Marcelo is the Director of PEQUI, a not-for-profit organization devoted to research and conservation of the Brazilian Cerrado. He received his Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of Brasilia, and his Master's degree from the National Institute for Research in the Amazon.
||"The day-to-day problems can be incredibly frustrating. However, I am able to work in nature while I train people to become conservationists."|
Marcelo started his career studying wildlife and ecology with an internship researching algae. Later, he worked at the organization for Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Projects in Manaus, where he made his first contact with conservation issues while studying wild populations of saki monkeys. He found this work so inspiring, that he decided to devote his life to working on ecology and conservation. His research in Brazil has included studies of lizards, termites, black tuft-eared marmosets, rodents, marsupials and frogs.
His most recent efforts have examined the conservation value of linear remnants of the Amazon rainforest and fragmented habitats for birds in the Cerrado. The greatest challenges for Marcelo have been wading through the bureaucracy and fundraising needs that often accompany conservation research.
Marcelo says, "The day-to-day problems can be incredibly frustrating. However, I am able to work in nature while I train people to become conservationists. My advice to anyone who wants to go into this line of work is to make contact with people doing research in your part of the world. Then go out and make a difference in your own state by volunteering. Where I work – the Cerrado – is the most endangered biome in Brazil. This is where I can make a difference. I've seen the changes to the land here…agriculture and development are pushing out the wildlife. But I am making a difference by having started a conservation organization, writing articles and giving lectures about the Cerrado. I am putting a spotlight on this incredible region. You can help save a piece of wilderness in your own country by doing the same thing where you live."
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