Ana Rodrigues is conducting a Ph.D. in Ecophysiology by the University of FCUL, starting in 2016 within the ESFE of cE3c. The provisional title of her thesis is “Adaptive responses of cork oak provenances in the field and in controlled-environment conditions”, under the supervision of Helena Almeida and José Ramalho from ISA and Cristina Máguas from cE3c/FCUL. The Ph.D. project aims to evaluate cork oak´s genetic variability in terms of fitness, and functional and quality traits, in order to improve our understanding of the species' potential for adaptation in the light of more frequent extreme stress events (i.e. climate change) in the Mediterranean Basin. Based on cork oaks´ adaptive traits and taking into account the seasonal drought variations of the Mediterranean basin, the goal is to answer the following questions:
1. Is it possible to identify provenances with stable performance for the target traits in different environmental conditions?
2. Is phenotypic plasticity also a function of time for a given trait?