Field & Lab Team

Rio Japurá, Brazil

Marcos Pérsio, Ph.D.

Universidade Federal do Pará

During the 2007 Japurá expedition Marcos Pérsio was a professor at the Universidade Federal do Piauí in Brazil and joined the expedition as a collaborator with the Museu Paraense Emilío Goeldi Ornithology Division.  Marcos is now a professor at the Universidade Federal do Pará, in Belém, Brazil, where he advises graduate and undergraduate students interested in ornithology, conservation, and biogeography and continues to collaborate with the Museu Goeldi Ornithology Division.  Marcos and his students have conducted inventories across Amazonian and northeastern Brazil and they conduct research on the faunistics, biogeography, and natural history of birds in these regions.

Michel Valim, Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Researcher
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade da São Paulo

Michel Valim is an ectoparasitologist and spent one year as a post doctoral fellow at The Field Museum of Natural History. He earned his Specialist in Medical Entomology (2002) at the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and completed his Master’s Degree (2004) and Ph.D. (2010) in Parasitology at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Michel currently has a São Paulo Science Foundation young researcher fellowship and is working at the Museu de Zoologia da Universidade da São Paulo, which houses one of the largest collections of ectoparasites in South America.

An expert in alpha taxonomy of bird ectoparasites, Michel joined Jason Weckstein to study the coevolutionary history of chewing lice of the genus Rallicola and their Woodcreeper hosts from Japurá, other localities of Brazil, and other portions of Central and South America. In addition, Michel and Jason together are developing the first large faunistic survey for chewing lice of Brazilian Amazonian birds and are collaborating on a wide variety of taxonomic and phylogenetic studies of chewing lice including material collected during the 2007 Rio Japurá expedition.

Elinete Rodrigues, M.S.

Graduate Student
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Elinete Rodrigues completed her Master's Degree in Zoology at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) in Belém, Brazil, and is currently working as a private consultant on biodiversity surveys in Amazonia. She completed her B.S. in Biological Sciences at the Universidade Federal do Piauí in 2002 and became a Specialist in Environmental Sciences in 2003. In 2006, she joined Dr. Aleixo’s team of ornithologists to document Amazonian bird life. Her Master’s research focused on the taxonomy, biogeography, and genetics of the Lineated Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes albolineatus).

Maya S. Faccio, M.S.

Graduate Student
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Maya Sonnenschein Faccio has a Master's Degree in Zoology. She completed her B.S. in Ecology at the Universidade Estadual Paulista in 2005. In 2006, she joined Dr. Alexandre Aleixo’s team of ornithologists to document Amazonian bird life where she focused on the phylogeography of birds in the lower Amazon River and also on hybridization of birds in headwaters of Amazon Rivers like Tapajós and Xingu.  Maya is currently working on her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, Scarborough.


Sidnei de Melo Dantas, M.S.

Graduate Student
Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Sidnei de Melo Dantas, is a Ph.D. student in the graduate program at the Museu Paraense Emilío Goeldi, in Belém, Brazil, and works with Dr. Alexandre Aleixo.  Sidnei came to the Field Museum to Work with Jason Weckstein and John Bates under a Fulbright/CAPES fellowship to collect DNA sequence data for his dissertation research.  His dissertation focuses on reconstructing the evolutionary history of small owls in the genus Megascops.  One chapter of this thesis is aimed at describing patterns of genetic variation in an Amazonian endemic owl complex, the Tawny Screech-Owl (Megascops watsonii).  He has sequenced DNA from Tawny Screech-Owls from all across Amazonia, including the Japurá region.


Manoel & Nilton Santa Brígida

Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Manoel and Nilton Santa Brígida are technicians at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi in Belém, Brazil. This father-and-son team prepare research specimens for the Museu Goeldi bird collection.



Comandante Abreu Crew

Captain & Crew
Comandante Abreu

The captain and crew of the Comandante Abreu piloted the boat during the team’s month-long expedition and helped with important day-to-day activities such as cutting trails, driving the rowboats, and preparing meals for everyone.