his partner and their two rescued dogs.


Santa Nápoles Trujillo, Ph.D., Environmental Educator

Santa joined our team in 2016, and she excels at approaching ranchers from a place of collaboration and problem solving. Along with her sister Blanca, Santa designed and implemented the first environmental education program for jaguar conservation in Sonora in 2006. She previously worked as ecology director for the Municipio of Guaymas and as manager of the Natural Protected Area in the Estero del Soldado. Santa has been a member of the advisory council for sustainable development at SEMARNAT since 2008. She is the executive director of Conciencia y Educación Ambiental, A.C. and earned her Ph.D. in Conservation and Management of the Natural Environment from the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

Blanca Nápoles Trujillo, Environmental Educator

Blanca founded a non-profit environmental education organization, Conciencia y Educación Ambiental, A.C. in 2004. As coordinator of Conciencia, she has worked in urban and rural areas throughout Sonora and along the Gulf of California to promote environmental awareness. Since 2016, Blanca has been part of our team, helping to strengthen conservation involvement in the local communities and habitats where jaguars live. She previously worked for the Mexican forestry agency CONAFOR, and like her sister Santa, is a certified environmental interpreter by the National Association for Interpretation.