Since 2008, the Department of Botany of the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) promotes the Course of Ecology and Conservation of the Caatinga (CECA). Done in a similar way as the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), the course is an intensive training in tools and concepts of ecology and conservation of biodiversity for postgraduate students who are starting their scientific career. This year, with great joy and satisfaction from those involved with CECA, the course reached its 10th edition.
As in other editions, the X CECA was held in the exuberant Catimbau National Park (Buíque, PE) and, due to the financial shortage experienced by Brazilian science, occurred in a reduced model of two weeks (14 to 28 May ). The course's organizing team was composed by Professors Marcelo Tabarelli, Inara Leal and Felipe Melo and by the monitors Davi Jamelli, Artur Domingos and Pedro Elias. We also had the presence of Prof. Dr. Evandro Oliveira, from the University Center UNA / MG and Prof. Dr. Fabio Scarano (UFRJ), who also held their lectures. The themes of the lectures were the migration of Pieridae butterflies and the interface between science and public policies, respectively. The Prof. Evandro also led a project with one of the groups. We also had the opportunity to have a lecture from Prof. Günther Gerlach, curator of the Botanical Garden of Munich who was on a field expedition in Catimbau with the Posdoc Paulo Milet. Gunther was in collaboration with the Laboratory Polinizar (UFPE) at the same time of the course and presented his lecture "Perfume for males - on fascinating ecological interactions of Euglosidos y flowers of perfume in Tropical America".
During these two weeks, the students had the opportunity to develop a total of 24 projects on different subjects: 9 group projects (6 supervised and 3 free) and 15 individual projects. In the near future, we will publish an e-book with all the projects and make it available. To conclude this commemorative edition of the CECA with a golden key, we were presented with an intense rain in the sertão (hinterlands). There were several days of uninterrupted rain and there are reports from residents that this was the most intense rainfall in the region in the last eight years (some even speak of much more than that), which even made it possible for three ephemeral waterfalls to form on the wall in front of the accommodation.
May another 10 years come.
For more information on CECA: https://sites.google.com/site/cursocaatinga/home
For more information about OTS: http://www.ots.ac.cr/