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Dr Richard Bodmer

Honorary Professor in Conservation Ecology
Dr Richard Bodmer

About

Dr Richard Bodmer's interests are to help conserve the Amazon using a holistic approach that combines biodiversity conservation, community-based conservation, cultural conservation and historic conservation. Rick did his MSc research in the Congo on the okapi with the Mbuti, his PhD studies at the University of Cambridge in Zoology studying the feeding ecology, evolution and digestive physiology of large Amazonian mammals, a postdoctoral position in the highlands of Borneo on the orangutan with the Dayak and another at the Goeldi Museum on conservation and research in the Amazon. 

Dr Bodmer has worked at the Brookfield Zoo, University of Florida as assistant professor in Wildlife Ecology and Latin American Studies, and at DICE, University of Kent. Rick’s current positions include the president of FundAmazonia and director of the Indigenous Cultures and Historic Boat museums in Iquitos, Peru.  

Since 2001, Dr Bodmer has been organising research expeditions to the Amazon for students from the School of Anthropology and Conservation. Over the years there have been around 250 DICE students who have conducted wildlife conservation and biodiversity undergraduate, MSc and PhD research at the Amazon sites. Students study a variety of topics and species, such as river dolphins, amphibians, primates, fish, caimans, macaws, river otters, manatee, jaguars, tapirs, palms and understory birds, among others. The student Amazon research expeditions run every year to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in Peru during June-August. Please contact Rick for more information on the research expeditions to the Peruvian Amazon.  

Research interests

Dr Bodmer’s research looks at conservation strategies in the western Amazon that confront the current threats from climate change. Student and volunteer research teams collect wildlife monitoring data to examine impacts of climate change on wildlife and the livelihoods of local indigenous people, evaluate how sustainable use of fisheries and bush meat is being affected by climate fluctuations, understand adaptations, and examine mitigations using community co-management and economic incentives. 

The research will help understand climate change and wildlife in western Amazonia. The long-term dataset of the project discovered how recent climate fluctuations characterised by successive intensive floods and occasional droughts impact aquatic, terrestrial and arboreal species in flooded forests. Findings from the research will be used to develop conservation mitigation strategies and sustainable adaptations by local people. Research collaborations are with the Peruvian Protected Area Authority, the National University of the Peruvian Amazon, Earthwatch Institute, Operation Wallacea and Operation Earth.  

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