Florida Tech Grant Takes Researchers to Peruvian Andes

– Florida Tech Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Dr. Mark Bush, has received a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation Ecology
program for climate change research in Peru. The work will take him to the neotropics of the Andes Mountains and some of the most species-rich forests on

“Where the Andes rise from the Amazon plain, the forests are identified as a biodiversity as well as a conservation hotspot because of the threat from
human land conversion. Of 25 conservation hotspots labeled by Conservation International, the region most at risk from future climate change is the
neotropical Andes,” said Bush. He is the project’s coordinating principal investigator.

Bush and his team of Florida Tech graduate and undergraduate students, will collaborate with researchers from Northern Kentucky University and Wake Forest
University. The group will document what is currently growing in this region and research how systems have responded to past climate changes. This work
will help in the effort to craft effective conservation policies.

The studies will take the researchers to extremely remote Andean sites, including some lakes that are only approachable by helicopter. The grant’s research
period is May 1, 2003 through April 30, 2006.

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