People

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BiMaLab connects people from many institutions working on several projects focusing the processes and patterns of vertebrate diversity and assembly rules. Most of us study mammals, birds, or both, but we are welcoming new researchers working on other organisms. Most are based in Porto Alegre, Brazil, but we are basically a network of people from many places with a passion for the study of evolutionary and ecological patterns and nature conservation. We are proud to be an example of nationality and gender equality in research.

 

Maria João Ramos Pereira (PhD Universidade de Lisboa 2011)
Assistant Professor at the Zoology Department, UFRGS. Member of the PPGBAN and PPGEcologia, UFRGS. Collaborator at CESAM and Wildlife Research UnitUA. Coordinator of the BiMaLab, in her research Maria João integrates studies in ecology, phylogeography and population genetics, ecology of infectious agents and ecological modelling, to understand ecological and evolutionary patterns of vertebrate diversity. In 2019 she was elected Vice-President of the Brazilian Bat Research Society – SBEQ.

 


Flávia Pereira Tirelli (PhD Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Postdoc fellow at PPGBAN, UFRGS, Flavia is interested in carnivore ecology and conservation, especially felids. She has been studying Neotropical felids since 2006, focusing on estimates of population density, behavioural patterns, geographic distribution, distribution modelling and diet, using a variety of methods (VHF telemetry, camera-traps, molecular tools, fecal samples, trichology, roadkills, etc). Nowadays, she aims at  assessing the effects of human disturbance and land-use change on the diversity, population density and behaviour of medium to large-sized mammals in the southernmost range of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. She is a research fellow of the Instituto Pro-Carnívoros since 2019.

 


Diego Dalmolin (PhD Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Graduated in Biological Sciences by the UNIVATES University Centre (2012), Diego recently finished his PhD at PPGBAN, UFRGS. His studies focused amphibian ecology in partnership with the Laboratório de Ecologia e Evolução de Vertebrados Terrestres, UNISINOS, with a special emphasis on patterns of species richness, distribution and co-occurrence at different spatial and temporal scales. He is also a science teacher at a state school.

 


Ana Catarina Lino (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2019)
Ana just finished her PhD at UA, collaborating with UFRGS and UFMS. Her current research focused the genetic consequences of habitat heterogeneity in tropical bats. She graduated in Biology and Geology and has an MSc in Applied Biology (Ecology, Biodiversity and ecosystem management).

 


Rafael Imlau Cardoso (MSc Universidade Regional Integrada do Alto Uruguai e das Missões 2016)
Rafael graduated in Biological Sciences (2013) and has a Master degree (2016) in Ecology. He is a PhD student at PPGEcologia/UFRGS, and he employs the geometric morphometrics toolkit to study patterns of morphological evolution in cranial and post-cranial elements of phyllostomid bats.

 


Adriana Arias Aguilar (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Currently, Adri is a Ph.D. student at PPGBANUFRGS, and her research interests include mammal ecology, especially of neotropical bats. Mainly, she focuses on the study of the sounds emitted by bat species and how those sounds can be used to understand some ecological processes. Her work has focused mainly on using bioacoustics as a tool for studying the patterns of activity of insectivorous bats at different landscape and climate conditions and species acoustic identification.
Furthermore, she is interested in bat conservation and in illustration as a tool for environmental education. She coordinates the Campos Sulinos Secretariate of the Brazilian Bat Research Society – SBEQ.

 


Danielle Franco (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Interested mainly in ecology and bird conservation, Dani is responsible for the project Conservation of birds in the Atlantic Forest: present and future of deforestation and climate change at multiple scales. Graduated in Biological Sciences from UFRGS, she is currently a PhD Student at PPGBAN, UFRGS. She was research fellow under the SISBIOTA project in the same university from 2011 to 2013.

 


Lana Resende de Almeida  (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Currently, Lana is a PhD student at the PPGBAN, UFRGS and her research involves ecological aspects of neotropical mustelids. During her MSc Lana worked on tthe influence of the quality of water on the occurence of the Neotropical Otter. Her research interests within mammalogy are ecology and conservation of carnivores. She graduated in Biological Sciences, UFRJ and was a CNPq fellow during her graduation period (2009-2013). In addition, she holds a postgraduate degree in Environmental Licensing and Management from UCAM (2019).

