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Leader of Evolutionary Ecology - EE
Subgroup Leader of MITE2: Multidisciplinary Investigation Targeting Ecology and Evolution

Sara Magalhães

Associate Professor

Herbivorous mites Experimental evolution Behaviour and evolution Competition Host-parasite interactions Sexual selection

After my undergraduate studies at the University of Lisbon, I did a PhD in Amsterdam with Maurice Sabelis (2004), testing food web theory in predator-herbivore-plant systems. I then moved to Montpellier, for a post-doc with Isabelle Olivieri on experimental evolution of host range in spider mites and another at IGC with Isabel Gordo on the fitness effects of mutations during experimental evolution of E. coli. As member of cE3c at FCUL since 2008, I pursued my research, addressing issues such as sex allocation, sexual conflict or the interaction with bacterial symbionts. I enjoy designing experiments strongly rooted on theoretical predictions and working with motivated students. I am currently running an ERC grant to understand the role of individual variation and eco-evolutionary feedbacks on the outcome of competition between spider mites.

I am Associate Professor at FCUL since 2021. I teach both at the MSc and the bachelor level. My classes concern mostly the evolution of biotic interactions. I am particularly committed to bringing undergraduate students closer to research environments and to challenging their critical thinking. I strongly believe that science is a cooperative endeavour and thus invest in activities that benefit to the scientific community, by playing an active role in national and international scientific societies and being part of the Editorial Board of several journal (currently Oikos and The American Naturalist).

Although I believe that fundamental research is a societal priority, I am also devoted to bringing science closer to society, by engaging in outreach activities. In particular, I have launched the Caravana Agroecológica in 2019 (, a series of initiatives aiming at building bridges between researchers, producers and consumers committed to sustainable agriculture.


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