My colleague and co-author Margarete Macedo introduced the idea of this grant back in 2014, and the proposal was submitted in 2015. Although awarded, the funds were not given out until recently. The wait made all of us lose a little hope, given that the Brazilian economy was wobbling a bit. However, finally we can start our engines as the funds are released! A US$4 million grant!
The proposal is a huge study led by Dr. Angélica Maria Penteado Martins Dias. It comprises some 30 individual projects across three southern states of Brazil and continues an earlier award that networked 13 institutions (http://www.hympar.ufscar.br/). They conducted basic bioinventories and analyses of the enormous parasitic and parasitoid Hymenoptera of Brazil. The new grant will continue that research by expanding the study of the hosts–Diptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera–and their Hyme fauna in forests and savannas (“cerrado”), natural and agroecosystems. My part will focus on the Chrysomelidae in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park and I will collaborate with Margarete Macedo and Vivian Flinte at Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio. Leaf beetles are hosts of Diptera and Hymenoptera parasites and parasitoids. I am excited to continue the productive collaboration with the Rio lab and these excellent scientists!