Pitzer Spotlights

2005-2006 Spotlight Archives

Leda Martins Receives NSF Grant to Research in the Amazon

Leda MartinsAssistant Professor of Anthropology Leda Martins received a $100,000 grant from NSF, a portion of a $2-million project to be carried out in collaboration with researchers at several partnering institutions across the country, to start a new four-year research project in the Amazon with the Macuxi Indian tribe. The title of the grant is Biodiversity Dynamics and Land-Use Changes in the Amazon: Multi-scale Interactions Between Ecological Systems and Resource-Use Practices by Indigenous Peoples.

“The most interesting part is that the grant will allow me to take students with me to the field to be my research assistants. I will take four students in 2006 and two students in 2007. This will be a unique opportunity for students who will stay in the Amazon for a semester, learn about another culture, learn how to do research, and collaborate with a multi-disciplinary project,” Martins states. The research team consists of biologists, geographers, ecologists and modelers from other universities.

Martins also authored three articles in a book titled Yanomami: The Fierce Controversy and What We Can Learn from It published by the University of California Press on a collection of essays about one of the most controversial issues to hit American Anthropology in the last decade. The controversy involves a group of Amazonian Indians, the Yanomami, and a famous American anthropologist, Napoleon Chagnon (retired from UC-Santa Barbara), and a famous American geneticist, the late James Neel, who worked for many years for the Atomic Energy Commission of the US government. For more information, visit http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/10219.html