UEA environmental monitoring research receives international prominence at Harvard

UEA environmental monitoring research receives international prominence at Harvard


Teams from Harvard and UEA worked to collect water and sediment samples from the Rio Negro, as well as soil and fish samples

Manaus (AM) – Research developed through the Water, Air and Soil Monitoring Program of the State of Amazonas (ProQAS/AM), of the State University of Amazonas (UEA), was highlighted in an article by the Harvard Gazette, the University’s official news portal Harvard.

The material covers the expedition of the research boat “Roberto Santos Vieira”, which had as one of its objectives the analysis of the presence of mercury in the waters of the Rio Negro, in September 2023. Over the course of two weeks, teams from Harvard and UEA worked to collect water and sediment samples from the river, as well as soil and fish samples.

The expedition was named Campaign Oxiouuwi, which means black in the indigenous Yanomami language. Guided by Scot Martin, Fred Kavil and Elsa Sunderland, the Harvard team on the expedition included Evan Routhier, a postgraduate student in Environmental Science and Engineering, and Faiz Haque, also a researcher at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Seas) .

The researchers of the program, which has support from the Amazonas Environmental Protection Institute (Ipaam), worked together with the teams of Sergio Duvoisin Junior and Rodrigo Souza, professors at UEA.

While the focus of the Harvard researchers was on the analysis of mercury and methylmercury, the UEA team worked on collecting samples to check, in general, the quality of water in the region, through 144 monitoring parameters.

The rector of UEA, André Zogahib, praises the work carried out through ProQAS/AM, highlighting the importance of the partnership with Harvard to strengthen research at the university.

“This collaboration and the results obtained demonstrate UEA’s commitment to research and innovation, as well as reinforcing the positive impact that our initiatives can have not only in our region, but throughout the world”,

stated the rector of UEA.

According to Scot Martin, all the work was carried out through excellent collaboration with the UEA team and that the research would not be possible without the partnership. “We had a lot of synergy when working with the UEA team, both in research activities and in collecting samples in the Amazon context. Furthermore, we had essential logistical support through the boat,” he said.

Professor Sérgio Duvoisin Jr. explains that UEA contributes to the partnership through the area of ​​analytical research and that, in April, another campaign will be carried out alongside Harvard researchers. “In the next expedition, we will analyze the waters of the Madeira River, at 100 monitoring points. The partnership is increasingly strengthening. We are strengthening relations and this is very important so that we can take UEA’s name to the world,” he said.

On the boat, the Harvard team set up an improvised laboratory to process and preserve the samples, which will be transported and also analyzed on the university’s campus in the United States. The research could lead to a better understanding of the mercury cycle in the Rio Negro basin.

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