Dr. Giraldo Alayon
Curator of Arachnida at the National Museum of Natural History at Havana
Dr. Giraldo Alayon is well known in the Caribbean region as the foremost expert on spiders of the West Indies and Central America. He has published more than 100 papers on the systematics and biogeography of spiders and other insects in the region. Giraldo has been birding seriously since 1977, and has also published 15 papers related to avian biology and behavior. He is currently working on a book about the Ivory–billed Woodpecker, which he claims to have seen in eastern Cuba as recently as 1992. Dr. Alayon has traveled to various island nations in the Lesser Antilles, and has made many trips to the United States with grants from the American Museum of Natural History; Smithsonian Institution; Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard University); Field Museum; Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences; Peabody Museum (Yale University); Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor); and California Academy of Sciences. From 1995 to 2001, Dr. Alayon was president of the Cuban Zoological Society. He is currently curator of Arachnida at the National Museum of Natural History at Havana, where he has worked since 1988. Dr. Alayon earned a PhD from the University of Havana in 2000 and is fluent in English.