Gang Members


I received my Ph.D degree from the University of Porto in 2007. Since then I have been conducting my postdoctorial research at IBE-University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain; and at CIBIO-University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. My research is primarily focused on the evolutionary genetics of reproductive isolation. In particular, I’m interested in understanding: the role of chromosomal rearrangements in speciation (chromosomal speciation); the mechanisms of adaptation and ecological speciation through the study of parallel evolutionary events; the architecture of genetic incompatibilities (genomic and regulatory network) in speciation, using a systems biology approach; and the role of phenotypic plasticity in evolution. Currently, I’m focused on the study of genomic information (including sequence and expression data) of several species (from mollusks to primates), as well as on simulation studies. My goal is to inspire an open and creative environment within the lab for pursuing the answers for relevant questions in many different areas within the field of evolutionary biology.

I’m an undergratuatestudent at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (2008-present).  I’m currently doing an internship in CIBIO within the framework of the project “The paths of parallel evolution and their genetic crossroads”, under the supervision of Rui Faria. During this period I have been mostly using geometric-morphometrics to study shell morphology differences between ecotypes of the intertidal gastropod species Littorina fabalis, but also participating in the genetic characterization of the Iberian ecotypes of this species.

I’ve graduated in Bioinformatics at Escola Superior de Biotecnologia- Universidade Católica Portuguesa (2009). I’m have finished my Master in Biodiversity, Genetics, and Evolution (at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto, Portugal) in 2012.

My main research during the Master thesis on genomics and proteomics, making use of a bioinformatics-centered approach. As part of my master thesis work, I have been working with high-throughput sequencing data from a W sexual micro-chromosome of a lizard, with the purpose of assembling it. Sex chromosomes have a essential role on speciation, and studying them, specially in lizards, where we can observe both genetic and environmental sex determination, is of great interest. Furthermore if we consider that they are a non-model organism and that there’s no extensive information about them, proving that it is nowadays feasible to retrieve genome-wide data, particularly of focal chromosomes, of such an organism, at a reasonable speed and price, will undoubtedly inspire other groups to do the same, contributing to the enrichment of the scientific knowledge. Supervisor: Stuart Baird; Co-supervisors: Rui Faria & Catarina Pinho.

I got my PhD by the University of Vigo (Spain) in 2009, where I was studying the phylogeographic patterns and biogeographic history of marine crabs (Maja brachydactyla and Necora puber) from the NE Atlantic. After that (and also shortly before), I was involved in a project dealing with the diversification of Eurasian Alosa species (clupeid fishes) that was mainly carried out at IBE – University Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain). Later on, I keep working there although in the frame of the Genographic Project (European human populations); and last year I moved to the University of Helsinki (Finland) to work on the adaptive differentiation of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) populations from the Baltic Sea.

In a broad sense, during all this time, I have been facing a growing interest in the area of speciation research, in understanding the mechanisms that lead to population differentiation and speciation in the end. With this main goal, I am now joining this group at CIBIO – University of Porto (Portugal), being enrolled in the project “The paths of parallel evolution and their genetic crossroads”, where I’m responsible for a phylogeographic in L. fabalis and L. obtusata and the study of L. fabalis ecotype divergence based on rad markers.

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I’m graduated in evolutionary and developmental biology at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa. At the moment, I´m enrolled in a master’s program in the same area of knowledge and this year I will be working in ecological speciation using L. fabilis. I will also utilize microsatellites and AFLP to get a better understanding of the genetic diversity in Iberian populations of this species. This work will be supervised by Rui Faria and Juan Galindo.

My main interests are genetics and speciation and I’m interested in finding links between genetic differentiation and the origin of new and independent species.

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I completed my graduation in Biology at Faculdade de Ciências do Porto (2011), and later got my Master’s degree in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution at CIBIO-UP (2013). During my Master I gained experience in molecular evolution and functional divergence using several computational tools on genomic data of ubiquous metal-binding regulatory proteins – metallothioneins. I also performed the genetic part of an ecotoxicological assay in amphibian larvae to assess the sub-lethal effects in the transcription of these proteins (qtRT-PCR) when exposed to different temperatures and heavy metal concentrations.
Currently I am working on Lesser Egyptian Jerboa (Jaculus jaculus), a small rodent that shows diverse coloration patterns. I am focused in finding the molecular changes at candidate coloration genes (likely involved in intraspecific phenotype variation) under the supervision of Zbyszek Boratyński (PI of the project) and Rui Faria. I just want finalize by saying that I am interested in everything regarding evolutionary processes in life (but in animals are more fun), in participating in field expeditions (yes, that is a life goal!), and most importantly of all, to do research within an ecological framework because I think without ecological-based thinking…current world animal species (we included, of course) will have no future.

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I studied Bioinformatics for my Masters at the University of Hyderabad (UoHyd), Hyderabad, India. My Bachelors in Technology was in Bioinformatics at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India. In my Masters I studied the pathways in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv in comparison to other known pathways. Then he tried to fill the holes in the pathways by sequence analysis of orthologous genes. This method was tested mainly on the TAG pathway, with confirmation through structure analysis for the presence of multiple putative hole-fillers. After my Masters, I was a Project Assistant at the Center for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, India. Here I worked on the transcriptome analysis of gut-pathogens in the domestic silk moth (Bombyx mori) and the genome assembly of the wild silk-moth (Bombyx huttoni). At present, I’m a PhD student at Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) on the comparative genomics of two sub-species of Lacertid lizards to detect chromosomal rearrangements under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Martin Schlegel, Prof. Dr. Klaus Henle, Prof. Dr. Peter Stadler, Dr. Rui Faria and Dr. Katja Nowick.