Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


PhD, Academics

CBA research group(s):

Experimental Evolution

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Francisco Dionísio

Main Research Interests

My main research interests are evolutionary ecology of microorganisms, with a focus on bacteria, viruses and plasmids. I study cooperation, competition, spite, mutualisms and sex in the microbial world, and their impact on pathogenicity and drug resistance. Evolutionary consequences of DNA conflicts in several systems, including plasmidic DNA and chromosomal DNA. My approach involves both laboratory work and theoretical research.


Academic Qualifications

- 2000 PhD in Microbiology (Paris VII University, Paris, France)

- 1995 5-year college graduation in Physics (Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon)

Recent Publications

Gama J.A., Reis A.M., Domingues I.L., Mendes-Soares H., Matos A.M. & Dionísio F. 2013. Temperate Bacterial Viruses as Double-Edged Swords in Bacterial Warfare. Plos One 8(3):e59043.

Gama J.A., Abby S.S., Vieira-Silva S., Dionísio F. & Rocha E.P.C. 2012. Immune Subversion and Quorum-Sensing Shape the Variation in Infectious Dose among Bacterial Pathogens. Plos Pathogens 8(2):e1002503.

Silva R.F., Mendonça S.C.M., Carvalho L.M., Reis A.M., Gordo I., Trindade S. & Dionísio F. 2011. Pervasive Sign Epistasis between Conjugative Plasmids and Drug-Resistance Chromosomal Mutations. Plos Genetics 7(7):e1002181.

Trindade S., Sousa A., Xavier K., Dionísio F., Ferreira M.G. & Gordo I. 2009. Positive epistasis drives the acquisition of multidrug resistance. Plos Genetics 5(7):e1000578.

Combadao J., Campos P.R.A., Dionísio F. & Gordo I. 2007. Muller´s ratchet in small world networks. Genetical Research 89(1):7-18.

Dionísio F. 2007. Selfish and spiteful behavior through parasites and pathogens. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9:1199-1210.

Dionísio F. & Gordo I. 2007. Controlling excludability in the evolution of cooperation. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9(2):365-373.

Campos P.R.A., Combadao J., Dionísio F. & Gordo I. 2006. Muller´s ratchet in random graphs and scale free networks. Physical Review E 74:042901.

Dionísio F. & Gordo I. 2006. The Tragedy of the Commons, the Public Goods Dilemma, and the meaning of Rivalry and Excludability in Evolutionary Biology. Evolutionary Ecology Research  8:321-332.

Dionísio F. 2005. Plasmids survive despite their cost and male-specific-phages due to heterogeneity of bacterial populations. Evolutionary Ecology Research 7:1089-1107.

Dionísio F., Conceição I.C., Marques A.C.R., Fernandes L. & Gordo I. 2005. The evolution of a conjugative plasmid and its ability to increase bacterial fitness. Biology Letters 1:250-252.

Gordo I. & Dionísio F. 2005. A non-equilibrium model for estimating the parameters of deleterious mutations. Physical Review E 71:031907.

Dionísio F., Matic I., Radman M., Rodrigues O. R. & Taddei F. 2002. Plasmids spread faster in heterogeneous bacterial populations. Genetics 162(4):1525-1532.

Other Information

Editor of the Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography. He has been reviewer for the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Genetics, PLoS Genetics PLoS ONE, The American Naturalist, Trends in Evolution and Ecology etc.

Member of the European Science Foundation pool of Reviewers (since 2008)