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Helena Isabel Sabino Marques

Helena Isabel Sabino Marques

PhD Student

Details
Position
PhD Student
Member type
Students
Degree
MSc
Address
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade de Évora, Casa Cordovil 2ª Andar, Rua Dr. Joaquim Henrique da Fonseca, 7000-890 Évora, Portugal
Groups

Conservation biology of mammals has long been my main field of interest. I began by studying stranding patterns of cetaceans along the Portuguese coastline during my graduation thesis, while working in a rehabilitation center for marine species (mainly marine mammals and turtles). I gained interest in the ecology of small mammals during my MsC in Conservation Biology where I studied the importance of natural and man-made linear structures (streams and roads) as habitats for these species. At this time i joined the Unit of Conservation Biology team from the University of Évora, and have since worked in different projects: population recovery of wild rabbits in south Portugal; wildlife road mortality monitoring; small mammal population dynamics in the vicinity of roads; implementation of mitigation actions on the impacts of a highway construction on a population of the threatened the Cabrera vole, to name some.
Since 2011 I’ve been working on my PhD, integrated in a broader research project aiming to provide insights on the factors affecting the persistence of metapopulations at different spatial and temporal scales in complex agricultural landscapes, using the Cabrera (Microtus cabrerae) and southern water voles (Arvicola sapidus) as model species. By combining different sampling (invasive versus non-invasive) and analytical approaches (ecological versus genetic), we intent on studying landscape functional connectivity and to model connectivity thresholds for metapopulation persistence, determining the main landscape drivers of patch occupancy and estimating the relative importance of patch and matrix features on voles colonization-extinction dynamics across gradients of patch-network structure and matrix composition. I am currently using spatially explicit capture recapture models to estimate Cabrera vole population densities in patchy environments, with data obtained from two distinct sampling techniques, live-trapping and non-invasive genetic sampling.

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