 


Filipa Peste (MSc Universidade de Évora 2008)
Filipa is currently a PhD student at UA, collaborating with UFRGS, UnB and UFRJ. She is looking on the bright side of night, as her PhD projects aims at revealing the cryptic bat fauna of the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot. Filipa graduated in 2002, UA, and until now her research focused several aspects of the ecology and conservation of birds and mammals, including the use of birds as indicators of environmental quality or towards the search of integrated solutions for managing biodiversity in wind farms, particularly the mitigation and compensation of impacts on birds and bats.

 



Cíntia da Costa (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Cíntia recently started her MSc at PPGecologia – UFRGS. She is mainly interested in ecology, biogeography, evolution and conservation of mammals, especially of tropical bats. In her dissertation she will evaluate the conectivity of the Pampa landscape for bats from different guilds of space use through occupancy models based on acoustic detection. She coordinates the Communication Secretariate of the Brazilian Bat Research Society – SBEQ.

 


Erika Sant’Anna Petzhold (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018).
Recently graduated in Biological Sciences, Erika’s main interests include ecology, evolution and conservation of birds. She recently started her Msc at PPGBAN/UFRGS and in her dissertation will evaluate the landscape connectivity for birds from different trophic guilds in the Pampa biome.

 


Patrícia Paludo (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Patrícia recently graduated in Biological Sciences. She was a Scientific Initiation Scholar at the Ichthyology Laboratory and Extensionist at the Tutorial Education Program (PETBiologia-UFRGS). She worked as Student Representative on the Board of the Institute of Biosciences and she was involved in the organization of various activities such as Academic Weeks and Weeks of Gender and Sexuality. Her BSc dissertation focused Fragilities and Potentialities of Environmental Education practices in Conservation Units in Rio Grande do Sul. She recently started her MSc at PPGBAN-UFRGS, and will develop occupancy models for threatended birds in the Pampa biome.

 


Diego Esquivel (BSc Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Colombia)
Diego is MSc student at PPGBAN, UFRGS. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology at Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá D.C., Colombia. During his graduation he studied bat´s diversity patterns in the oriental foothills of Colombia. His research interests include systematics, taxonomy, evolution and conservation of mammals, mainly bats. During his MSc he will search to clarify the systematics and evolution of the neotropical bat genus Lophostoma. 

 


Rogério Nunes Oliveira (MSc Universidade Estadual de Goiás, 2019)
PhD student at PPGBANUFRGS, Rogério has worked with mammals, especially felids. His PhD project focus the  conservation of the largest neotropical felid, the jaguar (Panthera onca) across its neotropical distribution. During his graduation, he worked with aspects of the reproductive success of native plant species in the Cerrado biome, and during his masters’ studies he investigated whether Fidicina mannifera (Cicadidae) could promote a pulse of nutrients in two cerrado phytophysiognomies.


Luana Biz (MSc Universidade do Extremo Sul Catarinense, 2019)
PhD student at PPGEcologia/UFRGS, Luana is Bachelor in Biological Sciences and has an MSc in Environmental Sciences, UNESC, and also a member of LABZEV. She works in mammal ecology and biology, with focus on parasitology, particularly ecological interactions between bats and their ectoparasites (Diptera) since 2016. During her PhD Luana will seek to understand patterns of those interactions in the Neotropic.



Rhian Vilar da Silva Vieira (BSc Universidade Estadual da Paraíba 2017)
Currently, Rhian is an MSc student af the PPGBAN/UFRGS, with interest in studies of biogeography, ecology and conservation of carnivores. His research is focused on ecological niche modeling and potential distribution of the genus Procyon.

 


Pedro Blaya Luz (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Pedro just finished his MSc at PPGEcologia/UFRGS. He graduated in Biological Sciences, UFRGS, and worked with sea turtles for the most part of his graduation, both with nesting females and hatchlings, at Projeto TAMAR, and with stranded animals at UFRGS. In his dissertation Pedro modelled sea turtle strandings in the coast of Rio  Grande do Sul.

