A    V i e w    F r o m    T h e    T o p

Marcela won her grant, and came to the University Federal do Minas Gerais, a state university in the southern part of Brazil. She became involved in the Forests Fragments project through her university advisor who had worked with this project for three years himself—15 years before! He encouraged her to seek a research grant from INPA to work in the rainforest near Manaus, and Marcela won that grant, too. Her research will compare the behaviors of animals in the canopy of the continuous forest versus those of the isolated segments. And so, she has to climb trees. “Oh, yes, that was part of my grant, of course, to pay for this,” she says, and holds up shiny new climbing equipment: ropes, harnesses, and carabiners.

Marcela is interested in the birds and animals that come to eat the fruit of a particular type of tree, the inga. To observe the visitors to a fruiting tree, she needs to find a sturdy tree of similar height nearby, set up climbing ropes, then establishing a perch at the top. With this done, she can settle into her “routine” of daily observations from her new tree-top office. Until the fruit is gone.

Marcela’s Interview A View From The Top    1     2     3     4