Pelayo Salinas de Leon headshot photo

Pelayo Salinas de Leon

Senior Marine Scientist
Charles Darwin Foundation

Dr Pelayo Salinas de León is since 2012 a senior marine scientist for the Charles Darwin Foundation ( Prior to fulfilling his childhood dream of conducting research on the Galapagos Islands, Pelayo conducted post-doctoral research with the University of Havana, Cuba. Over the last 6 years, Pelayo has been involved in numerous research and conservation projects globally, including Spain, UK, New Zealand, Indonesia, Cuba, Colombia and now the Galapagos. He presently manages a portfolio of 4 major research themes for the CDF, which include Sharks and Mantas ecology and conservation; Fisheries Management; Marine Ecosystem Services Evaluation & The Galapagos Google Street View Project. Pelayo is also the coordinator of the science network of the Eastern Tropical Pacific marine corridor (, a regional initiative between Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama to promote regional conservation actions; and an Adjunct Research Associate with the School of Biological Sciences, at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. 

Pelayo was awarded a BSc. (Hons) in Marine and Freshwater Biology in 2005 and in 2007 he obtained a MSc. in Environmental management, both from the University of Wales, UK. In 2007 he moved to New Zealand to start his PhD thesis studying patterns of connectivity in marine populations and in 2010 he was awarded his doctorate.

"I am extremely excited to sail aboard Nautilus and explore the uncharted depths of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. I hope this cruise will provide key information of seamount ecosystems to improve current management plans for these key ecosystems."  


Pelayo participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions:

Selected Publications


Salinas-de-León, P., Martí-Puig, P., Buglass, S., Arnés-Urgellés, C., Rastoin-Laplane, E., Creemers, M., ... & Marsh, L. (2020). Characterization of deep-sea benthic invertebrate megafauna of the Galapagos Islands. Scientific reports 10 (1): 1-13.