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Evolutionary Ecology - EE
MITE2: Multidisciplinary Investigation Targeting Ecology and Evolution
Subgroup Leader of Adaptation to Complex Environments

Inês Regina Lopes de Mendonça Fragata


I am broadly interested the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms involved in the maintenance of phenotypic and genetic diversity and also on how selection, drift, mutation and species interactions shape biodiversity within an ecosystem.

I developed my PhD thesis with Margarida Matos (cE3c, FCUL) and Mauro Santos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) on “The role of history, chance and selection during adaptation: an integrated perspective.” During my thesis I followed the real-time evolutionary trajectory of Drosophila subobscura populations from contrasting locations, during their adaptation to a common environment.

After my PhD, I was a postdoc in Claudia Bank’s lab in the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) for three years and a half, focusing on statistical and mathematical modelling and data analyses. Namely, I investigated 1) the effects of synonymous mutations on adaptive path accessibility; 2) the distribution of fitness effects of new mutations under different environmental conditions and gene expression levels (in collaboration with Dan Bolon, UMass); and 3) the predictability and repeatability of evolution during adaptation to the laboratory environment (in collaboration with the ‘Local adaptation in Drosophila’team).

Currently I am Postdoc in the “Adaptation in heterogeneous environments“ team. My research focus on investigating 1) how metal accumulation and previous evolutionary history affect herbivore coexistence, and 2) what is the impact of high metal adaptation and coevolution on survivability in different environments To answer these questions I use spider mites and tomato plants in combination with experimental evolution and modelling.


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