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Raquel Videira do Amaral Garcia


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CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade de Évora, Casa Cordovil 2ª Andar, Rua Dr. Joaquim Henrique da Fonseca, 7000-890 Évora, Portugal
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The focus of my PhD is on the effects of climate change on the patterns of vertebrate species diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. I am using bioclimatic envelope models to forecast potential shifts in climatically suitable space for species of birds, mammals, amphibians and snakes. The modelling will be complemented by exploratory approaches using climatic data for the un-modelled (range-restricted) species. 

The aim of this macro-scale analysis is to identify potential high-priority biogeographical realms for species’ persistence through time, or climate change refugia. While the results will reflect the exposure of species to climatic changes, I am also interested in exploring the species’ sensitivity given by biological traits. 

My research is supervised by Miguel B. Araújo and Mar Cabeza, and funded by the Portuguese FCT. Most of my work is done at the Integrative Biology and Global Change Group at the National Natural Sciences Museum in Madrid (Spain), in collaboration with the Centre for Macroecology, Climate and Evolution at Copenhagen University (Denmark) and the Rui Nabeiro Biodiversity Chair. My research is also co-hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, where I intend to use the macro-scale results to explore the implications of climatic changes for conservation planning at a finer scale. 

Although an environmental engineer by training, I became interested in biodiversity while working in projects in Africa. My previous work in environmental research and consulting over six years in Africa spanned a range of issues from protected area assessment to community-based natural resource management. 

Later in 2009, I started working with Miguel Araújo and my focus turned to conservation planning under climate change.

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