Nunkui Wakan Earth Spirit Research Group (NUNKUI WAKAN)

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Organization profile

Organization profile

The research group called “Nunkui wakan,” a name taken from the Shuar language which means “Spirit of the Earth,” was formed in July 2015, bringing together research professors from the Salesian Polytechnic University of Ecuador at the Quito headquarters. The members are involved in studies regarding biodiversity, environment and knowledge of the native peoples of Ecuador.

On the other hand, Ecuador is home to 10% of the plant species and 8% of the animal species on the entire planet, this offers us a wide range of options to investigate. The first settlers who arrived in this region 13,000 years ago began the process of learning about the use of resources. This information has been accumulated and transmitted through generations in the native populations; Our group intends to continue with this work and, based on traditional knowledge, we want to develop new applications for natural products, especially those elements that improve the quality of life of human beings.

Research lines:

Bioprospecting of Secondary Metabolites
Animal Biotechnology
Biodiversity and Genetic Resources
Molecular Study of Animal Pathologies


Marco Fernando Cerna Cevallos (

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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