Master’s student Julia Ridgeway awarded grant for project in Ecuador
First-year master’s student Julia Ridgeway has been awarded a summer research grant from the University of Oregon’s Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies. CLLAS funds a select number of graduate projects and dissertation research each year. The grant will provide funding for Julia’s master’s project in the Amazonian Ecuador.
Julia will spend two months in the Ecuadorian Amazon working with the Shuar Health and Life History project. The project is an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional, and international collaboration between researchers in the United States, Ecuador and leaders of the indigenous Shuar Federation.
The Shuar are in the process of transitioning from a traditional hunter-gatherer economy to a more westernized market, and Julia will be studying the effects of that transition on their culture and health. Her focus is on the effect of these changes on women’s health, specifically on their fertility and reproductive choices. She will be taking blood samples for hormone analysis and also conducting surveys to find out how westernization affects the choices women make about their bodies and their families.