Institute Leadership

Joaquin Ruiz

Executive Director, France-Arizona Institute
Professor, Department of Geosciences
Photo of Dr. Joaquin Ruiz

Dr. Joaquin Ruiz received his B.S. in Geology and Chemistry from the University of Miami and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Michigan. He joined the University of Arizona Geosciences Department as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and Professor in 1993, serving as head of the Department of Geosciences from 1995 to 2000. He served as Dean of the College of Science from 2000-2019, Executive Dean of the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science from 2009-2018, and Vice President for Innovation from 2013-2019. He was appointed Vice President of Global Environmental Futures in 2019 and has served as the Thomas R. Brown Chair and Director of Biosphere 2 since 2013. Dr. Ruiz is a Mexican Academy of Sciences member and was named a National Researcher by the Mexican government in 2010, when he was recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions and efforts to enhance Mexico's scientific and technological capacity through collaborations with the UA and research institutions in Mexico. In 2018, the Mexican Secretary of State named Dr. Ruiz one of forty distinguished Mexican citizens living abroad who have brought distinction to the country. As a scientist with equal abilities in chemistry and in geology, Dr. Ruiz addresses many first-order problems in the Earth Sciences, such as the development of new isotope systems for studying ore deposits and the tectonic processes involved in the growth and evolution of Mexico. His research team addresses problems ranging from the origins of life to present-day climate change.


Régis Ferrière

Deputy Director, France-Arizona Institute
Director, Interdisciplinary and Global Environmental Studies (iGLOBES)
Dr Regis Ferriere

Dr. Ferriere is a mathematical ecologist who studies a broad array of questions about life on Earth and off Earth. He is particularly interested in how ecological systems emerge and evolve, how they adapt to environmental challenges and how their adaptation reshapes the environment. He obtained his doctoral degree in mathematical ecology at Paris University and subsequently worked as a research associate at the University of Arizona and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.

With collaborators in Austria and The Netherlands, Dr. Ferriere pioneered the field of eco-evolutionary mathematics, which he has been expanding ever since. As a professor at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, France, Dr. Ferriere was the founding director of the CNRS-ENS Ecotron IleDeFrance, a large research infrastructure to promote experiments on complex ecological systems under highly controlled environmental conditions. In 2012, Dr. Ferriere was appointed as an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona. With support from the Partner University Fund, he established a collaboration bridge through research and advanced training between UArizona and ENS, one of the elite schools of Paris Sciences & Lettres University (PSL). In 2017, he extended the cooperation program as he became director of the iGLOBES (Interdisciplinary and Global Environmental Studies) International Research Laboratory, a joint venture between UArizona, ENS, PSL University, and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).

 iGLOBES has been instrumental in the creation, in 2021, of the France-Arizona Institute for Global Grand Challenges, intended to foster existing and new collaborations between the French scientific community and UArizona in all disciplines. A strong advocate for respect, diversity, and inclusion in the scientific endeavor, Dr. Ferriere strives to nurture and promote the best talents and ideas to advance the science that can help solve the global grand challenges of our time.


Sky Dominguez

Associate Director, Engagement and Development
Sky Dominguez Profile
she, her, hers

Sky Dominguez completed her Master’s degree in environmental microbiology in 2008 at the University of Arizona in Tucson, U.S.A. After completing her master's degree, Sky transitioned out of the lab and to the administrative side of research programs – combining her passion for science with her desire to play a critical role in envisioning the supporting research programs.

Since joining the UArizona as staff, after graduate school, she has managed multiple international research programs and was the Manager of Administration for the School of Anthropology. These positions focused on relationship building, program strategy, budget management, grant submissions, staff management, event coordination, and field campaign management (Northern Sweden and Amazon Forest in Brazil). In addition, Sky is the Owner/Founder of an organizing and goal coaching business since 1997. Sky joined the France-Arizona Institute in March 2022.