Margarida Matos


Team Leader
e-mail: mmatos@fc.ul.pt
My team carries out several projects (see their own section) with the final goal of understanding the genetic basis of local adaptation, by characterizing real time evolution in Drosophila subobscura populations during adaptation to a novel environment (the laboratory). Our studies include the analysis of evolutionary changes of phenotypic (life history, physiological, behavioural and morphological) traits, molecular markers, chromosomal inversions and genome-wide and transcriptomic patterns during laboratory adaptation. At present we are analyzing the evolutionary patterns of populations founded from contrasting latitudes, with the goal of understanding the role of history versus selection during adaptive evolution. Finally, we are approaching the issue of interactions between genetic drift and natural selection, by comparing the evolutionary fate of populations of contrasting size. We work in close collaboration with several teams, both within our Centre (Sara Magalhães) and foreign Institutions (e.g. Marta Pascual, Universitat de Barcelona, Mauro Santos, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Michael R. Rose, University of California, Irvine).

In addition we are implementing an Evolutionary Studies Program (EvoS, see Filipa Vala's section below).

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Pedro Simões


Post-Doc
e-mail: pmsimoes@fc.ul.pt
My main research interests concern Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Genetics and Experimental Evolution. Most of my research has been focused on the analysis of processes and patterns during adaptation to a new environment as well as its underlying genetic basis. I am also interested in understanding clinal patterns of genetic variation specifically addressing the adaptive role of inversion polymorphisms in Drosophila and the genetic content of these chromosomal arrangements. My current research topics involve the study of transcriptome changes during colonization of new environments and also evolutionary responses to thermal stress at both phenotypic and genetic levels.

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Sofia Seabra


Former Post-Doc/ Presently Collaborator, Post-Doc at CoBig2
e-mail: sgseabra@fc.ul.pt
In my previous postdoctoral research within the FCT project PTDC/BIA-BIC/2165/2012 I applied genome-wide analysis to the study of local adaptation in Drosophila subobscura. By studying the evolutionary trajectories, at the genome level, of populations from contrasting latitudes while evolving in a new common environment, we aim to understand the genetic basis of adaptation and the relative roles of history, chance and selection in the process

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Filipa Vala


Post-Doc
e-mail: fliepvala@gmail.com
I'm a PhD in Ecology and Evolution (University of Amsterdam, 2001). As a researcher I studied the evolution of host-parasite interactions, particularly, interactions with the maternally-transmitted bacteria Wolbachia. This line of research has implications for a few major evolutionary topics: major transitions in evolution and multilevel selection theory, evolution of virulence, evolution of sex, speciation processes. Around 2006, I made a career move to science communication. This was motivated by a training period at the daily newspaper, Público. I've worked for television and documentary, exhibitions, education programs, and have single or co-authored a few books. Presently, I am the coordinator of the Evolutionary Studies Program EvoS at the University of Lisbon, and assist the Centre for Environmental Biology (CBA) with their media relations and science communication outreach. Within the context of EvoS, I am planning to develop a research project that uses multilevel selection theory to explain rationality (or the lack there of) in human economic behavior. Perhaps I've made a full circle?

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Josiane Santos


Former PhD Student/Currently Post-doc at the Eco-Evolutionary Genetics team of cE3c
e-mail: jmssantos@fc.ul.pt
My main research interests during my PhD developed in this team involved studying the genetic basis of adaptation to the laboratory by monitoring the dynamics at the genomic level in replicated populations of Drosophila subobscura since foundation from the wild. In that sense, I characterized microsatellites and inversions polymorphism as well as gene expression changes through time from a former to a later generation in the lab. At the same time, I related the evolution at the genomic level with the dynamics of phenotypic traits more or less closely related to fitness. We aim to understand the response at the genetic level of populations adapting to a new environment and mostly clarify the role played by selection vs. genetic drift in the process of adaptation.

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Marta Santos


PhD Student
e-mail: martasantos@fc.ul.pt
My main research interests are in natural selection and genetic drift, the two major forces that can drive evolutionary change. It is well-known that population size is very relevant for both mechanisms. Nevertheless, little is known about how much genetic drift interacts with natural selection as a function of population size, previous evolutionary history, or ongoing selection. To tackle these issues requires populations of known differentiated histories, populations on which in turn selection is imposed with contrasting population sizes. My PhD project involves 84 laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster with controlled and replicated histories of selection. The study of their evolutionary dynamics after imposition of new selection regimes, both at small and at large population sizes, as well as later crossing of populations from the same regime (totaling 168 populations), will help resolve the interaction between genetic drift and natural selection, as a function of both previous and present selective and demographic histories.

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Inês Fragata


Former PhD Student/ Currently Post-doc at IGC
e-mail: if@fc.ul.pt
My main research interests are Evolutionary Biology, Experimental Evolution, Evolutionary Genomics and Theoretical Modelling. During my PhD developed in this team and defended in September 2015 I focused on understanding the adaptive potential of populations by characterizing the impact of history, chance and selection during adaptation to the laboratory, at several different levels: phenotypic, karyotpic and genetic. These are thematics for which I pursue interest and continude to publish in the 'Local Adaptation in Drosophila' team. Moreover I am interested in the impact of methodology when estimating thermal stress response. I also collaborate in behavioral studies using D. melanogaster and D. subosbcura to understand the role of social information in mate choice. In the future I hope to study the role of chromosomal inversions in adaptation to environmental changes and characterize their genetic content.At present I am a Post-Doc at Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC) under the supervision of Claudia Bank.

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Gonçalo Silva


Former Master Student
e-mail: goncalofs@gmail.com
The main goal of my Master thesis was to study the impact of mate choice decisions on the evolution of different populations of Drosophila subobscura sharing the same environment. Will they converge to the same sexual choice? Is Mate-Choice Copying (MCC) present and if it is how will it evolve? Will MCC promote hybridisation between individuals from different populations? I am trying to develop similar studies in other species, particularly in humans. Other scientific interests are related with empathy, cognition, self-awareness and altruism in an evolutionary perspective.

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