|M a r i o s B i o g r a p h y
To keep myself available, I lived at home, waited tablesand sang in a band. No, really! I have a good ear for music, in fact, Id considered doing a music major. The singing, though, is not as far off from my current work as you might think ...My ear for music has really helped me in working with the bird songs, and learning to recognize and imitate them, which is a major part of any field research on birds.
Though Mario was only working to support himself until the prized assignment at INPA came through, ironically, when he was finally cleared he couldnt actually leave right awaybecause his band had commitments to play and he couldnt back out of them!
But once he got to INPA, his six-month assignment only whetted his appetite. To continue working in the Amazon, he started a masters program at Tulane University, with a professor who had moved to Tulane from Dartmouth. His masters research project was a bird diet study, where hed have to examine the contents of birds stomachs to determine what they had been eating. So, me, a bird guy, had to learn to identify all these different insects by looking at half-digested pieces of them! He pauses. I learned to do it, but, well...
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