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Trustee Gisella Caccone Involved with Discovery of New Tortoise Species

Hamden Hall Trustee member Gisella Caccone, Ph.D., is among an international group of scientists responsible for the discovery of a new species – a distinct group of giant tortoises in the Galapagos.

"My job has some very cool aspects and this is one of them. I knew about this species since 2005 but until we formally described it and gave it a name, the few animals left were not protected,” said Gisella, who is a senior research scientist in Yale University’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The Eastern Santa Cruz tortoise has been named for a retired ranger of the National Galapagos Park, who has been protecting the species for more than 40 years, she said.

“He’s an unsung hero who symbolizes all the work that people from Ecuador do on this group of species. The first (species) to be named after a Galapagos resident,” Gisella maintained.

Gisella is the senior author of the journal paper published on this discovery. She and her husband, Jeffrey Powell, are past parents; their sons, Alesandro Powell and Luca Powell, graduated in 2010 and 2012 respectively. 
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