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Conservation Ecology - CE

Maria João Verdasca

PhD Student

I’m graduated in Biology and MSc in Conservation Biology with a postgraduate degree in Geographic Information Systems. Before starting my PhD, I have developed my professional activity at the Butterfly House of the National Museum of Natural History and Science of Lisbon University, an exhibition of living butterflies with over 50,000 visitors/year, where I was responsible for its daily management and for the promotion of science communication and educational programs, science exhibitions and butterfly monitoring projects.

In 2015, I was awarded with an honourable mention within the contest “Bolsa de Empreendedorismo 2015” attributed by the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal with a project in the field of scientific culture.

At the beginning of 2017, I started a PhD in the frame of the Biodiversity, Genetic and Evolution (BIODIV) Doctoral Program (FCUL, University of Lisbon), within the Conservation Ecology group of cE3c. In my PhD, supervised by Luísa Gigante Carvalheiro, I am interested in understanding which are the main drivers of invasion of the Asian wasp (Vespa velutina) in Portugal, in a way to predict the risk and the potential range of expansion. I ‘m also interested in evaluating the impact of Vespa velutina on beekeeping activity and on ecosystems services, namely on pollination of crops that highly depend on pollinators.

Academic Qualifications

2011: MSc Conservation Biology (University of Évora)

2003: BSc Biology – (Faculty of Science, University of Coimbra)