2007 Caxiuanã Expedition
From 9-29 January 2007, PIs Jason Weckstein (Staff Scientist, FMNH Bird Division), John Bates (Associate Curator, FMNH Bird Division and Alexandre Aleixo (Curator of Birds, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi [MPEG]), MPEG graduate students Elinete Rodrigues and Maya S. Faccio, and MPEG technician Nilton Santa Brígida conducted a joint expedition to study birds and their parasitesin the Caxiuanã National Forest, Pará, Brazil. The expedition was sponsored by the Brazilian Ministry of Science Programa de Pesquisa em Biodiversidade (Program for Planned Biovidersity Studies, PPBIO). The MPEG/Field Museum team surveyed and collected specimens of birds and their ectoparasites in a 5000-hectare plot in the Caxiuanã National Forest in the eastern Amazon, one of several research plots recently constructed by the PPBIO program in Amazonian Brazil. The main goal of the PPBIO program is to conduct integrated studies of biodiversity over large areas and to provide meaningful long-term data, while at the same time encouraging collections development, research, and human capacity building. Specimens collected on this expedition are being used for several collaborative research projects being conducted under our NSF Biodiversity Discovery and Analysis project, Southern Amazonian birds and their symbionts: Biodiversity and endemicity of parasites from the most diverse avifauna on Earth.