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Francisco Aguilar

PhD Student

PhD Student
Member type
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
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My main research interests are applied ecology and conservation of reptiles and amphibians. In particular, I am interested to study the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic activities on species’ habitat connectivity, through the use of cutting-edge spatial modelling and genetic techniques, with applications in conservation planning.

I have concluded my master’s degree in Conservation Biology in 2016, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon (FCUL), with a thesis entitled: "What is the trophic role of Madeiran lizard, Teira dugesii selvagensis, on Selvagem Grande?”. Since then, I have published 1 article in a peer-reviewed journal, 2 technical reports, and collaborate as a researcher in 6 projects (2 of them international). I also have been part of the core members of the Portuguese Herpetology Association (APH). In 2020 I got a PhD grant from Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

I enrol the BIODIV PhD programme in CIBIO-InBIO and Forest Research Center (CEF). My PhD thesis under the title "Climatic and anthropogenic impacts on riverine ectotherms: a phylogeographic, ecological and conservation approach" will be focus on two Iberian riverine herptiles, Chioglossa lusitanica (Amphibia, Caudata) and Lacerta schreiberi (Reptilia, Squamata), that are known to be sensitive to climate and land-use change. This project will combine genetic (i.e. phylogeographic and gene flow) and ecological (i.e. habitat suitability and connectivity) information at a hierarchical level (entire range and fine-scale) to identify climatic and landscape features that promote species dispersal or serve as ecological barriers. Those outputs will be used to define priority riparian areas that will allow the long-term viability of riverine species and the health of riparian ecosystems.
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