|Maria Joana Ferreira Silva|
My research interests are the impact of human activities in the conservation, socio-ecology and behavioural patterns of primate species. I started my research activities at the completion of my Licentiate degree (1999-2004) when I investigated a free-ranging troop of chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) at Cape Town (South Africa). I was interested to understand how their movement patterns, habitat use and behaviour changed after the removal of the main source of provisioned food. During my M.Sc. degree (2005-2009) at CIBIO and during my Ph.D. (2008-2012) at Cardiff University, I investigated a virtually unstudied primate species - the Guinea baboon (Papio papio) threatened by hunting. I was interested in understand the impact of hunting pressure on the genetic diversity, population structure and dispersal patterns of the Guinea-Bissau population. I was also involved in a series of pioneering short-term projects: (1) characterization of the primate bushmeat trade in two urban markets in Guinea-Bissau; (2) description of hunting practices and genetic diversity of the lesser spot nosed guenon in the Bijagós archipelagos and (3) determination of “management units” of the Guinea-Bissau chimpanzee population using landscape genetic tools, funded by the appraised U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Great Ape conservation fund. I collaborated with three long-term projects: (4) baseline description of gastrointestinal parasites of primate species, (5) population structure of two African colobus monkeys in Cantanhez Forest National Park and (6) population structure and dispersal patterns of the Guinea baboon in Senegal. As a postdoctoral researcher at CIBIO/UP and Cardiff University (2013-2016), I will use landscape genetics tools to investigate the impact of human land use on the dispersal strategies of co-distributed primate species, with different social systems and ecological requirements. I aim at understanding the behavioural adaptations to habitat fragmentation and context-dependence dispersal strategies of different primate species to provide comprehensive information for management and conservation of threatened populations and their habitats.