Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


PhD, Academics

CBA research group(s):

Evolutionary Genetics

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Maria Manuela Coelho

Main Research Interests

My present interest is to apply wide-approach genomic methodologies to answer new questions in functional genomics, particularly in non-model organisms, relating evolution to ecology and development. I have developed candidate genes for sex determination in fish and candidate genes with putative adaptive role. The study of these genes within natural populations will permit us to understand their role in selective/adaptative changes and what potential role they play in the diversifications of natural populations. Moreover, I am continuing studies on phylogeny and phylogeography mainly of freshwater fish.


Academic Qualifications

- 2000 Application in Biology (University of Lisbon)

- 1988 Ph.D. in Ecology and Systematics ( University of Lisbon)

- 1976 5-year college graduation in Biology (University of Lisbon)

Recent Publications

Garcia T.I., Matos I., Shen Y., Pabuwal V., Coelho M.M., Wakamatsu Y., Schartl M. & Walter R.B. 2014. Novel Method for Analysis of Allele Specific Expression in Triploid Oryzias latipes Reveals Consistent Pattern of Allele Exclusion. PLoS ONE 9(6):e100250.

Amaral A.R., Lovewell G., Coelho M.M., Amato G. & Rosenbaum H.C. 2014. Hybrid speciation in a marine mammal: The Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene). Plos One 9(1):e83645.

Aboim M. A., Mesquita N., Drago M., Coelho M.M. & Alves M.J. 2013. Assessing inter-drainage connections: patterns of genetic diversity in an Iberian cyprinid fish. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 109(3):656–669.

Collares-Pereira M.J., Matos I., Morgado-Santos M. & Coelho M.M. 2013. Natural Pathways towards Polyploidy in Animals: The Squalius alburnoides Fish Complex as a Model System to Study Genome Size and Genome Reorganization in Polyploids. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 140(2-4):97-116.

Jesus T.F., Inácio A. & Coelho M.M. 2013. Different levels of hsp70 and hsc70 mRNA expression in Iberian fish exposed to distinct river conditions. Genetics and Molecular Biology 36:61-69.

Amaral A.R., Beheregaray L.B., Bilgmann K., Boutov D., Freitas L., Robertson K.M., Sequeira M., Stockin K.A., Coelho M.M. & Möller L.M. 2012. Seascape genetics of a globally distributed, highly mobile marine mammal: the short-beaked common dolphin (genus Delphinus). Plos One 7(2):e31482.

Amaral A.R., Jackson J.A., Möller L.M., Beheregaray L.B. & Coelho M.M. 2012. Species Tree of a Rapid Radiation: the Subfamily Delphininae (Cetacea, Mammalia). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 64:243-253.

Amaral A.R., Beheregaray L.B., Bilgmann K., Freitas L., Robertson K.M., Sequeira M., Stockin K.A., Coelho M.M. & Möller L.M. 2012. Influences of past climatic changes in the phylogeography of a cosmopolitan marine top predator, the common dolphin (genus Delphinus). Molecular Ecology 21(19):4854-4871.

Inácio A., Pinho J., Comai L. & Coelho M.M. 2012. Global Analysis of the small RNA transcriptome in different ploidies and genomic combinations of a vertebrate complex - the Squalius alburnoides. Plos One 7:e41158.

Lopes-Cunha M., Aboim M.A., Mesquita N., Alves M.J., Doadrio I. & Coelho M.M. 2012. Population genetic structure in the Iberian cyprinid fish Iberochondrostoma lemmingii (Steindachner, 1866): disentangling species fragmentation and colonization processes. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 105:559-572.

Molecular Ecology Resources Primer Development Consortium, Andris M., Arias M.C., Barthel B.L., Bluhm B.H., Bried J., Canal D., Chen X.M., Cheng P., Chiappero M.B., Coelho M.M., Collins A.B., Dash M., Davis M.C., Duarte M., Dubois M.-P., Françoso E., Galmes M.A., Gopal K., Jarne P., Kalbe M., Karczmarski L., Kim H., Martella M.B., Mcbride R.S., Negri V., Negro J.J., Newll A.D., Piedade A.F., Puchulutegui C., Raggi L., Samonte I.E., Sarasola J.H., See D.R., Seyoum S., Silva M.C., Solaro C., Tolley K.A., Tringali M.D., Vasemägi A., Xu L.S. & Zanón-Martínez J.I. 2012. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources Database 1 February 2012 – 31 March 2012. Molecular Ecology Resources 12:779–781.

