Rahel Sollmann

2020 Hellman Fellow

rsollmann@ucdavis.edu

Assistant Professor, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology
UC Davis

Project Title: Studying the mammal community of the vanishing Amazon-Cerrado ecotone

Project Description: Though it is under extreme anthropogenic pressure, our ecological knowledge of the Amazon-Cerrado ecotone (ACE) remains sparse, especially for mammals.  Ecotonal populations are important ecologically, as they deal with distinct environmental conditions, and for conservation, as they are potentially more resilient.  We propose camera-trapping in two protected areas in the ACE to describe patterns of diversity, distributions of species, and space use by large mammals across forest and savanna habitat.  Models project that changes in climate/land use and fire will cause “savannification” in the Amazon.  Understanding how the mammal communities of these two biomes vary across the ecotone is therefore crucial for their future conservation.