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Environmental Stress & Functional Ecology - ESFE

Diogo Jorge

MSc Student

Ever since I was little, I’ve always had a fascination for nature and biology. Hence why when I finished 12th grade, I got my degree in biology at Lusofuna university of humanities and technology. As my graduation thesis I compared the venom protein composition of two snakes: Our well know snub-nosed viper Vipera latastei and the western beaked snake Rhinophis oxyrhynchus. I’ve always had a love for animals as well as a love for the area of biology that deals with conservation and zoology. That’s why during my degree I’ve done some volunteering at CRLI, Center for Recuperation of the Iberian Wolf. I’ve also done some volunteering at the Herbarium of ISA, in triage of seeds of Limonium sp. and their genetic analysis.
When I finished my degree, due to a certain turn of events, I got torn between different master degrees. However, a specific key point in the Master Programme in Applied Microbiology drew me into it: Animal sanity, to be more precise. Instead of focusing myself just on a zoological level, this Master programme has, actually, helped broaden my horizons. It was fascinating to learn and understand there was more to conservation biology than just meets the eye. Literally! What I mean is there is more to it besides the macroscopic aspect. It’s amazing to realize that microorganisms can play a key role on Ecology and conservation of species, in nature. As I have said before, I’ve always loved the biological area that deals with conservation biology, and when it came to choosing a theme for my master thesis, as soon as I saw one that dealt with this thematic, I choose it instantaneously. “Comparative study of nodule morpho- and biodiversity in Acacia longifolia and A. melanoxylon” is the theme I’m working on, and it deals with one of the most invasive species of plants: Acacias, which are a major threat to biodiversity. The objective of this study is to understand the biodiversity of the microbial community in these root structures, called nodules, in both A. longifolia and A. melanoxylon and see if there are any key microorganism that have a role in this invasive trait of these plants.
A curiosity is that I love drawing and illustration, and one day hope to be able to do scientific illustration.



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