Big news, everyone! Just this morning we learned that a grant proposal to create a research network around a planned* Beagle Project circumnavigation of South America aboard the Brazilian tall ship Tocorimé has been funded by the British Council!
The tall ship Tocorimé.
Here's our British Council Darwin Now Network grant application summary:
The year 2009 marks the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Without a doubt the greatest influence on Darwin and the development of his theory of evolution came during his travels in and around South America, carried by HMS Beagle and supported by HMS Adventure. Darwin experienced the wonders of the tropical rainforest in Brazil, fossils in Argentina, the uplifting of land in Chile and the remarkable variation of fauna on the Galapagos Islands.More specifically the grant will support:
This proposal aims to support the recreation of Darwin’s travels around South America, undertaking new science as part of an international effort to understand and develop a system of DNA-based identification of taxa (DNA barcoding). It will correlate this science at sea on the Brazilian tall ship Tocorimé (Portuguese for Adventure) with a view of the world that Darwin could only dream of - from the International Space Station.
Funding is sought to bring together scientists from South America and the UK, the Tocorimé operators, the organisers of The HMS Beagle Trust and NASA to plan a scientific expedition from Rio to the Galapagos that will throw new light on evolutionary science in a highly visible and exciting way.
- a workshop in Rio de Janeiro "to bring together a new international team to discuss with the Tocorimé operators - cruise logistics, scientific aims, timing, observations from space, public and schools outreach and contribution to the international Census of Marine Life and Consortium for the Barcode of Life"
- the organisation of "public events in Rio, Buenos Aires, Concepcion and the Galapagos to publicise the results from the cruise and their importance to evolutionary science using internet and teleconferencing technology"
*I say 'planned' because the Tocorimé team is still actively fundraising for the cost of the voyage; there is much work to be done