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Alexandra Isabel Sá Pinto

Alexandra Isabel Sá Pinto

Post-Doc Researcher

Post-Doc Researcher
Member type
Former Members
CIBIO-InBIO, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas. 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal

Gene flow is one of the most important evolutionary forces, strongly influencing the possibility of differentiation of genetic, morphological, ecological, behavioural and chemical characters. Acknowledging its importance on the amounts and distribution of genetic diversity, my research interests focus on geographic, genomic and ecological processes affecting gene flow.


During my PhD I’ve studied the importance of geography and oceanographic barriers to gene flow on the evolution and diversification of limpets of the genus Patella.


My post-doc project, conducted in collaboration between CIBIO-InBIO and University of Vigo, focuses on the evolution of two distinct ecomorphs in Melarhaphe neritoides across the environmental gradient observed at the intertidal zone. This model organism will allow us to study the effects of natural selection in restricting gene flow and promoting genome divergence along ecological gradients. I’m also interested in the evolution of gamete recognition proteins (GRPs) as possible genes restricting gene flow between taxa. Particularly I’m interested in testing the role played by GRPs in speciation of taxa with internal fertilisation like the intertidal Gastropods belonging to the genus Littorina, and on the maintenance of the sympatric incipient species observed in Littorina saxatillisacross the intertidal zone. Finally I’m also interested in studying primary and secondary contact zones given their potential for revealing ecological, genomic and geographic factors affecting gene flow between taxa.


My interest in Biology and Evolutionary Science also extends to its communication to the public. I’m interested in developing strategies, methodologies and educational material that may contribute for increasing public understanding regarding the evolutionary process.

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