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Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian

Thank you for joining our interview of Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian on April 29. Click here to read the transcript of the interview.

Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian with baby otter Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian is Field Director of Earthwatch's Conservation Research Initiative (CRI) in Brazil's Pantanal — home to the endangered giant river otter, jaguars, anteaters, macaws, monkeys, anacondas, and many other animals.

"It is a wonderful place to study," says Keuroghlian. "The region is absolutely breathtaking, so rich with wildlife and different types of habitats."

Earthwatch scientists and research teams began working in the Pantanal in January 2000 as part of a partnership with Conservation International of Brazil to understand and protect this unique ecosystem. Keuroghlian, as part of her role as Field Director, coordinates the many different research activities, which go on year-round. The studies involve different scientists and range from aquatic life, fish, reptiles, and river otters to birds, bats, jaguars, and small mammals.

Keuroghlian's own research focuses on the peccary. A peccary is an animal distantly related to a wild pig and looks a little like a pig. Keuroghlian has spent over 10 years radio tracking the movements of peccary populations Indifferent habitats. Some of her Earthwatch team members call her the "Peccary Lady" because of enduring interest in this animal.

"Peccaries are very important" Keuroghlian says. "They appear to play a critical role in maintaining biodiversity by dispersing and predating the seeds of the fruit trees they eat." Keuroghlian is conducting the first long-term study of both white-lipped and collared peccaries in the Pantanal and comparing the findings to an earlier study that she did with Earthwatch in the Atlantic rainforest. She has also conducted field studies of endangered monkeys.

Keuroghlian grew up in Brazil and went to Brazilian schools. She received AM. SC from West Virginia University in Wildlife Management, and a PhD from University of Nevada in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology.

Read a transcript of a live interview of Dr. Alexine Keuroghlian by students on April 29, 2004.

Meet the 2003 explorer team from Hudson High School.



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