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Dr. Robert Drewes (California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco) will present a Seminar in Biodiversity and Evolution entitled "Discovering Biodiversity at the Center of the World" on 23th of March, at 14.30, in Campus Agrário de Vairão auditorium.


Scientists have known for some time that the fauna and flora of the Gulf of Guinea islands, and of São Tomé and Príncipe in particular, are special. Nevertheless, apart from the flora and the bird fauna, knowledge on the biodiversity of the islands is mostly based on work done at the end of the 19th Century and many important groups remain completely unstudied.
In order to address this flagrant knowledge gap, Bob Drewes initiated in 2001 the Gulf of Guinea biodiversity project with the objectives of:


I. Discovering, documenting and describing unknown elements of the unique biota of the oceanic islands of São Tomé and Príncipe.
II. Analyzing the relationships of the members of this ancient fauna and flora with respect to related taxa on mainland Africa.
III. Raising awareness of the truly unique nature of the Gulf of Guinea biota among the citizens of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe and of the world at large.


This talk will cover the project approach and its main outcomes.

D. ROBERT DREWES is the Curator at the Department of Herpetology of the California Academy of Sciences. His current interests include the natural history and biogeography of the African herpetofauna, the evolutionary relationships of African ranoid frogs, and the comparative physiology of arid-adapted anurans. Although his lifelong focus has been Sub-Saharan Africa, his explorations have taken him to 59 countries.


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Island Biodiversity Race


Right after, at 15:45, Sandra Oliveira will present the Student Seminar on "The evolutionary history and geographic spread of advantageous variants that confer resistance to malaria in Sub-Saharan African populations". Sandra is an MSc student supervised by Jorge Rocha.

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