University of Windsor Tropical Ecology Field Course 2007
Tropical Ecology of Amazonian Peru
Photos from the Tambopata River and Machu Picchu Peru


From February 16 to March 3, 2007, twenty one Ontario University students participated in an intensive hands-on field biology course exploring the Tropical Ecology of Amazonian Peru. The first ten days of the course were spent exploring the lowland tropical forests along the Tambopata River, and the final days of the course were spent in the highlands near the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu. Each student conducted an independent project based on their own observations. Independent projects covered a tremendous diversity of topics: behavioural responses to weather variation by ants, calling behaviour of tropical frogs, ecology of cicada dirt mounds, plant morphology in forest gaps versus shade, patterns of fungal growth in the tropics, butterfly diversity in different light environments, behavioural and ecomorphology of tanagers, and acoustic communication of red-necked woodpeckers and screaming pihas. The course was taught by Dr. Dan Mennill and Dr. Stephanie Doucet of the University of Windsor, and featured a guest appearance by Dr. Peter Slater of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Below you can see photographs that chronicle Tropical Ecology students' adventures.

A long layover at the Lima airport...

followed by a bus trip in Puerto Maldonado...

a long boat ride...

up the Tambopata river...

to our destination...

at the Explorer's Inn.
Greetings provided by Wowie.

Christine releases an antbird.

Tom holds a tail feather.

Lyndsey and a juvenile tanager.

Waiting for a break in the rain to start recording..

A hike in the tropical forest.

Lauren chats up a macaw.
A Saddle-backed Tamarin.
Jessica and an adult tanager.

Steph models a simulated predator for her field project.

Jason and his mischief.

Kyle, quick on the draw to record Campephilus woodpeckers.

Nicole and a shotgun microphone.

An exploration of the the oxbow lake, Lake Cococoha, searching for a family of Giant River Otters.

Canadian canoeing skills at work.
The observation blind at Cocococha.
Paddling Lake Cococha.

Monitoring a colony of Agami Herons.
A Hoatzin on the shores of Cococha.

Jenny holds a Silver-beaked Tanager.
Dan and Brendan compare grips.
Courtney holds an antbird.

Stephanie leads a study of avian ecomorphology.

Dan leads a hike through the extensive trails at Explorer's Inn.

Before leaving Peru, a trip to the ancient city of Machu Picchu and the Andean highlands.

Our tour guide, Darwin.

Darwin pauses for a "Kodak moment".

Peter and Dan birding Machu Picchu.
David at Machu Picchu.
Dan and Stephanie doing playback.

Discovering the many dualities of Machu Picchu.
Absorbing the tremendous sites at Machu Picchu.

The 2007 Tropical Ecology of Amazonian Peru course poses at Explorer's Inn. Back Row: David Bradley, Jessica Cuthbert, Lauren Reed, Stephanie Doucet, Dan Mennill, Ashley Steinberg, Nikki Christopher, Lauren Haindl, Courtney Carmichael, Vanessa Vega, Jason Mouland. Front row: Gino (Resident Naturalist at Explorer's Inn), Tom Hossie, Erica McMullen, Brendan McGovern, Marie LaForme, Christine Terwissen, Steph Tait, Anna Skorbohacz, Peter Slater, Jenny Lazebnik, Jessica Webster, Lyndsey Russell, Kyle Swiston, and Nicole Barker.

Dan Mennill, Stephanie Doucet, and the students of the 2007 Tropical Ecology of Amazonian Peru class express their sincere thanks to the Staff and the Resident Naturalists at the Explorer's Inn. We thank Dr. Eric Cosio for providing critical assistance with permits. We thank Peter Slater of the University of St. Andrews for joining us on this trip. Ontario students interested in field biology courses should visit the Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology webpage ( and University of Windsor students should visit the bulletin board on the first floor of the Biology Building. The next Tropical Ecology field course to be run by Dan and Stephanie will take place in Costa Rica February/March of 2008.

All photos on this website are by Dan Mennill, Nicole Barker, David Bradley, Jessica Cuthbert, Peter Slater, and Brendan McGovern and may not be used without permission (dmennillATuwindsorDOTca)

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