Dr Mary Kalin Arroyo is a professor of biology at Universidad de Chile. She has combined research on the reproductive systems of plants with the study of complete communities and applied this information to conservation. Her studies have led to the design of an improved system of protected areas in Chile, one of the world's most important biodiversity regions.
Dr Arroyo is the head of the Independent Scientific Commission of the Rio Condor Project. This is a joint effort between the Chilean scientific community and the forestry industry, with the aim of generating the necessary knowledge to use Chile’s mostly temperate forests for sustainable development, providing mandatory safeguards for conservation of biodiversity in the region. Based on her work, 68,000 hectares of the Condor River drainage basin in Chile have been protected.
Dr Arroyo’s achievements were honoured with the award of the Volvo Environment Prize in 2005.