Alexander von Humboldt conducted his best-known work on the slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. He did this by applying his own characteristic brand of multidisciplinary scientific approach. This consisted of thorough data collection while synthesizing and visualizing the data in innovative formats. Also important for his scientific success in South America was his collaborative network that helped him to identify specimens and formulate his transformative scientific thoughts. It is no surprise that Humboldt was captivated by Ecuador, as it is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, and this astounding diversity was formed in an intricate, dynamic geological and climatological setting. As of yet, this biodiversity is far from being fully documented and the processes that generated it are still poorly understood. The IBS meeting in Quito1 and the Second Latin American Congress of Biogeography will form the perfect platform to both commemorate Humboldt while addressing current and unresolved matters concerning the biodiversity of Ecuador and South America at large.