Silva M.C., Silva M.F. & Coelho M.M. 2012. Anonymous nuclear loci in the Madeiran storm-petrel Oceanodroma castro and their applicability to other Procellariiform seabirds. Conservation Genetics Resources 4(4):1093-1095.

Sousa V., Beaumont M., Fernandes P., Coelho M.M. & Chikhi L. 2012. Population divergence with or without admixture: selecting models using an ABC approach. Heredity 108(5):521-530.

Amaral A.R., Möller L.M., Beheregaray L.B. & Coelho M.M. 2011. Evolution of 2 reproductive proteins, ZP3 and PKDREJ, in cetaceans. Journal of Heredity 102(3):275-282.

Cunha C., Doadrio I., Abrantes J. & Coelho M.M. 2011. The evolutionary history of the allopolyploid Squalius alburnoides (Cyprinidae) complex in the northern Iberian Peninsula. Heredity106(1):100–112. 

Matos I., Sucéna E., Machado M., Inácio A., Gardner R., Schartl M., Coelho M.M. 2011. Ploidy mosaicism and gene expression in the allopolyploid Squalius alburnoides. BMC Genetics 12(1):101.

Silva M.C., Duarte M.A. & Coelho M.M. 2011. Anonymous nuclear loci in the white-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina and their applicability to other Procellariiform seabirds. Journal of Heredity 102(3):362-365.

Waap S., Amaral A.R., Gomes B. & Coelho M.M. 2011. Multi-locus species tree of the genus Squalius (Leuciscinae: Cyprinidae) from western Iberia: new insights into evolutionary history. Genetica 139:1009-1018.

Aboim M.A., Mavárez J., Bernatchez L. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Introgressive hybridization between two Iberian endemic cyprinid fish: a comparison between two independent hybrid zones. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23(4):817-828.

Amaral A.R., Silva M.C., Moller L.M., Beheregaray L.B. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Anonymous nuclear markers for cetacean species. Conservation Genetics 11(3):1143–1146.

Collares-Pereira M.J. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Reconfirming the hybrid origin and generic status of the Iberian cyprinid complex Squalius alburnoides. Journal of Fish Biology 76(3):707-715.

Henriques R., Sousa V. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Migration patterns counteract seasonal isolation of Squalius torgalensis, a critically endangered freshwater fish inhabiting a typical Circum-Mediterranean small drainage. Conservation Genetics 11(5):1859-1870.

Inácio A., Matos I., Machado M. & Coelho M.M. 2010. An easy way to characterize the genomic composition of allopolyploids: the example of the Iberian cyprinid Squalius alburnoides. Journal of Fish Biology 76(8):1995–2001.

Matos I., Machado M., Sucena E., Collares-Pereira M.J., Schartl M. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Evidence for hermaphroditism in the Squalius alburnoides allopolyploid fish complex. Sexual Development 4(3):170-175.

Pala I., Schartl M., Brito M., Vacas J.M. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Gene expression regulation and lineage evolution: The North and South tale of the hybrid polyploid Squalius alburnoides complex. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277(1699):3519-3525.

Salgueiro P., Palmeirim J.M. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Lack of gene flow between the insular bat Nyctalus azoreum and its mainland ancestor Nyctalus leisleri: evidence from microsatellites. Folia Zoologica 59(1):26-34.

Simões P., Pascual M., Coelho M.M. & Matos M. 2010. Divergent evolution of molecular markers during laboratory adaptation in Drosophila subobscura. Genetica 138(9-10):999-1009.

Sousa V., Penha F., Pala I., Chikhi L. & Coelho M.M. 2010. Conservation genetics of a critically endangered Iberian minnow: evidence of population decline and extirpations. Animal Conservation 13(2):162-171.

Aboim M.A., Cunha C. & Coelho M.M. 2009. Redistribution of the geographical ranges of the Iberian Polylepis lineage (Cyprinidae, genus Pseudochondrostoma) based on phylogenetic analysis: implications for the historical rearrangements of Iberian NW drainages. Journal of Fish Biology 74:1337-1346.

Amaral A.R., Coelho M.M., Marugán-Lobón J. & Rohlf F.J. 2009. Cranial shape differentiation in three closely related delphinid cetacean species: insights into evolutionary history. Zoology 112:38-47.

