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Welcome to

legaci lab

 Landscape evolution, geomorphology, tectonics, biodiversity, applied cosmogenic isotopes 

Looking for undergraduate or graduate research opportunities?

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Big news! 

Dr. Val received the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation! 

CAREER: Tectonically dead but geomorphologically alive: Investigating the role of hard rocks as triggers of widespread, long-term landscape change in continent interiors

Read more about the project here.



When asked about the geologic past, many of us, if not most, will think of fossils and rocks. Instead, I think about landscapes as windows to the geologic past. I am a geologist from the Amazon region in Brazil and I investigate the processes that shape the awe-inspiring landscapes around the world, how they evolve through time, and what mechanisms control their evolution. 

I was born and raised in Manaus, a 2+ million people city in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. As a native of the Amazon region, one of my career goals is to contribute to the fundamental understanding of the formation and evolution of its landscapes. I believe that understanding how the Amazon system fundamentally evolves can help us protect it.

I also actively look for ways to contribute to decreasing the underrepresentation of ethnic and gender groups in the Geosciences. The DELTA H initiative is one of these efforts. 

I welcome people from all backgrounds, ethnicity, nationality, especially BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, women, people with disabilities, and otherwise underrepresented groups to come work with me. My group maintains a safe environment where all are free to talk about their barriers and difficulties specific to their backgrounds. We also discuss how to improve Equity, Diversity, Inclusion in the Geosciences.

Visit the links below to learn more about me, my group, and my work. If you are interest, don't hesitate to reach out.



• How tectonics and climate compete to control the shapes, heights, and masses of mountain ranges?

• Why are landscapes in continent interiors so geomorphically active even when there is no external perturbation mechanism such as tectonics, dynamic topography, or changes in climate?

• Why are the same geomorphically active (but tectonically inactive) landscapes so biodiverse?

• What are the rates and the impacts of soil erosion in the degradation of the Amazon rainforest?

I investigate the interactions between rock type, tectonic, climatic, and surface processes and their individual contributions to the evolution of mountain ranges and continent interiors. The landscapes I study work as ideal natural laboratories to dive into the physical processes that shape the Earth's topography. I then combine these observations with numerical models - where all boundary conditions are known and prescribed - to understand more about the underlying processes controlling those landscapes.

Landscapes also form the dynamic tapestry over which the biosphere evolves and I investigate how landscape dynamics influence the generation, maintenance, and extinction of Amazonia's unparalleled biodiversity.

Currently, my work is focused on the Andes mountains, the Amazon lowlands, and the Paraná basin.



The DELTA H initiative


Representation of Brazilians and South Americans in the international geoscientific community is poor, even more so in the Geomorphology community. To improve this scenario and to build a diverse Landscape Evolution community in Brazil, I created and now coordinate the DELTA H initiative alongside colleagues and co-leaders Daniel Peifer and Nelson Fernandes and co-organizers Marcilene dos Santos and Fabiano Pupim (see

Through DELTA H, we are working on building a more balanced, diverse, and inclusive community and a safe environment for interactions between undergraduates, graduates, and leading scientists in the international field of Landscape Evolution and Geomorphology. 

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