About Me

I spent my whole childhood in a city named Sousa, just located in the dry lands of Paraíba. I naturally fell in love with the landscape that surrounded me: the Caatinga. My parents, agronomists and familiar with that vegetation used to explain me everything about thorny plants (especially), the animals, the periods of “droughts and floods” (we call the dry and rainy seasons, summer and winter, respectively)… but my true happiness as a child was to watch the dark sky during the floods and soon afterwards to be able to enjoy the rain in my backyard.

Still during my childhood I had my first passion for reptiles, the dinosaurs, once the city of Sousa houses the Dinosaur Valley, where we used to go to at weekends. This was my stimulus to have many posters glued on my bedroom wall, to have many books on this topic, and to know everything about extinct species. Yet in the dry lands of Paraíba, by the edge of São Gonçalo dam, I got my first snake before my five years old (the terror of any mother). The animals have always been my passion and were part of my childhood plays: I used to collected butterflies, to take lizards, I used to grow rabbits, and at the beach I used to pick crabs, sea biscuits… I could never grow a snake, though.

Even latent, the will to become a biologist seemed to be in my soul. I took my first course on environmental education at 13, promoted by the municipal city hall of Areia, a city to which I moved also in Paraíba (a highland inside Caatinga). There I had the opportunity to enter, for the first time, a reserve called “Parque Estadual Mata do Pau Ferro” (which currently my father manages) to make reforestation and to plant my first tree (checked).

I started the university when I was very young, and pursued a long academic journey. I concluded my bachelor’s degree at the State University of Paraíba (2004) in the city of Campina Grande. After that, I moved to another state in which I concluded my master’s degree at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (2006) in the city of Natal. I obtained my Ph.D at the São Paulo State University and Butantan Institute (2012). Nowadays, I am living in Göteborg (Sweden) where I am guest post-doc research at University of Gothenburg, supervised by Dr. Alexandre Antonelli. I am also post-doc reseacher at Federal University of São Paulo, supervised by Dr. Ricardo Sawaya, and research associate at the Zoology Museum of São Paulo, supervised by Dr. Hussam Zaher.

My childhood memories are always present and are my stimulus and willingness to keep studying. Since then I have always been interested in studying snakes inhabiting open landscapes.

When I am not researching, I also love practicing sports (especially running and cycling). I also love going to the movies, travelling, tracking, and having a good time with family and friends!

Current Positions

  • Postdoctoral researcher at The Antonelli Lab, University of Gothenburg.
  • Postdoctoral researcher in the Ecology and Evolution Post-graduation program, Federal University of São Paulo.
  • Research associate at the Museum of Zoology of University of São Paulo.

Research Groups (CNPq)

  • Natural history of vertebrates. State University of Campinas – UNICAMP (Lead by Dr. Ivan Sazima)
  • Ecology, systematic and evolution of snakes. Butantan Institute – IBU (Lead by Dr. Otavio A. V. Marques)
  • Systematic, biogeography and genetic diversity. Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP (Lead by Dr. Cristiano Feldens Schwertner and Dra. Samantha Koehler)
  • Sistematic, ecology and natural history of Neotropical amphibians. Federal University of Bahia – UFBA (Lead by Dr. Marcelo Felgueiras Napoli)

Keywords

Biodiversity, snakes, natural history, geographic distribution, biogeography, conservation, Caatinga, Cerrado, Chaco, Pantanal, Pampas, Neotropical region.

 

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