 


Fernanda Ribeiro da Silva (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Fernanda worked as a biologist at the Canoas Zoo where she dealt with wild animals that were kept ilegally in captivity or that arrived at the zoo due to human-wildlife conflicts. Her interests include wildlife management, especially decision-making on the destination of ilegally kept animals. In her MSc she investigated the origin of the animals received at zoos of the Porto Alegre region with the final goal of contributing to better decision-making on their destination and, when possible, their return to nature.

 


Isadora Brauner Lobato (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Isadora just finished his MSc at PPGEcologia/UFRGS. Her research interests include ecology and conservation of mammals. She has particular interest in population ecology, mostly focusing bats. In her dissertation she focused on population ecology of the Brazilian free-tailed bat. She graduated in Biological Sciences at UFPel.

 


Paula Elisa Horn (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Paula recently finished her MSc at PPGBANUFRGS. She evaluated the potential effects of anthopogenic changes in land-use on the population density and occupancy of margay (Leopardus wiedii), an arboreal wild cat, in the Atlantic Forest of the south of Brazil.


Ana Mastella (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Ana recently finished her MSc at PPGBANUFRGS, and her research interests include multiple aspects of mammal biology and ecology. She has particular interest in developing alternative non-invasive methods or species identification, mostly focusing carnivores, and her MSc project aimed at distinguishing Neotropical felids by feacal chromatography.

 



Dênis Sana (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2013)
Presently a PhD student at PPGBANUFRGS, Dênis worked for the Fauna Sector of the Biodiversity Department of the Rio Grande do Sul State Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development (SEFAU/DBIO/SEMA-RS), between 2014 and 2016. Specialist in biology and ecology of mammals, he is a research associate of the Instituto Pro-Carnívoros since 1998, and presently its Vice-President. He focus on the study, management and conservation of the big Neotropical cats, puma and jaguar. His current interests include the practical and legal aspects of nature and wildlife management.

 


Mateus Zimmer (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Mateus just graduated in Biological Sciences at UFRGS. He will now continue his studies at BiMaLab during his MSc at PPGEcologia/UFRGS.  He was the first scientific initiation volunteer at BiMa-Lab and was also scientific initiation fellow at the Rio Grande do Sul Zoobotanical Foundation  His main interests include ecology, systematics and evolution of carnivores, especially of the Canidae and Ursidae.

 


Beatriz Ribeiro de Figueiredo (BSc Federal University of Sergipe 2019)
Beatriz is a master’s student at PPGBANUFRGS. Her interests include animal behavior, ecology and conservation of mammals, mainly carnivores. Her dissertation will describe and compare the vocalizations issued by cats of the genus Leopardus.

 


Filipe Ferreira (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Filiipe holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences (UFRGS). He is interested in all groups of mammals, especially primates and carnivores. He has particular interest in conservation, evolution, biogeography, taxonomy and  systematics. Currently he is working with digital media towards animal conservation through the creation of the Fauna Digital do Rio Grande do Sul and he is a MSc student at PPGBotânica/UFRGS.

 


Valéria Machado (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Valéria recently graduated at UFRGS. She will now start her MSc at  PPGBANUFRGS. Her dissertation will focus on biogeographical aspects of the Mammalia. She is interested in ecology, behavior and conservation of mammals. During her graduation she studied the diversity of reproductive behaviour and parental care in mammals and the genetic and epigenetic factors related to the behavioural phenotype.

 


Jordani Dutra (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Jordani graduated in Biological Sciences at UFRGS. He will now continue his studies at BiMaLab during his MSc at PPGBANUFRGS,  He was a scientific initiation student at BiMa-Lab. He is interested in the evolution, ecology and conservation the Carnivora. Currently he is studying the ecology of the Procyonidae.

 


Marcelo Gehlen de Oliveira (BSc Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Marcelo is a master’s student at PPGBAN – UFRGS. His dissertation focuses in estimating the effects of land use by the agricultural industry and the presence of invasive species on the probability of occupation of several species of
terrestrial mammals of the Uruguayan Savanna.

