Soares, a neuroecologist and Brazilian explorer, studies the neural basis of behavior and ecological principles to understand sensory adaptation in extreme environments. She discovered that crocodilians have a novel sensory organ that detects water ripples as stimuli. Soares also discovered that blind cavefish that lack pigmentation and eyes, and live in habitats that are difficult to access, have developed specialized teeth on their backs that detect the flow of water.
Other 2014 WINGS fellows included Felicity Aston, Arita Baaijens and Helen Thayer.
--University of Maryland/College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences--
About WINGS WorldQuest:
WINGS WorldQuest identifies and honors the best women explorers today. The organization’s mission is to celebrate and to support extraordinary women explorers by promoting scientific exploration, education and conservation. Awarding fellows annually, WINGS has provided more than $300,000 in support of field work. WINGS also has a flag expedition program; to date, more than 100 women have carried the WINGS flag on expeditions. WINGS educational programs have reached tens of thousands of school children.