Florida Tech Professor Earns NSF Funding to Study Amazonian Biodiversity

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Mark Bush, Florida Institute of Technology professor of biological sciences, recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to support an interdisciplinary collaboration with Duke University, University of Nebraska, University of Texas and Wake Forest University. Bush’s $189,195 award will support his team’s study of Amazonian biodiversity.

“The team will investigate the impact that the geological processes such as mountain building, erosion, and river and soil formation have had on the origins of Amazonian biodiversity,” said Bush.

Part of Florida Tech’s portion of the funding will support Bryan Valencia, a post-doctoral Fellow, for two years. He will investigate and compare the fossil pollen history of ancient sediments exposed in Amazonian riverside cliffs. In summer 2015, Valencia will organize a month-long workshop for Peruvian students in geological and paleoecological techniques to be taught by the research team.

Originally from Cusco, Peru, Valencia earned his master’s degree at Florida Tech in 2006 and is currently the paleoecology laboratory manager at the university.

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