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Leader of Evolutionary Ecology - EE
Subgroup Leader of Adaptation in heterogeneous environments

Sara Magalhães

Assistant Professor

I received my PhD in plant-arthropod interactions from the University of Amsterdam in 2004, where I was supervised by Maurice Sabelis and Arne Janssen. I then moved to the University of Montpellier for a post-doc with Isabelle Olivieri on experimental evolution of mites on plants, testing the evolution of specialization. My second post-doc was at the Gulbenkian Science Institute with Isabel Gordo, again on experimental evolution but with bacteria, aiming at testing whether compensatory mutations followed Fisher’s model.

Since 2008, I am an FCT investigator, leading the ‘adaptation in heterogeneous environments’ sub-group, also known as ‘the fantastic mite squad’, which is located within Evolutionary Ecology, a group of cE3c. As the name indicates, we use spider mites (tiny spider-like herbivores) to address several issues that lie at the intersection between Ecology and Evolution.

Our current projects include the study of:

1- Host-parasite interactions, in which mites are either the parasite that infests plants or are parasitized by endosymbionts such as Wolbachia or bacterial pathogens such as Pseudomonas putida.

2-  Mating strategies of spider mites, the consequences thereof, and the mechanism underlying them.

3-  Sex allocation.