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Sugar loaf peak research, Espirito Santo, Brazil - 2010Sugar Loaf

Sarah Owen, a postgraduate geology student at the University of Leicester, is conducting fieldwork as part of her PhD study into sugar loaf peaks in eastern Brazil. Sugar loaf peaks are steep-sided, dome-shaped hills and mountains that often stand in isolation - they are important landforms in tropical regions whose geological origins and geomorphological development are poorly understood. They are particularly abundant in the Brazilian Highlands where they preserve the threatened Mata Atlantica rainforest on their slopes and summits.

Sarah’s project is aimed at understanding evolutionary processes of sugar loaf development, the litho-tectonic controls on their evolution and their environmental significance as refugia for Atlantic rainforest preservation. The fieldwork will be focused within the Pancas region of Espirito Santo and is scheduled for August 2010.

Sarah, on receiving a 1,000 JWCT grant in March 2010, said “[I] am astounded by the large variety of projects that [the JWCT] have funded in the past, and feel honoured that my PhD research in Brazil will be included within that list. This award means that I can begin to plan my field season, and collate the important data I need for my research.

Simon Willson, a JWCT trustee, said “we are pleased to be able to support Sarah in her field studies in Brazil. Jeremy [whom the charity is named after] was passionate about geological fieldwork."

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The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust
a charity registered in England and Wales. No. 1114871