Before heading home in the afternoon, the group split up for two final activities in the morning.
Dirk made the most of the sunny morning and took another high-resolution shot of Quito since the heavy rain on our second day had initially made it impossible. And we had already found the perfect location for this – if you ever find yourself in the world’s highest capital city, hop onto the cable car and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view from Pichincha at an elevation of 3900 metres above sea level.
The rest of the group visited the Universidad San Francisco de Quito to speak to Alex Rendón, Director of the International Programme, and biologist Prof. Diego Cisneros. After a tour of the university campus and a look at some of the labs, we chatted about the core topics of our project and links to local researchers. We are very excited about opportunities to work together more closely going forward.
And so, our fascinating research trip had come to an end. We were lucky to be able to work with such an excellent team in Ecuador. Without the organisers and guides, we wouldn’t have achieved so much in such a short amount of time. We hope to stay in touch with our colleagues in Ecuador to keep up the conversation surrounding the project.
Despite the rapidly unfurling COVID-19 pandemic, we made it home safely. As you can imagine, we were delighted to be reunited with our families. And yet, we could have spent so much more time in and around Quito, which is a real hotspot when it comes to researching the Anthropocene.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us with our project and everyone who has followed us on our journey! If you are interested in reading more about our work in Ecuador, please check out our FAZ blog (in German) here. You can find a lot more detail on specific aspects of our research there.