Despite the rich bird life in the eastern Amazon basin, relatively little research has been conducted in the Belém Area of Endemism in northeastern Brazil – one of at least eight regions in Amazonia with unique species found only in each of these respective areas. The Belém area is the most endangered of the eight, largely because of deforestation that has left just 24% of primary forest standing. Jason Weckstein will take the audience on an armchair expedition into this very special location, where he co-led a team conducting research to discover and describe the bird and bird parasite diversity in the region. He’ll share an up-close-and-personal look at everything from daily life in the field to the area’s biodiversity, the endemism patterns in birds and their associated parasites found there, and how the team’s findings are being used to advance our understanding of speciation, disease and parasite ecology, and conservation.
Jason Weckstein, Associate Professor in Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Drexel University