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Computational Biology and Population Genomics - CoBiG2

Gonçalo Costa

PhD Student

Taxonomy Cicadas Phylogeny Conservation

Gonçalo Costa is a Portuguese scientist with a background in entomology. During his undergraduate studies in biology, he started giving tours at the Botanical Garden of Ajuda, and has since publicly shared his work on numerous occasions, such as congresses and university open talks. He started his investigation with cicadas in his Master's thesis. After describing two new species to science in Morocco, Tettigettalna afroamissa and Berberigetta dimelodica, he felt the urgency to update the country's cicadofauna, whose sparse knowledge deeply contrasts with the relative abundance of their European counterparts, just across the Mediterranean Sea.

Morocco is a country with an healthy geographic and historical context leading to a great diversity of climates and of ecosystems. Unfortunately, it is severely threatened by desertification, recurring droughts and overgrazing, directly impacting cicada habitats. With the help of National Geographic and a FCT PhD scholarship, under the guidance of Prof. Paula C. Simões (CE3C) and Prof. Abdelmonain El-Hidan (Université Ibn Zohr), he will continue his studies on the Moroccan cicadofauna, (re)describing species with an integrative taxonomical approach. This endeavor will also raise awareness to these poorly known species and update the country's cicadofauna, all the while making the first steps towards the protection of the Moroccan cicadas and bridge the knowledge gap of cicadas between these two regions.


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