Study Abroad Program in Southeastern Brazil

 Ilhabela            saddleback logo          Ilhabela

Biology Department

Field Studies in Southeastern Brazil


(If you are interested in our Summer 2019 Biology Field Studies in Costa Rica instead, click here)


(São Paulo – Ilhabela – Ubatuba - Paraty - Rio de Janeiro)

Professor Bruno Passarelli (Professor of Biology;

Dr. Marcelo N. Pires (Professor of Biology;


See a video of our 2016 trip here!

Quick facts

  • When? Exact dates to be determined. 
  • Where? São Paulo, Ilhabela, Paraty, Ubatuba, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • What will we do there? Every day, we will visit different locations where we can see the biodiversity and study the ecology of different habitats in southeastern Brazil; we'll hike on the Atlantic rainforest, go to beaches, snorkel, travel by boat along the coast, and visit some locations in the city, too. 
  • Who should go? This college-level program is open to anyone interested in learning about Brazilian biodiversity and culture.  Proficiency in Portuguese is not required - instructors will be with students in all activities.
  • Who are the instructors? We are all full-time biology faculty members at Saddleback College. Professor Passarelli is native from São Paulo, Brazil, and has experience teaching Marine Biology and Oceanography, among other courses. He is also an Adjunct Research Scientist at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium with a research focus on marine parasitology. Dr. Marcelo N. Pires is also native from Brazil and has over 10 years of experience teaching field biology, ecology, and evolution, among other subjects, and doing research on evolutionary biology. Both instructors created this program in 2014 and took their first group of students there in 2015. This 2018 trip will be their fourth field studies trip to Brazil with Saddleback students. 
  • Stay tuned for more details soon!
  • Ok, I am interested.  What is the next step? To secure your spot and/or place your name on our contact/interest list, please send us an email (

          cristoredentor paodeacucar


This 14-day biology field studies program (16 travel days) aims to explore the ecology, evolution, biodiversity, and conservation of the coastal, marine, and Atlantic forest habitats of southeastern Brazil.  We will spend time visiting and exploring São Paulo (South America’s largest city), Ilhabela (an island north of São Paulo), Ubatuba (a coastal city in the state of São Paulo), Paraty (a colonial, coastal city in the state of Rio de Janeiro) and the city of Rio de Janeiro. At all of these locations, we will be exposed to a great diversity of habitats and ecosystems, as well as to different aspects of Brazilian culture and lifestyle.  Students will be accompanied by native Brazilian Saddleback College biology full-time faculty members on all days and at all planned activities.    


  • Content areas covered will include:

    • Overview of the main coastal Brazilian ecosystems, including the Atlantic forest

    • Identification of key species in Brazilian coastal ecosystems from the areas that are visited, including an evolutionary and ecological understanding of biodiversity

    • Ecological interactions among Brazilian coastal species

    • Conservation issues facing Brazilian biodiversity

    • Brazilian culture

      paraty students on a boat paraty                                  

       paraty jeep maremar  ilhabela






BIO 234

Biology Field Studies: Extended Island Ecosystems


Bio 230

Biology Field Studies: Coastal Ecosystems