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Research

Research at Project Amazonas

One of our primary objectives is to foster research activity in the Peruvian Amazon. There is a huge number of potential research projects, and every time we learn something new, it only serves to emphasize how little we really know about the Amazon. Our field stations are located in in different types of terrains, soil types, and habitats, and on both sides of the Amazon River in order to provide researchers with maximum opportunities, and also to encourage comparative studies between sites. We are particularly interested in providing research opportunities for Peruvian researchers and students (either for independent research, or as field assistants for research projects). In 2003 we proudly began to offer small research grants to Peruvian students. In the future we would also like to be able to offer support to students of all nationalities.

The three field stations offer basic facilities for researchers, but as time goes on, additional research amenities will be added. We are very open to suggestions from researchers regarding improving the stations research capabilities, and are willing to "build to suit" for long-term research projects. Please refer to the Field Stations page for specific details on the facilities at each of the sites.

A small sampling of potential research projects/activities possible at the three field stations include:

  • Taxonomic and systematic studies of flora and fauna
  • Ecological studies looking at interactions between plants/animals, animals/animals, and plants/plants
  • Natural history and conservation studies of specific flora and fauna
  • Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem function studies
  • Geological, hydrological, and nutrient cycling studies
  • Ethnobotanical, slash-and-burn farming, and agro-forestry studies
  • Human and animal health, educational and sociological studies

Spotlight on Research

Aquarium Fish Research Project (Sept 2003)

Project Amazonas personnel again participated in the 3rd year of a research project looking at the importance, sustainability, and impact of collecting of Amazon fish for the tropical fish hobby. Millions of aquarium fish are exported annually from Iquitos, and fish collecting is an important economic activity in many remote communities. The research project is comparing impacts on local fish populations between heavily, moderately, and uncollected areas. The research team is headed by Dr. Cynthia Gerstner, currently of Columbia University in Chicago, who initiated the project while she was head of the conservation program of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Also participating in the project are Ichthyologists from the National Museum of Natural History in Lima, Peru.

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