Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology


PhD, Professor

CBA research group(s):

Experimental Evolution

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Margarida Matos

Main Research Interests

My main research interests are Evolutionary Biology; Experimental Evolution; Local adaptation; evolutionary dynamics of fitness traits and molecular markers in real time evolution studies. The focus of my research is the study of the genetic basis of local adaptation, by characterizing real time evolution in Drosophila subobscura populations during adaptation to a novel environment (the laboratory). My studies include the analysis of evolutionary changes of phenotypic (life history, physiological, behavioural and morphological) traits, molecular markers, chromosomal inversions and genome-wide and transcriptomic patterns during laboratory adaptation. At present I am analyzing the evolutionary patterns of populations founded from contrasting latitudes, with the goal of understanding the role of history versus selection during adaptive evolution. Finally, I am approaching the issue of interactions between genetic drift and natural selection, by comparing the evolutionary fate of populations of contrasting size.​


Academic Qualifications

- 2008 Aggregation (University of Lisbon)

- 1997 PhD in Biology (Genetics) ( University of Lisbon)

Recent Publications

Bárbaro M., Mira M. S., Fragata I., Simões P., Lima M., Lopes-Cunha M., Kellen B., Santos J., Varela S.A.M., Matos M.* & Magalhães S.* 2015. Evolution of mating behavior between two populations adapting to common environmental conditions. Ecology and Evolution 5(8):1609–1617 [* joint last authors]

Matos M., Simões P., Santos M.A., Seabra S.G., Faria G.S., Vala F., Santos J. & Fragata I. 2015. History, chance and selection during phenotypic and genomic experimental evolution: replaying the tape of life at different levels. Front. Gene. 6:71. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00071​

Vala F. & Matos M. 2014. Pensar a nossa espécie à luz da teoria evolutiva: passado e presente. In: Professor Carlos Almaça (1934-2010) - Estado da Arte em Áreas Científicas do Seu Interesse. MJ Alves, A Cartaxana, AM Correia, LF Lopes (eds), Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Lisboa, pp. 197-237. ​

Fragata I., Lopes-Cunha M.,  Bárbaro M., Kellen B.,  Lima M., Santos M. A., Faria G. S., Santos M., Matos M. &  Simões P. 2014. How much can history constrain adaptive evolution? A real time evolutionary approach of inversion polymorphisms in Drosophila subobscura. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27(12): 2727-2738.

Santos M., Matos M. & Varela S. 2014. Negative public information in mate-choice copying helps the spread of a novel trait. The American Naturalist 184(5):658-672.

Fragata I., Simões P., Lopes-Cunha M., Lima M., Kellen B.,  Bárbaro M., Santos J., Rose M. R., Santos M. & Matos M. 2014. Laboratory Selection Quickly Erases Historical Differentiation. PLoS ONE 9(5):e96227.

Santos J., Pascual M., Simões P., Fragata I., Rose M.R. & Matos M. 2013. Fast evolutionary genetic differentiation during experimental colonizations. Journal of Genetics 92(2):183-194.

Magalhães S. & Matos M. 2012. Strengths and weaknesses of experimental evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27:649-650.

Matos M. 2012. Maternal effects can inflate rate of adaptation to captivity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109(36):E2380.

Matos M. 2012. A question never comes alone: comments on 'What is aging?' Front. Gene. 3:150. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00150.

Rose M. R., Flatt T., Graves J.L., Greer L.F., Martínez D.E., Matos M., Mueller L.D., Shmookler Reis R. J. & Shahrestani  P. 2012. What is aging? Front. Gene. 3:134. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2012.00134. 

Santos J., Pascual M., Simões P., Fragata I., Lima M., Kellen B., Santos M., Marques A., Rose M.R. & Matos M. 2012. From nature to the lab: the impact of founder effects on adaptation. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25:2607-2622.

Fragata I., Balanyà J., Rego C., Matos M., Rezende E. & Santos M. 2010. Contrasting patterns of phenotypic variation linked to chromosomal inversions in native and colonizing populations of Drosophila subobscura. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23(1):112-123.

Matos M. 2010. Playing Darwin. Part A. Experimental Evolution in Drosophila. Theory in Biosciences 129(2/3):89-96.

Rego C., Balanyà J., Fragata I., Matos M., Rezende E. & Santos M. 2010. Clinal patterns of chromosomal inversion polymorphisms in Drosophila subobscura are partly associated with thermal preferences and heat stress resistance. Evolution 64(2):385-397.

Rezende E.L., Balanyà J., Rodríguez-Trelles F., Rego C., Fragata I., Matos M., Serra L. & Santos M. 2010. Climate change and chromosomal inversions in Drosophila subobscura. Climate Research 43(1-2):103-114.

Santos M., Fragata I., Santos J., Simões P., Marques A., Lima M. & Matos M. 2010. Playing Darwin. Part B. 20 years of domestication in Drosophila subobscura. Theory in Biosciences 129(2/3):97-102.

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.

Simões P., Pascual M., Santos J., Rose M.R. & Matos M. 2009. Correction: Evolutionary dynamics of molecular markers during local adaptation: a case study in Drosophila subobscura. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9:133.

Simões P., Santos J. & Matos M. 2009. Experimental Evolutionary Domestication. Chapter 5. In Experimental Evolution: Concepts, Methods, and Applications of Selection Experiments, Garland T. & Rose M. R. (eds.), California University Press, 89-110.

Simões P., Pascual M., Santos J., Rose M.R. & Matos M. 2008. Evolutionary dynamics of molecular markers during local adaptation: a case study in Drosophila subobscura. BMC Evolutionary Biology 8:66.

Simões P., Santos J., Fragata I., Mueller L.D., Rose M.R. & Matos M. 2008. How repeatable is Adaptive Evolution? The role of geographical origin and founder effects in laboratory adaptation. Evolution 62(8):1817-1829.

Rego C., Santos M. & Matos M. 2007. Do species converge during local adaptation? A case study in Drosophila. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 80(4):347-357.

Rego C., Santos M. & Matos M. 2007. Quantitative genetics of speciation: additive and non-additive genetic differentiation between Drosophila madeirensis and Drosophila subobscura. Genetica 131(2): 167-174.

Rose M.R., Rauser C.L., Benford G., Matos M. & Mueller L.D. 2007. Hamilton's forces of Natural Selection after forty years. Evolution 61(6):1265-1276.

Simões P., Rose M.R., Duarte A., Gonçalves R. & Matos M. 2007. Evolutionary domestication in Drosophila subobscura. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20:758-766.

Ongoing Projects

  • History, chance and selection during local adaptation: a genome-wide analysis (PTDC/BIA-BIC/2165/2012)

  • Evolution of latitudinal clines in reverse: how much do populations converge under adaptation to a novel, common environment? (PTDC/BIA-BEC/098213/2008)


Other Information

- Member of the ‘Steering Committee’ of the European Science Foundation Research Networking Programme in ‘Thermal adaptation in ectotherms: Linking life history, physiology, behaviour and genetics (2006-2012).
- Member of the Editorial Board of 'Journal of Genetics', since January 2008, of 'Frontiers in Genetics' since 2012 and 'Frontiers in Evolutionary and Population Genetics' since 2014.
- International collaborations: Professor Mauro Santos(Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Facultat de Ciències, Departament de Genètica i Microbiologia, Spain); Professor Marta Pascual (Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat de Biologia, Departament de Genètica, Spain); and Professor Michael R. Rose (University of California, Irvine, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, U.S.A.).