Rubén Portas

Field scientist in Namibia at Leibniz-IZW
+4930 5168 327 portas@izw-berlin.de
I have dedicated most of my adult life to nature conservation and wildlife research and my passion and daily drive emanate from this long-term vision. The GAIA Initiative brings together applied research and technological development to improve and reach conservation goals. Working in this multidisciplinary and ambitious project already feels like a life achievement.
Photos by Jan Zwilling/Leibniz-IZW and Jon A. Juarez

Rubén is a passionate field scientist. He has been living in Namibia since 2013 where his expertise in data collection in remote environments and under challenging conditions is key to achieve the goals of the GAIA Initiative. He is a large carnivore expert and ornithologist with more than 15 years of experience in wildlife research and conservation.

Professional experience

Rubén has been working for the Leibniz-IZW since a decade, initially for the Cheetah Research Project where he ran a five-year country-wide cheetah survey. He also worked several years for the Leopard Project monitoring leopard kill-sites and being involved in mitigating farmer-leopard conflict. Rubén obtained his paraprofessional veterinary license and has large experience in the capture of vertebrates. He is linked with the Namibia University of Science and Technology where he trains bachelor and honours degree students and supervises their thesis.


  • Diploma in Landscape and Nature Resources Management
  • BSc in Nature Conservation
  • Master´s by Research with thesis: Density Estimation of Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus across Namibia´s biomes using GPS movement data to inform camera trap placement