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Spaghetti, chicken and salad – nothing like a cooked lunch: Manaus Day 5 EMBRAPA field station site three.

We just made the supermarket before closing last night and in addition to 18 Kg of onions, we brought lunch. As I checked out it struck me that we had spaghetti, rice, salad and four chickens – my mind spent all night thinking about the dish this combo would make – but to be honest it was excellent and no one really cares after a mornings digging.


However, we still had to cut onions before leaving. It had been decided that travelling during the morning rush hour wasn’t working so we left at 8.30 and breezed out to the field. The dark soils site we were tackling is part of the EMBRAPA field station (the horizon I showed yesterday) so we had all the trimmings of home, with coffee and a lavatory close by!! Also two locals to cut the transecs for us. This meant today went like a well oiled machine….. You just had to watch for the spiky trees. I have to thanks my wife and daughters as they brought me the most magnificent hat that has saved my head from sun, spikes and mosquitoes – thanks guys.

spike2 spike1


So here’s and introduction to some of the team:

The Ant Guy:

Alexandre (Casadei Ferreira – UFPR) (


The Termite Guy: Agno (Nonato Serrão Acioli – UFAM) (


The Rhisophere lady – Clara Patricia Peña ( (microbes and fungi)


Earthworms; George G. Brown – Brazilian project lead

Thiband Decaens ( French earthworm phylogenist


Telmar Silva – EMBRPA Amazonian student and my extraction partner


Herlon Nadolny ( – EMBRPA George’s PhD student and right hand man


Elodie DaSilva ( – EMBRPA George’s Postdoc and right hand lady


Paula pucci ( – EMBRAPA George’s technician

Alessandra Santos ( EMBRAPA George’s master student.

Sandra Tapia Coral ( – Peruvian rain forest earthworm expert.

Aleksander Westphal Muniz ( – EMBRAPA Amazonian soil microbiologist

Rafaella –  EMBRAPA Amazonian student


Patrick Lavelle – French earthworm ecologist

Elena Velasquez Ibanez ( – Columbia soil quantity indicators.

Unfinished…..will try and complete later