Inspiring the next generation of Amazonian conservationists

December 21, 2014

Photo of Denisse MatteoMeet Denisse Mateo, whose thesis research will help unlock secrets of the spectacled bears’ diet. The 30-year-old student is pursuing her Master’s at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, and is one of six Peruvian university students who received a research scholarship from ACA in 2014. To date, ACA has provided research scholarships to more than 225 students through the generous support of foundations and donors like you. 

Thanks to this scholarship to study at Wayqecha, she will be able to spend more than a month tracking what the (mostly) vegetarian bears consume, comparing her findings with field research on the same topic in northern Peru. 

Here is just a small sample of ACA’s Q&A with her:

Q: How did you become involved with the theme you’re studying? Why does it interest you?Denisse Matteo in the field

A: The topic interested me because in a prior study, I was able to find fruits and seeds conserved in excrement. They were not deteriorated. That is why I was interested in evaluating the quality of these seeds, and evaluating the function of the spectacled bear as a seed disperser in montane forest, contributing to the regeneration of the montane forest in Wayqecha.

Q: What does it mean to you to receive this scholarship?

A: It’s a joy, because I can do research on the spectacled bear. It’s exciting, because I will do my research in a place that seemed impossible for me, Wayqecha…It’s an opportunity to continue growing as a biologist.