Research summary

My main research interest is to understand the mechanisms behind organismal responses to anthropogenic change. My approach to this challenging topic is to combine multiple methods from different fields in an integrative approach.

During my undergraduate studies, my Masters and my PhD and currently in my post doc, I have been moving and gaining experience across EcologyTaxonomy and Systematics and Biomechanics. Therefore, techniques and approaches from all these fields are also present in my publications. Until my first Post-Doc, however, my research was mainly focused on the field of Chronobiology, the study of biological rhythms in wild animals, ranging from mechanisms to ecology. Within this field I try to take an integrative approach and look at several levels, for example: (a) the understanding of underlying mechanisms of rhythmicity (e.g., endogenous rhythmic expression and how biological rhythms are generated and controlled); (b) how the orchestration of distinct rhythms take place (e.g., interaction of rhythms, hormonal control); (c) animals’ distinct timing strategies in their natural context (e.g., activity patterns, phenology); (d) how rhythms are shaped by natural selection (e.g., fitness consequences of mistiming, trade-offs, carry-over effects).

Avian annual temporal organization in a changing world

I study the annual rhythms of birds, more specifically the interaction of migration, moult and reproduction of the European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca).

I try to answer the question on how animals organize their annual cycle and how this organization can be disrupted by climate change. There is a balance between being on time and not overlapping consecutive stages, which is one of the essences of trade-offs throughout the annual cycle. Birds are interesting organisms for the study of annual rhythms due to the possibility of combining very different approaches to understand how organisms with complex annual cycles schedule the events throughout the year and respond to environmental changes. Their annual cycles involve at least a breeding and a moult event, but can be much more complex, especially in long-distance migrants.

Long-term data collection on annual rhythms can span decades for certain birds species. Moreover, no other taxon has such a number of specialized field techniques and equipment to study all sorts of behavioral and ecological traits as birds.

You can read more about this work by clicking [HERE].

Activity patterns in subterranean rodents

This project was part of a Brazil-Argentina cooperative research investigating the natural entrainment of the Tuco-tuco (Ctenomys aff. knighti), a South American subterranean rodent. In this work, I focused on the tuco-tucos’ daily activity patterns, combining field and laboratory studies. The results were an interesting contribution to the growing body of investigation on lab-field duality and the meaning of day-time activity in rodents.

You can read more about this work by clicking [HERE].

Bird systematics

I have worked with systematics of some Brazilian species of the families Tinamidae and Cracidae, solving some species- and subspecies-level issues. Knowledge of these species in Brazil is still incipient and studying them, defining their distribution, ecology and understanding their habitat requirements are critical for conservation efforts. Brazil is a megadiverse country and its flora and fauna still hide important discoveries. Besides any material and economic importance species may have, we also have a duty of preserving the ecosystems for their own intrinsic worth.

You can read more about this work by clicking [HERE].