About me Publications
 
Contact information: 
email: v.staggemeier@gmail.com
skype: nessa_bio2002
mobile phone: 55 11 7268 7329
address: Laboratório de Fenologia, Departamento de Botânica, Av. 24A, 1515, Bela Vista, Rio Claro/SP, Brazil. CEP 13506-900, C.P.199mailto:v.staggemeier@gmail.comshapeimage_6_link_0
Master’s Degree Current Activities  Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences
2002-2005 - São Paulo State University - UNESP Rio Claro
Honor thesis: Factors that affect the frugivory by birds
Advisor: Dr. Mauro Galetti
Ornithochorous fruits play an important role in the diet of birds, and many studies have investigated how birds choose different types of fruits.
We analyzed how plant characteristics and human impact affect fruit choice by birds. Using analyses of covariance we associated the degree of human pressure in each study site (high or low) and the morphological characteristics of 57 ornithochorous fruit species with visiting and fruit consumption by birds.
Plant species located in areas under high human pressure had 3.3 times less visits and 3.5 times lower consumption rates than plants located in pristine areas. The reduction in fruit consumption in areas under high human pressure may directly affect interactions between birds and plants as well as the survival of ornithochorous plants.
We found out that no plant characteristic (life form, size and type of diaspore) explains the rates of consumption and visiting by birds. However, the degree of human impact affected directly the mutualism between plants and birds.
 
This study was granted the Helmut Sick Award in 2006 for the best oral presentation in the Brazilian Ornithology Congress.
In 2005 I was granted an undergraduate scholarship (FAPESP - Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) to develop the project Phenology and Frugivory of Myrtaceae in the Atlantic Forest, supervised by Dr. Mauro Galetti.
    Although the family Myrtaceae is one of the most important for frugivores in this environment, little is known about the mutualistic relationships established among these plants and their consumers.
    During 2005 we monitored the phenology of 231 individual plants, which belonged to 31 species of Myrtaceae in the Cardoso Island State Park.
 
This family exhibited seasonal flowering: plants bearing flowers were found during the hottest and wettest months. However, we found fruits during the whole study period, suggesting that climatic variation in the Atlantic Forest does not restrain fruit development. Moreover, we investigated the animal-plant relationship for three species: Psidium cattleianum, Gomidesia fenzliana and Eugenia umbelliflora.
  
 Some results of this study have been already published (see Publications).
It is worth to mention that this was a pioneering study in the country, since we used video cameras to monitor bird behavior. Thanks to this technology we found out that in spite of having no sexual dimorphism, it is possible to differentiate male and female of this bird species during the reproductive season, based on behavioral characteristics. This study was published in Revista Ararajuba.
 
During my undergraduate course I also developed some studies on reproductive biology of birds.
Among them, stands out the tracking of the whistling heron that resulted in the paper: “Aspectos da biologia reprodutiva de Syrigma sibilatrix” (Aspects of the reproductive biology of Syrigma sibilatrix).