CORVALLIS, Ore. – Barbara Zimmerman, founder and director of the Kayapo Project to help indigenous peoples in the southeastern Amazon River basin, will give a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Her talk, “Unparalleled Conservation Opportunity: Indigenous Lands and Large Scale Conservation of Amazon Forest, the Kayapo,” begins at 4 p.m. in the Learning Innovation Center (LInC) Room 302, located at 165 S.W. Sackett Place on campus.

A tropical ecologist, Zimmerman began her career studying amphibian and reptile communities in Brazil. In 1989, she began working with the Kayapo Indians of Brazil’s Xingu Basin to develop conservation-based economic alternatives to logging to preserve the tropical forest and to strengthen the capacity of the Kayapo people to maintain territorial control of their land.

The Kayapo have since become renowned, not only for directly protecting their forests by evicting trespassers, but by working with conservation organizations and celebrities – including rock star Sting – to lobby for indigenous rights in the Brazilian constitution. Their public protest of a dam project on the Xingu River, which would have flooded parts of their land, stopped the project.

Zimmerman has a Ph.D. in tropical ecology from Florida State University, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from the University of Guelph, where she worked with David Noakes, who is on the faculty of the OSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

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Story By: 

Mark Floyd,


David Noakes, 541-737-1953,