Undergraduate researcher Erica Ursich has recently been awarded a Fulbright Grant to Brazil under the project title, "Snake Assemblage in the Atlantic Forest and the Impact of Edge-effect on Species Prevalence". She will be working with the Institute for Ecological Research, IPÊ (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas) to help begin a program for reptile conservation in the areas they protect. There is approximately 7% of the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest remaining, and it is one of the most endangered biomes in the world. Erica's goal for the grant is to document the diversity of native snakes species present and understand how habitat fragmentation has impacted their populations. This grant will give her nine months in Brazil to conduct her research, starting in February of 2021. Out of nearly 5,000 U.S. applicants, about 800 Fulbrights are awarded annually, the majority being granted to graduate student projects.
Last May, Erica participated in a Global Seminar to Brazil and the Atlantic Rainforest with CU's study abroad program, which allowed her to meet the conservationists of IPÊ first hand and inspired her to research the wildlife of their surrounding endangered ecosystems. Congratulations on this great success, Erica!