"Cloud Forest Project' premier at UO features research by Bitty Roy's lab

EUGENE, Ore. — Oct. 9, 2012 — The world premiere of a scientific documentary at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the University of Oregon will take viewers up into the Andes Mountains of northern Ecuador — and feature research led over the last four years by UO ecologist Bitty Roy.

"The Cloud Forest Project" is the work of British filmmaker and nature photographer Jacky Poon, who, while working with Roy, vividly captured a never-before-seen moment of a newly discovered method of pollination used by Ecuadorian orchids in a cloud forest.

Poon will attend the premiere of the approximately hour-long film, which will be shown in Room 100 of Willamette Hall, 1371 E. 13th Ave. Admission is free and open to the public. Poon will provide opening remarks. A question-and-answer session with the scientists will follow the film.

"Our lab has been working for the last four years in the cloud forest, working out the pollination system of a mushroom-mimicking orchid genus, Dracula," says Roy, who is a member of the Institute of Ecology and Evolution. "The film documents our work in Ecuador, as well as the biodiversity of the region and the threats to that biodiversity. The film is filled with spectacular footage ranging from birds to monkeys to orchids to interviews with villagers who have been threatened by mining operators."

The research done by Roy's team — funded by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation — occurs in the Los Cedros Reserve.

Poon joined the Roy lab last winter to document the research as part of his final project for a bachelor's degree in marine and natural history photography from University College Falmouth in the United Kingdom.

UO students currently working with Roy in Ecuador are graduate students Roo Vandergrift, Tobias Policha, Jesse McAlpine and Dan Thomas, and undergraduate Matt Davis. The project's co-director is Bryn TM Dentiger, head of mycology at Jodrell Laboratory, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London.

View trailers:

►Short (1:03): http://youtu.be/FDTOztmTWsw

►Long (3:41): http://youtu.be/KkYVb_J6jAs

Media Contact: Jim Barlow, director of science and research communications, 541-346-3481, jebarlow@uoregon.edu