Position: PhD student
Address: CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas. 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
I am currently finishing my PhD focused on the mitochondrial selective patterns of two Mediterranean geckos, Tarentola mauritanica and Hemidactylus turcicus. Early mtDNA phylogeographic studies on both species have recovered highly divergent lineages in North Africa and a single haplotype across most of the European distribution. Until know, this pattern of low sequence variation within the European populations of these geckos has been associated to a recent colonization or introduction event. Nevertheless, our studies suggest that the mitochondrial genome of both T. mauritanica and H. turcicus are under positive selection, causing a selective sweep and consequent decrease of the nucleotide diversity.