Marina Hirota

Life Sciences, Mathematics

Mathematician Marina Hirota is the epitome of a multidisciplinary scientist. She embarked on her academic journey at the State University of Campinas, where she earned her undergraduate degree and master’s degree. Her passion for applying mathematical principles to real-world problems led her to pursue a doctoral degree at CPTEC-INPE, where she focused on meteorological applications of her expertise. After spending some time at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, she steered her post-doctoral research towards forestry. Currently, she is immersed in a captivating research endeavor focused on the algorithmic representation of the Amazon rainforest. Her ultimate goal is to unravel the underlying factors that contribute to the varying degrees of vulnerability across different regions of the forest. Hirota’s work seamlessly integrates diverse disciplines, drawing upon insights from ecology, anthropology, and mathematics. Despite the inherent complexities of her research, she embraces the challenge of harmonizing these seemingly disparate fields through the power of mathematics.


VulnerAmazon: A fresh perspective on the vulnerability and resilience of the Amazon rainforest
Science / Life Sciences

The Amazon rainforest, home to one of the planet’s most extensive assortments of flora, fauna, and microorganisms, provides many services to humanity. These include stabilizing carbon storage, facilitating continental-scale rain transport, and supplying food to local communities. Resilience describes the Amazon rainforest’s capacity to maintain its structure and identity through time and space. In our research project, we aim to investigate how variations in natural and human-induced factors might contribute to potential transformations of the Amazon rainforest. These changes could disrupt ecological processes and compromise the forest’s functionality. How each forest type reacts to these threats could influence the rate at which the Amazon collapses. Our study’s objective is to produce data that will assist future societies in managing the Amazon’s systemic resilience, thereby preserving its structure and identity.

Amount invested

R$ 100,000.00
VulnerAmazon: Assessing the resilience and biodiversity of the Amazon in response to changes in rainfall patterns

Current projections indicate that rainfall patterns in the Amazon basin may change, including an increase in extreme drought and flood events and a lengthening of the dry season. These changes already affect the various forests within the basin and could have even more severe impacts. This project proposes a novel approach by establishing a link between the Amazon’s vast biodiversity and its resilience to potential shifts in the basin’s rainfall patterns. The aim is to quantify the persistence and adaptability of different types of forests within the Amazon to drought conditions. Based on this quantification, the project plans to use mathematical models to extrapolate plant characteristics measured at a local scale to the entire Amazon basin. This approach will help us better understand how the Amazon might respond to anticipated changes.

Amount invested

R$ 1,000,000.00 (R$ 700,000.00 + R$ 300,000.00 optional bonus for the integration and training of people from underrepresented groups in science)

Open Calls

Science Call 1
  • Topics
  • Amazon Rainforest
  • Amazonia
  • Biodiversity
  • Mathematical models
  • Resilience
  • Vulnerability
  • VulnerAmazon