 


Vagner Hipólito
Vagner Hipólito is a Biology student at UFRGS. He is interested in bioacoustics and its possibilities, currently starting his work with Chiroptera, making the identification of species through his unique echolocation calls.

 


Valentino Juarez Silva
Valentino is currently our youngest at BiMaLab. He just started his undergraduate studies at UFRGS. He is mainly interested in evolution and zoology and presently he is working with the Chiroptera specimen collection at BiMaLab.

 


Closest Partnerships  

Ludmilla M.S. Aguiar (PhD University of Brasília 2000)
Assistant Professor at the Zoology Department, UnB, PPGZoologia an PPGEcologia. She graduated at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in 1987. Ludmilla was one of the founders of the Brazilian Bat Research Society in 2006, and is one of the greatest Chiroptera experts in Brazil. She has works on bat population and community ecology, ecosystem services, acoustics and conservation and management. Winner of the Spallanzani Award in 2017.

 



Carlos Fonseca (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2004)
Associate professor with habilitation at UA, Carlos’s interests focus on wildlife ecology and management with a special emphasis on game and threatened species population dynamics and modelling. He is a people person and takes that to the letter as most of the projects he is involved with contain a strong human dimension, searching the conciliation of cultural preservation and wildlife conservation. He is the coordinator of the Wildlife Research UnitUA.

 


Erich Fischer (PhD Universidade Estadual de Campinas 2000)
Associate Professor at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, UFMS. Member of the graduate programs in ecology (UFMS), animal biology (UFMS), and botany (INPA). He has studied bat biology, pollination, seed ecology and plant growth; and collaborates in studies of genetic, landscape ecology and diversity of mammals and aquatic plants.

 


Enrico Bernard (PhD York University 2002)
Associate Professor at the Department of Zoology at the Federal University of Pernambuco, UFPE in Recife, where he coordinates the Laboratory of Applied Science to Biodiversity Conservation. His research focuses Zoology and Ecology, with emphasis on Chiroptera and Biodiversity Conservation. He is the Taxon Coordinator for the Assessment of the Conservation Status of Bat Species in Brazil. President of the Brazilian Bat Reseach Society (SBEQ) 2019-2021.

 


Danny Rojas Martin (PhD Universidad de Vigo 2013)
Assistant Professor at Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, Colombia. He studies the macroevolutionary mechanisms that explain the diversity of life. In his research Danny combines tools from ecology, biogeography and evolutionary biology to understand the diversification of leaf-nosed bats of the New World, one of the most ecologically diverse family of mammals. He also collaborates in the study of the evolution of reproductive adaptations and strategies in flowering plants, with a special focus on orchids.

 


Lia Vasconcelos (PhD Universidade Nova de Lisboa 1997)
Professor at New University of Lisbon and researcher at MARE she focus her research on innovative decision-making processes and new forms of governance in collaborative public policy in planning and environmental management. Principal Investigator and Founder of the WTeamUP Participation and Empowerment (since 2001) a group of action-research in collaborative processes, that aims to improve group dynamics and interactive methodologies. She has several scientific papers published and she has been editor/co-editor of several books.

 


Eduardo Ferreira (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2011)
Post-doc fellow and Invited Assistant Professor at the Biology Department, UA. Researcher at CESAM and Wildllife Research Unit, where he is responsible for the wildlife genetics lab. Eduardo’s main research interests include biodiversity and wildlife conservation and management; and phylogeography, population and forensic genetics applied to the context of conservation and management, with a major focus on mammals and herps.

 


Rita Gomes Rocha (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2011)
Post-doctoral Researcher at INBIO/CIBIO, University of Porto. Her research interests and expertise are centered in the interconnected disciplines of evolutionary biogeography, phylogenetics and systematics. She has special interest in use molecular tools to study genetic diversity and to understand the interaction of historical and ongoing evolutionary processes and patterns.

 


Alumni                                                   

Manoel Fontoura Rodrigues (PhD Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul 2013)
Postdoc researcher at BiMa-Lab, Manoel graduated in Biological Sciences, UFRGS (2006). MSc and PhD (Zoology) at PUCRS (2009 and 2013). Manoel has experience in genetics, and conservation, mostly focusing in the areas of taxonomy, population genetics, evolution, ecology and conservation of Neotropical mammals.


