I graduated with a BSc in Biology at Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Spain) in 2015, with a thesis on Holocene palaeoclimatology in the Subantarctic. In 2018, I completed a second BSc, in Geography, at the same university. In 2017, I finished an Erasmus Mundus MSc in Applied Ecology at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), where I studied the climatic constraints of a microendemic, endangered lizard. Such background and early-career experiences have directed my scientific interests towards integrating different biogeographic approaches to biodiversity conservation.
Currently, I am developing a Ph.D. on comparative phylogeography of the Sahara-Sahel at the Research Center of Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO, Portugal), in collaboration with the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn (ZFMK, Germany). Using cutting-edge methodologies in molecular ecology and spatial modelling, I aim to understand the role of vicariance in the contemporary distribution and diversification of desert wildlife derived from Plio-Pleistocene Saharan palaeoclimate cycles. I integrate molecular phylogenetics and ecological niche modelling, controlling for species habitat requirements and dispersal abilities, to infer climatic refugia, dispersal corridors and high genetic diversity areas. Results are expected to unveil uncharted aspects of the natural history of one of the most neglected but unique ecoregions on Earth, while also provide relevant information for future spatial conservation prioritizing.
Furthermore, I am an enthusiastic field ecologist and have accumulated extensive field experience in the tropics, including remote Saharo-Sahelian environments in Mauritania and flagship South American habitats such as the Ecuadorian Andes, Amazon rainforest, Galápagos Islands, Brazilian atlantic forest, pampa and restingas.