Dr. Linda Cayot first set foot in the Galápagos Islands on March 5th, 1981 to study Giant Tortoises on the islands of Santa Cruz and Pinzón for her PhD at Syracuse University. What began as a research project grew into a 35 year love affair with the islands.
From her initial visit, Linda has gone on to serve as herpetologist for the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, supervising the breeding and rearing programs for both Giant Tortoises and Land Iguanas. Linda worked extensively with Lonesome George, the last known surviving member of the Pinta Island subspecies (Cheladonis abingdoni).
Linda was instrumental in starting Project Isabela, the restoration of native vegetation and terrain on the islands of Pinta, Santiago and the vast northern section of Isabela from the devastation of introduced feral goats. Populations on Isabela alone were estimated at over 100,000 goats. The plan became the largest ecosystem restoration project worldwide.
Since 2008, Linda has served as Chief Science Advisor to Galapagos Conservancy, and has led annual Galapagos Conservancy trips aboard INTEGRITY in partnership with INCA's lead naturalist Richard Polatty, a friend of 30 years. Linda and Richard led a Galapagos Conservancy cruise of the western islands last month to the delight of all guests aboard.
All of us at INCA, the staff and crew of INTEGRITY extend a hearty congratulations on this auspicious anniversary, and look forward to welcoming Linda back aboard in June when she leads another Galapagos Conservancy cruise, this time of the eastern islands.