Meet Anna: Herbivores and BVOC emissions

Hi everyone, my name is Anna Moraes! I started recently as a Ph.D. student at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), in Manaus, in the group of Dr. Eliane Gomes Alves. I am from Manaus and I have a BSc degree in Forestry from the Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM). I obtained my master’s degree also at INPA. My focus was to understand plant-herbivore interactions with litterfall production responses to nutrient manipulations. I tested whether herbivores respond to increases in leaf nutrients at an ecosystem level at the AFEX project (Amazon Fertilisation Experiment).

After that, I continued working as a research assistant at AFEX, in Beto Quesada’s biogeochemistry lab, for three years. I had the opportunity to participate and learn in many other research field expeditions. In the middle of last year, Ph.D. student Débora Pinheiro invited me to participate in her fieldwork at the ATTO site, when the COVID restrictions began to ease a little. I had the opportunity to get to know the very impressive ATTO site, with a gigantic structure. And in its open-air laboratory, Débora and her group showed me their work with VOCs. After that, I visited the ATTO site and climbed the ATTO tower, and the stunning view never ceases to amaze me. That’s where I got interested in joining Dr. Eliane Gomes Alves’ VOC group and studying this incredible and complex subject.

My project focuses on herbivore-induced plant volatiles (HIPVs). I will be taking foliar level measurements of these compounds using the canopy walkways and the INSTANT tower. It is very important to understand the processes in which VOCs, and specifically HIPVs, take part since such compounds have roles in biogeochemical cycles and physicochemical processes in the Amazon climate system. I’m looking forward to meeting you guys at the field and working together.

See you soon!!