Contacts Centre for Environmental Biology



CBA research group(s):

Experimental Evolution

Personal webpage

Team webpage

Sofia Gonçalves Seabra

Main Research Interests

My main area of scientific activity is Evolutionary Biology. In my current postdoctoral research I am applying genome-wide analysis to the study of local adaptation in Drosophila subobscura. By studying the evolutionary trajectories, at the genome level, of populations from contrasting latitudes while evolving in a new common environment, we aim to understand the genetic basis of adaptation and the relative roles of history, chance and selection in the process. Of particular interest is the adaptive role of chromosomal inversion polymorphisms in this species and one of my aims is to identify genes associated with specific inversions, contributing to understand their clinal patterns of variation.

Other areas of scientific activity include population genomics, phylogenetics and phylogeography in Mediterranean insect species and application of genetic and genomic tools to specific questions related to insect pest management and crop pollination.


Academic Qualifications

- 2007 - PhD in Biology (Evolutionary Biology) (University of Lisbon)
- 1998 - Degree in Biologia Aplicada aos Recursos Animais – variante de Recursos Terrestres, (University of Lisbon)

Recent Publications

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​

Rodrigues A.S.B., Silva S.E., Marabuto E., Silva D.N., Wilson M.R., Thompson V., Yurtsever S., Halkka A., Borges P.A.V, Quartau J.A., Paulo O.S. & Seabra S.G. 2014. New mitochondrial and nuclear evidences support recent demographic expansion and an atypical phylogeographic pattern in the spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera, Aphrophoridae). PLoS One 9(6):e98375.

Nunes V.L., Mendes R., Marabuto E., Novais B.M., Hertach T., Quartau J.A., Seabra S.G., Paulo O.S. & Simões P.C. 2014. Conflicting patterns of DNA barcoding and taxonomy in the cicada genus Tettigettalna from southern Europe (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Molecular Ecology Resources 14(1): 27-38.

Seabra S.G., Brás P.G., Zina V., Borges da Silva E., Rebelo M.T., Figueiredo E., Mendel Z., Paulo O.S. & Franco J.C. 2013. Molecular evidence of polyandry in the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Plos One 8(7):e68241.

Martins R.F., Zina V., da Silva E.B., Rebelo M.T., Figueiredo E., Mendel Z., Paulo O.S., Franco J.C. & Seabra S.G. 2012. Isolation and characterization of fifteen polymorphic microsatellite loci for the citrus mealybug, Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), and cross-amplification in two other mealybug species. Journal of Genetics 91(2):e75-8.

Pereira C.M., Rosado J., Seabra S.G., Pina-Martins F., Paulo O.S. & Fonseca P.J. 2010. Conus pennaceus: a phylogenetic analysis of the Mozambican molluscan complex. African Journal of Marine Science 32(3):591–599.

Seabra S.G., Pina-Martins F., Marabuto E., Yurtsever S., Halkka O., Quartau J.A. & Paulo O.S. 2010. Molecular phylogeny and DNA barcoding in the meadow-spittlebug Philaenus spumarius (Hemiptera, Cercopidae) and its related species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56(1):462-467.

Seabra S.G., Quartau J.A. & Bruford M.W. 2009. Spatio-temporal genetic variation in sympatric and allopatric Mediterranean Cicada species (Hemiptera, Cicadidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96(2):249-265.

Pinto-Juma G.A., Seabra S.G. & Quartau J.A. 2008. Patterns of acoustic variation in Cicada barbara Stål (Hemiptera Cicadoidea) from the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco. Bulletin of Entomological Research 98(1):1-14.

Seabra S.G., André G. & Quartau J.A. 2008. Variation in the acoustic properties of the calling songs of Cicada barbara and C. orni (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) at the individual and population levels. Zoological Studies 47(1):1-10.

Seabra S.G., Pinto-Juma G. & Quartau J.A. 2006. Calling songs of sympatric and allopatric populations of Cicada barbara and C. orni (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) on the Iberian Peninsula. European Journal of Entomology 103:843-852.

Pinto-Juma G., Simões P.C., Seabra S.G. & Quartau J.A. 2005. Calling song structure and geographical variation in Cicada orni Linnaeus (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Zoological Studies 44(1):81-94.

Sueur J.,  Puissant S., Simões P. C.,  Seabra S.G., Boulard M.  &  Quartau J.A. 2004. Cicadas from Portugal: revised list of species with eco-ethological data (Hemiptera: Cicadidae). Insect Systematics and Evolution 35:177-187.

Filipe A.F., Marques T., Seabra S.G., Tiago P., Ribeiro F., Moreira da Costa L., Cowx I.G. & Collares-Pereira M.J. 2004. Selection of priority areas for fish conservation in Guadiana River Basin, Iberian Peninsula. Conservation Biology 18(1):189-200.

Seabra S.G., Wilcock H.R., Quartau J.A. & Bruford M.W. 2002. Microsatellite loci isolated from the Mediterranean species Cicada barbara (Stal) and C. orni L. (Hemiptera, Cicadoidea). Molecular Ecology Notes 2:173-175.


Ongoing Projects

  • February 2014 – present : Post-doctoral researcher in the project  “History, Chance and Selection during Local Adaptation: a Genome-Wide Analysis” (PTDC/BIA-BIC/2165/2012) at M. Matos lab, Experimental Evolution Group, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, FCUL.


Other Information

Previous positions:
- 2007 - 2013 - Post-doctoral researcher at Computational Biology and Population Genomics Group, Centro de Biologia Ambiental, FCUL. Grant FCT (SFRH/BPD/26365/2006).

Previous projects:
- 2011/2014  – CicadaCon – Testing congruence among patterns of variation in morphology, acoustics and genetic distance in the divergence of selected species of Mediterranean Cicadas (Insecta, Hemiptera). (PTDC/BIA-BIC/115511/2009)  – as Team Member.

- 2010/13  – Adaptive significance and genetic basis of a balanced colour-polymorphism. (PTDC/BIA-BEC/098783/2008) – as Principal Investigator.

- 2010/13  – FLYPRED – Has tiger-fly a role in biological control of protected crops? (PTDC/AGR-AAM/099723/2008) –  as Team Member responsible for project tasks.

- 2010/13  – Mealybug reproductive biology and pheromone-mediated interactions: a basis to develop ecological sound management tactics for pest mealybugs (PTDC/AGR-AAM/099560/2008) – as Team Member responsible for project tasks.