I was born in 1966 in Recife, which is a big town near the coast in northeastern Brazil. I grew up, though, in Brasilia, which is the nations capitaland a very nice city to live in! Some people say that it looks like Washington, D.C. in the U.S., because its very spread out. As my parents were university teachers (my Dad worked with analytical chemistry and my Mom with microbiology), I also lived in London, England (Ed. note: which is where Marcelo got his great U.K. accent!!!), and Gainesville, Florida, where they did their Ph. D.s and postdoctoral work.
I grew up going to the field, fishing and hiking and also doing a lot of caving when I was a teen. Even though Id always really liked nature, when I started my undergraduate degree at the Universidade de Brasilia (UNB), it was in history. In 1989, though, I realized that what I really liked wasnt history but natural history so I switched to Biology and graduated in 1994.
During my undergraduate years, I did several internships. My first one was with my Mom, working with blue-green algae. Then I had the opportunity to come to Manaus, where I had my first contact with the rainforest and with the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. I worked with the golden-faced saki monkey (Pithecia pithecia) in the forest fragments and at the continuous forest (at Camp 41). It was a wonderful experience, and I loved working with monkeys.
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