Paúl Henry Gonzáles Arce

  • Project name: Improve understanding and conservation of three gymnosperm EDGE species in Northern Peru
  • Project site: Northern Peru
  • EDGE species: Podocarpus sprucei, Retrophyllum rospigliosii, Prumnopitys montana
  • Active: 2024 - ongoing


Paúl is a part-time Associated Researcher at the Natural History Museum of the National University of San Marcos.

Paúl is passionate about exploring and sharing Peru’s valuable flora. With a decade of self-funded research behind him, he has identified plant species urgently needing conservation. His approach shifts from broad ecosystem conservation to focusing on individual species, believing that preserving specific EDGE species is key to safeguarding the evolutionary history of plants.

The EDGE Fellowship will allow Paúl to concentrate on conserving gymnosperms and their Andean Montane habitat, which is vital for many other species and essential ecosystem services. Engaging with local communities, he aims to enhance his skills and exchange ideas with fellow participants, seeing this as a mutually beneficial learning process.

This fellowship will empower Paúl to lead conservation efforts for a species of immense value. The positive outcomes of this project will be a significant achievement for both his conservation work and Peru, making gymnosperms a national priority.

His aspirations include mastering ecological niche modelling, seed germination techniques, molecular methodologies, and community-based conservation tools. This knowledge will significantly contribute to his ability to preserve biodiversity effectively, lead funded research, and foster strong relationships with local communities and researchers.

EDGE Project

Paúl’s project aims to improve the conservation status of tree EDGE gymnosperms in Northern Huancabamba, Peru.

His objectives are to:

  • Assess threats to focal EDGE species.
  • Find alternative methods to differentiate P. sprucei from another sympatric podocarpus species.
  • Encourage early-career students to study gymnosperms.
  • Determine hotspots of EDGE gymnosperms in northern Huancabamba.
  • Implement a pilot project to reforest areas with focal species.
  • Confirm the presence of P. sprucei in northern Huancabamba.