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TL Silva

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Teresa Luisa Silva
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I have a degree in Biology (Univ. Minho, Portugal) and 4 years of practical experience in molecular biology. Currently, I am a PhD student of the doctoral program BIODIV, Biodiversity, Genetic and Evolution of CIBIO/UP, supervised by José Carlos Brito and Paulo Célio Alves (CIBIO/UP) and Teresa Abáigar from Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (EEZA- CSIC) in Almeria, Spain. My interest research area is Conservation Genetics, particularly Population Genetics and Molecular Evolution. My research will focus to address conservation planning for the endangered Gazella dorcas and G. cuvieri populations, particularly, the development of models of species occurrence and of genetic variation in fragmented populations. North African gazelles are threatened by illegal hunting and loss of habitat due to overgrazing. These species are extremely interesting to study the human impact in wild populations’ survival.  A preliminary work, presented in the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group meeting (London, Mays 2012) about the diversity in Dorcas gazelle in its north-western African range, comprising Morocco and Mauritania showed that the wild populations and the captive population maintained in Almeria (Spain) exhibited higher levels of genetic diversity, than all captive and semi-captive populations across north-western Africa .These data should be considered to better implement a conservation action plan for the species.

During the field work in Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia in the last two years I have had the opportunity to collect non-invasive samples (faeces) of the target species (G. dorcas and G. cuvieri) and other that cohabit in the same distribution area (Gazella leptoceros, G. rufifrons, Nanger dama, Ammotragus lervia, Addax nasomaculatus, and Oryx dammah). Presently, I am trying to develop a study that provides a rapid identification of wild endangered ungulates, based on small fragments of DNA through faeces samples. This study will give us a tool to detect elusive species presence.  


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