Jesse Garrett-Larsen '16 has received funding through the College of Wooster, where he has just completed his sophomore year, to spend two months working with the organization, IPBio on the Betary Reserve in the Atlantic Rainforest in Southeast Brazil.
Jesse write, "I am one of the volunteers staying on the reserve with the full time staff, working on various projects. I have only been here for a week, but I have already taken on a Research Assistant role. My main project is working on finding a sustainable, local fish for farmers to produce instead of the exotic Tilapia and Dorado, which can become invasive and lead to the extinction of local species as they escape from their fish farms. I am studying the local Lambari fish as an alternative and will be working with biologists here to find the best, most efficient way to raise them.
I am also researching the frog Leptodachtylus flaviopictus. This reserve is the only place in the world with this frog in captivity to study, so I am designing experiments and creating protocols for ex situ (in captivity) conservation. My work also includes surveying local tadpoles in order to track the progress of a fungus that grows on the mouths of tadpoles which is an indicator of the presence of an infectious disease that has led to the decline of frog species around the world.”