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Margareta Lakušić

Margareta Lakušić

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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I have obtained a Bachelor's degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology, and a Master's degree in Neurobiology at the Faculty of Biology, University of Belgrade, Serbia. However, the desire to work in the visible and touchable world drew me out of the neuroscience lab and brought me into the field lab. I joined the herpetological research team and I started working on the phenomenon of the stress response in free-ranging dice snakes (Natrix tessellata). I was involved in projects that deal with population ecology, morphology, evolutionary biology, ethology, ecophysiology and conservation of reptiles in Serbia and North Macedonia. In the near future I will also study the abundance, distribution and conservation status of highly endangered Meadow viper (Vipera ursinii macrops) in Serbia, which will be funded by the Rufford Foundation Grant.

I am currently working on my PhD project under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Martínez Freiría, Dr. Juan José Calvete and Dr. Ljiljana Tomovic. For my PhD project I will study diversification of Vipera ammodytes venom composition across the Balkan Peninsula, along with mapping current and predicting future snakebite hotspots. Analyzing venom variability at a local and regional scale can help in addressing the evolutionary and ecological drivers tailoring its diversity. One of the aims of this project is defining appropriate management strategies to successfully reduce snakebite incidence, mitigate the human-snake conflict and improve the quality of antivenoms.

I hope that my passion for reptiles, learning and knowledge-sharing will bring a small contribution to the current science, and if I manage to diminish the fear of snakes from at least one person I will know that I am on the right way! 

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