Cunha C., Bastir M., Coelho M.M. & Doadrio I. 2009. Body shape evolution among ploidy levels of the Squalius alburnoides hybrid complex (Teleostei, Cyprinidae). Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(4):718-728.

Pala I., Schartl M.,Thorsteinsdóttir S. & Coelho M.M. 2009. Sex determination in the Squalius alburnoides complex: an initial characterization ofsex cascade elements in the context of a hybrid polyploid genome. Plos One 4(7):e6401.

Ramos-Pereira M.J., Salgueiro P., Rodrigues L., Coelho M.M.& Palmeirim J.M. 2009. Population structure of a cave-dwelling bat, Miniopterus schreibersii: does it reflect history and social organization? Journal of Heredity 100(5):533-544.

Cunha C., Doadrio I. & Coelho M.M. 2008. Speciation towards tetraploidization after intermediate processes of non-sexual reproduction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 363(1505):2921-2929.

Moura T., Silva M.C., Figueiredo I., Neves A., Munoz P.D., Coelho M.M. &. Gordo L.S. 2008. Molecular barcoding of north-east Atlantic deep-water sharks: species identification and application to fisheries management and conservation. Marine and Freshwater Research 59(3):214-223.

Pala I., Coelho M.M. & Schartl M. 2008. Dosage compensation by gene-copy silencing in a triploid hybrid fish. Current Biology 18(17):1344-1348.

Pala I., Klüver N., Thorsteinsdóttir S., Schartl M. & Coelho M.M. 2008. Expression pattern of anti-Müllerian hormone (amh) in the hybrid fish complex of Squalius alburnoides. Gene 410(2):249-258.

Pires A.M., Magalhães M.F., Moreira da Costa L., Alves M.J. & Coelho M.M. 2008. Effects of an extreme flash flood on the native fish assemblages across a Mediterranean catchment. Fisheries Management and Ecology 15:49-58.

Salgueiro P., Palmeirim J.M., Ruedi M. & Coelho M.M. 2008. Gene flow and population structure of the endemic Azorean bat (Nyctalus azoreum) based on microsatellites: implications for conservation. Conservation Genetics 9(5):1163-1171.

Sousa V., Penha F., Collares-Pereira M.J., Chikhi L. & Coelho M.M. 2008. Genetic structure and signature of population decrease in the critically endangered freshwater cyprinid Chondrostoma lusitanicum. Conservation Genetics 9(4):791-805.

Amaral A.R., Sequeira M., Martínez-Cedeira J. & Coelho M.M. 2007. A first approach to the usefulness of cytochrome c oxidase I barcodes in the identification of closely related delphinid cetacean species. Marine and Freshwater Research 58:505-510.

Amaral A.R., Sequeira M., Martínez-Cedeira J. & Coelho M.M. 2007. New insights on population genetic structure of Delphinus delphis from the northeast Atlantic and phylogenetic relationships within the genus inferred from two mitochondrial markers. Marine Biology 151:1967-1976.

Crespo-López E., Pala I., Duarte T., Dowling T. & Coelho M.M. 2007. Genetic structure of the diploid-polyploid fish Squalius alburnoides in southern Iberian basins Tejo and Guadiana, based on microsatellites. Journal of Fish Biology 71:423-436.

Mesquita N., Cunha C., Carvalho G.R. & Coelho M.M. 2007. Comparative phylogeography of endemic cyprinids in the south-west Iberian Peninsula: evidence for a new ichthyogeographic area. Journal of Fish Biology 71:45-75.

Salgueiro P., Ruedi M., Coelho M.M. & Palmeirim J.M. 2007. Genetic divergence and phylogeography in the Genus Nyctalus (Mammalia, Chiroptera): implications for population history of the insular bat Nyctalus azoreum. Genetica 130:169-181.

Ongoing Projects

  • “Adaptação de peixes a mudanças ambientais por meio da identificação de marcadores moleculares” Cooperação Científica e Tecnológica FCT/CAPES (Portugal/Brasil). Coordenadora por Portugal.
  • “The mystery of sex bias in Squalius alburnoides complex”. An environmental and genetic approach”. PTDC/BIA-BIC/110277/2009.


Other Information

Researcher in-charge of the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology.
Coordinator of the Genetic Sub-Unit FFishGUL
Member of the Steering Commitee of the European Networking Programme on Frontiers of Speciation Research (FroSpects).