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NSF Grant Allows for Further Collaboration in the Amazon ,

How will governmental plans of constructing hundreds of dams across the Amazon River and its tributaries affect rivers, forests and social systems in the long-term? It’s a question only collaborative research will answer. The National Science Foundation awarded a grant to a multi-disciplinary and international team of UF Water Institute affiliate faculty members active in the Amazon Dams Network / Rede Barragens Amazônicas (ADN/RBA) including: Dr. Bette Loiselle, PI; Dr. Stephanie Bohlman, Co-PI; Dr. Simone Athayde, Co-PI. Additional leaders at UF include Dr. David Kaplan (ESSIE/Water Institute), Dr. Jynessa Dutka-Gianelli (SFRC) and Dr. Denis Valle (SFRC). The initiative has also strong leadership and participation by Brazilian universities across the Amazon, through Dr. Carolina Doria (Federal University of Rondônia/UNIR) and Dr. Elineide Marques (Federal University of Tocantins – UFT).

The ADN, which in the US is hosted by Tropical Conservation and Development and the Center for Latin American Studies at UF, was initiated in 2012 as an interdisciplinary effort to provide an integrated understanding of the intersections between energy production, environmental conservation and human well-being in the Amazonian region.

Geographically, this initiative is initially focused in the Tocantins, Madeira and Xingu River watersheds in the Amazon and the Colorado River watershed in the US. Four research themes have been developed including: governance and social actors; watershed hydrology and geomorphology; fish and fisheries; and land-use/land-cover change.

"One of the philosophies that is important with inter- and trans-disciplinary research is that all sources of knowledge are valued and respected," said Dr. Simone (Athayde). "We look at all disciplines as important to understand this multi-faceted problem with global relevance and implications."

The UF Water Institute and ADN have strong links including the 2015 Water Institute Graduate Fellows cohort focused on investigating the complex and interconnected set of impacts brought about by the construction and operation of these hydroelectric dams.

"In many ways, we envision the Research Coordination Network as a larger-scale version of the WIGF program," said Dr. David Kaplan, UF Water Institute Affiliate Faculty member. "Both efforts support co-production of knowledge on the social-ecological effects of hydroelectric dams across the Amazon." More information: