GARCĂ­A Cristina

  • CIBIO/InBIO, Porto University, Porto, Portugal
  • Evolutionary Dynamics, Evolutionary Ecology, Evolutionary Theory, Population Genetics / Genomics, Quantitative Genetics, Species interactions
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My research interests focus on investigating the chances of remnant forest patches to persist, and eventually expand across managed landscapes, in a changing world where climate extremes are expected to increase in frequency and magnitude. The ability of these fragments to cope with anthropogenic and climate-driven changes depend on their genetic diversity and on the ecological services provided by frugivores and pollinators that transport their seeds and pollen grains (and the genes they encapsulate) across the landscape.

I combine genetic and genomic tools (NGS), long term field studies entailing a thorough environmental monitoring, ecological network tools, and novel modelization approaches to: (1) Investigate how the loss of plant dispersal ability that accompanies defaunation and fragmentation might shift plant distribution ranges; (2) Characterize lagged demographic and genetic population trends in response to land-use changes; and (3) Elucidate the functional relationship between population genetic diversity and their ability to cope with increasingly frequent climate extremes. Overall, my research ultimately provides scientific based guidelines to manage biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and services.

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