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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 did my PhD thesis with Margarida Matos (cE3c, FCUL) and Mauro Santos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), quantifying the impact of selection, evolutionary history and chance at different biological levels during local adaptation of Drosophila subobscura populations. Afterwards, I joined Claudia Bank´s lab (at IGC), using deep mutational scanning data from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Bayesian methods to study how environmental variation affected 1) the shape of fitness landscapes, 2) the distribution of fitness effects of mutations and 3) the predictability of evolution. In 2019, I joined Sara Magalhães’ group (cE3c, FCUL) to quantify the phenotypic, genomic and transcriptomic changes in the spider mites Tetranychus urticae and T. evansi during evolution in the presence of competitors and heavy metal pollution, and understand how these different evolutionary regimes affected coexistence between the two species.

I am a Researcher at cE3c since 2020, and my research focuses on understanding how species can adapt to new environments. Specifically, I am interested in (i) quantifying the impact of species interactions and abiotic stresses on adaptation in (increasingly) complex systems; and (ii) understand how the feedback loop between ecology and evolution determines the stability and resilience of systems. To tackle these questions, I typically use a combination of experimental evolution and theoretical and statistical modelling. In addition to my main research focus, I am also interested in other aspects of evolutionary biology such as: the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of genetic and phenotypic diversity; the evolution and maintenance of chromosomal inversions; and how abiotic and biotic stresses shape fitness landscapes and the predictability of evolution.

Currently, I am leading an ERC starting grant (DYNAMICTRIO) to investigate how ecological dynamics shape evolution of direct and indirect interactions between species and how evolution of these interactions can in turn affect the ecological dynamics and the resilience of tri-trophic systems. In DYNAMICTRIO we will use a tri-trophic system composed of a plant (Brassica rapa), an herbivore (T. urticae) and a predator (Amblyseius swirskii). Our aim is to perform a multi-level characterization of the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of the system, using a combination experimental evolution, fitness landscapes and population dynamics models.


ERRO 401

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