Josh Nightingale (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2016)
Josh recently finished his masters degree under the IMAE Program. He is mainly interested in bird ecology, especially migration, as well as wetland conservation. While conducting the second year of his master at  the PPGEcologia/UFRGS,  he was responsible for the project Habitat quality and foraging strategies of the Sanderling, Calidris alba, at Lagoa do Peixe, RS, Brazil. Josh graduated in Ecology at UEA with a year at UNM.


Carmen Dionísio (MSc Universidade de Aveiro 2016 & Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso do Sul 2017)
Carmen is mostly interested in bird ecology and conservation. She was a researcher under the PELD – Serra da Bodoquena project at UFMS and she responsible for the project Parrots response to environmental change: ecology and characterization of flagship species in biodiversity conservation. She graduated in Biology, UA and was a research fellow at EcoAves, UFT from 2012 to 2013.


Thais Stefanski Chaves  (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
During her MSc at PPGBANUFRGS Thais focused on the management and effectiveness of protected areas, and on ecological studies applied to the management of protected areas and wildlife. She graduated in Biological Sciences, UFRGS and specialized as Technician in Environmental Monitoring and Control, IFRS.


Amrita Menon (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Amrita joined BiMaLab under the IMAE Program in PPGEcologia/UFRGS. Amrita is mainly interested in ecology and conservation of mammals. Her dissertation focused the influences of different land uses on the diversity of bats using bioacoustics as a tool and also validating the use of automatic bat call analysis. Graduated with a BSc Environmental Science from UoB in 2013 and worked on marine sea turtles in India before the masters. She is currently  back in India working on conservation unit management.


Gisele Bolze (MSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Gisele recently finished her MSc at PPGBANUFRGS, and in her dissertation she focused on habitat use and activity patterns of the ocelot in the Southern limit of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Her research interests include carnivore ecology and conservation, especially within the small Neotropical felids. She graduated in Biological Sciences, UFRGS.

 


Paloma Linck (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Recently graduated, Paloma is focusing her research on spatial-temporal patterns of activity and population density of Puma concolor (Carnivora: Felidae). Her main research interests are carnivore ecology, conservation, and biogeography. She has recently started her MSc at the University of Aveiro, Portugal.


Ítalo Rakowski (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Ítalo recently graduated at UFRGS. His main interestes are in conservation, ecology, evolution and biogeography of mammals. Currently, Ítalo is working on a research about the importance of zoos for environmental education.


Natielle Pires (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2017)
Natielle is focusing her research on spatial-temporal patterns of activity of the lesser grison Galictis cuja (Carnivora, Mustelidae).  She is interested in systematics, ecology, ethology and mammal conservation, with emphasis on mustelids.


Pedro Papini (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2018)
Pedro recently graduated in Biological Sciences. Between 2016 and 2018 he worked has volunteer scientific initiation fellow at BiMa-Lab. He was mainly interested in the study of primates, with focus on their ecology, evolution, behavior and conservation. Presentlyhe is more interested in sustainability aspects, especially those associated with recycling.


Mariana Scain Mazzochi (BSc Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul 2019)
Recently graduated at UFRGS, Mariana was a scientific iniciation fellow at BiMa-Lab. Within ornithology, her main research interests are ecology, systematics, conservation and migration, especially of shorebirds and seabirds. She has just started her MSc at PPGO/FURG.


João Luís Carvalho (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2019)
João recently concluded his PhD at University of Aveiro. In the last years he studied aspects of population biology, ecology and management of ungulates and carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula. As a PhD student he evaluated the role of bottom-up processes on disease and population dynamics of large herbivore populations.


Milene Matos (PhD Universidade de Aveiro 2011)
Collaborator at the Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Biology, UA & CESAM. Her research spans biodiversity conservation, natural resources management, and environmental education. She is focused on science communication and outreach, coordinating several projects on sustainability, aiming at building bridges between science and people. Milene is the responsible for the image of the Wildlife Research Unit and for the beautiful logo of BiMa-Lab.