Maria Manuela Coelho
Subgroup Leader of Molecular Ecology and Evolution
The general goal of the EG Research Group is to study and understand the genetics of evolutionary processes in wild and domestic animal species. We are specifically focused on studying their evolutionary history, adaptive responses to environmental change, molecular evolution, and the role of hybridization in diversification and speciation. In our research projects, we use cutting-edge approaches (genomics, transcriptomics, cytogenomics and epigenomics) and data analysis methodologies.
Models and case studies include a diversity of vertebrate taxa, ranging from freshwater fish to marine and terrestrial mammals. Notably, the Group generates conservation genetics data for several species and populations that are currently threatened in Portugal, some of them national or Iberian endemics. For domestic species in particular, molecular data and pedigree analysis are used to characterize, define and carry out proper conservation programs of Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR).
Current research topics are divided into four thematic lines: 1) Evolutionary history and speciation of natural populations (e.g. dolphins, Procellariiform seabirds and endemic freshwater fish); 2) Hybridization in evolution and speciation (dolphins, homoploid and polyploid fish complexes); 3) Molecular and chromosomal evolution and adaptation (endemic freshwater fish, Procellariiform seabirds, Australian skinks); and 4) Evolutionary processes in domestic animal populations (particularly horses and dogs; archaeogenetics of Iberian equine domesticates; genetic basis of phenotypic variation in modern animals).
Key-words: Adaptation, Hybridization, Conservation Genetics, Phylogeography, Polyploidy, Population Genetics, Speciation, Domestication, Animal Genetic Resources.
Pires, A.E., Amorim, I.R., Borges, C., Simões, F., Teixeira, T., Quaresma, A., Petrcci-Fonsecca, F. & Matos, J. (2017) New insights into the genetic composition and phylogenetic relationship of wolves and dogs in the Iberian Peninsula.Ecology and Evolution, Online early, . DOI:10.1002/ece3.2949 (IF2016 2,440; Q2 Ecology)
Silva, A.P., Curveira-Santos, G., Kilshaw, K., Newman, C., Macdonald, D.W., Simões, L. & Rosalino, L.M. (2017) Climatic conditions and anthropogenic factors determine site occupancy in a range-edge badger population: implications for conservation under environmental change.Diversity and Distributions, 23(6), 627-639. DOI:10.1111/ddi.12564 (IF2016 4,391; Q1 Ecology)
Derouiche, L., Vercammen, P., Bouhadad, R. & Fernandes, C. (2017) Genetic evidence supporting the taxonomic separation of the Arabian and Northwest African subspecies of the desert hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus).Gene, 620, 54-65. DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2017.04.009 (IF2016 2,415; Q3 Genetics & Heredity)