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Helena Teixeira

Helena Teixeira, MSc.

Doctoral student


Project: Reconstructing the past: demographic fluctuations in dynamics landscapes modelled for mouse lemurs in Madagascar.



Marked climatic oscillations between glacial and interglacial periods had worldwide consequences for vegetation and consequently for animal population dynamics. Mouse lemurs (Microcebus spp.) are forest-dwelling primates’ endemic to Madagascar and are particularly impacted by these changes. Therefore, they provide an excellent study model to investigate the impact of the last glaciation on the species’ demographic dynamics. The present project aims to investigate the impact of the last glaciation on the demography of three mouse lemurs’ species (M. murinus, M. ravelobensis and M. arnholdi) in Ankarafantsika National Park and Montagne d’Ambre National Park using various Next Generation Sequencing technologies and different state-of-the-art modelling approaches.


Helena Teixeira, MSc.

Professional and scientific career

Genetic study of Guinea baboon (2 months). Internship under the Robert Glaser Travel Grant;  German  Primate  Center  GmbH  -  Leibniz-Institute  for  Primate  Research,  Göttingen, Germany; Coordination: Dr. Dietmar Zinner.


2015 - 2016

“Landscape genetics of Guinea baboon: assessing population structure, gene flow dynamics  and  functional  connectivity  with  molecular  and  spatial  tools”.  Master  thesis  in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (12 months). Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetics Resources, University of Porto, Portugal;  Coordination: Dr. MJ Ferreira da Silva and Dr. José Carlos Brito.


2014 - 2016

Master  student  in  Biodiversity,  Genetics  and  Evolution,  Research  Center  in Biodiversity and Genetics Resources, University of Porto, Portugal

2014 - 2015

“Exploring  Biodiversity  and  Ecological  Networks  for  Forest  Conservation  and Restoration  in  Gorongosa  National  Park,  Mozambique”  (15  months).  Research  fellowship. Centre  for  Funcional  Ecology,  University  of  Coimbra,  Portugal;  Coordination:  Dr.  Susana Rodriguez Echeverría.


2013 - 2014

“Genetic and demographic consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation in
Madagascar,  a  biodiversity  hotspot”  (12  months).  OptimusAlive!13  Research  fellowship  in
Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution. Population and Conservation Genetics Group - Instituto
Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal; Coordination: Dr. Lounès Chikhi.


Field Work in Madagascar (3 months): Installation of Sherman traps in order to capture
rodents  and  small  lemurs;  sampling  and  morphological  analysis  of  the  captured  individuals;
nocturnal  distance.  University  of  Mahajanga,  Madagascar;  Population  and  Conservation
Genetics Group, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Portugal. Coordination: Dr. Lounès Chikhi and
Dr. Jordi Salmona.
2012 - 2013

“Climate  Change  over  the  Western  Mediterranean  and  Atlantic  Islands:  a
dendroclimatic and genetic survey of the genus Juniperus” (18 months). Research fellowship.
Centre  for  Funcional  Ecology,  University  of  Coimbra,  Portugal.  Coordination:  Dr.  Susana
Rodriguez Echeverría and Dr. Cristina Nabais.

Genetic  study  of  Iberian-Wolf  from  non-invasive  fecal  samples*  (6 months). Training
Placement. Centre for Environmental Biology, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Coordination: Dr.


2008 - 2011

Licentiate  in  Biotechnology,  Coimbra  Higher  School  of  Agriculture,  Portugal;

Awards & Grants


Maria Sibylla Merian Award in the category “First Runner-up Poster” at Joint BES7/GTÖ Unifying Tropical Ecology meeting 2019 in Edinburgh (Scotland)



Robert Glaser Travel Grant, awarded by the German Gesellschaft für Primatologie, with
the research project “Modelling Guinea baboon gene flow in the entire distribution range to
improve local conservation management”.

Optimus Alive Research fellow in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution.


I. Articles in peer reviewed journals




Salmona, J; Rasolondraibe E; Jan F; Rakotonanahary AN; Ralantoharijaona T; Le Pors B; Ousseni DSA, Aleixo-Pais I; Marques AJD; Sgarlata GM; Teixeira H; Gabillaud V; Miller A; Ibouroi MT; Zaonarivelo JR; Andriaholinirina NV; Chikhi L (2018), Re-discovering the forgotten Phaner population of the small and isolated Analafiana forest (Vohémar, SAVA). Lemur News 21 (2018): 31-36




Teixeira H, Koop G, Zinner D, Brito JC, Ferreira da Silva MJ (2016). Modelling Gene Flow in the
Entire  Distribution  Range  of  Guinea  Baboons
,  FOLIA  PRIMATOL;  87:  165.  DOI:
Rodríguez-Echeverría, S., Teixeira, H., Correia, M., Timóteo, S., Heleno, R., Öpik, M. and Moora,
M.  (2016),  Arbuscular  mycorrhizal  fungi  communities  from  tropical  Africa  reveal  strong
ecological structure
. New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.14122
Teixeira, H., Rodríguez-Echeverría, S. (2016). Identification of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria
from  three  African  leguminous  trees  in  Gorongosa  National  Park
.  Systematic  and  Applied


Salmona, J, Teixeira H, Rasolondraibe E, Aleixo-Pais I, Kun-Rodrigues C, Rakotonanahary A, Jan
F, Rabarivola Cj, Zaonarivelo Jr, Andriaholinirina Volasoa N, Chikhi L (2015). Genetic Diversity,
Population  Size,  and  Conservation  of  the  Critically  Endangered  Perrier’s  Sifaka  (
). International Journal of Primatology, p-1-22. DOI 10.1007/s10764-015-9881-x


Teixeira, H., Rodríguez-Echeverría, S., & Nabais, C. (2014). Genetic diversity and differentiation
of Juniperus thurifera in Spain and Morocco as determined by SSR
. PloS one, 9(2), e88996.


II. Abstracts of international conferences and invited talks



Teixeira, H; Salmona, J; Radespiel, U. “Genomic assessment of hybridization between the distantly related Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis species in northwestern Madagascar” (Poster) April 8-12, 2019, Edinburgh (Scotland) – Joint BES7/GTÖ Unifying Tropical Ecology meeting 2019

Teixeira, H; Salmona, J; Radespiel, U. “Genomic signals of natural hybridization between Microcebus murinus and M. ravelobensis in northwestern Madagascar” (Talk) February 13-15, 2019, Göttingen (Germany) – 16th  Conference  of the  Gesellschaft  für Primatologie.




Teixeira, H; Campos, JC; Koop, G; Zinner D; Brito JC; Ferreira da Silva M; “Landscape genetics of
guinea  baboon:  assessing  population  structure,  gene  flow  dynamics,  and  functional
connectivity with molecular and spatial tools
” (Talk) November 28-29, 2016, Vairão, University of
Porto (Portugal)  - TiBE, Trends in Biodiversity and Evolution - Tropical Biodiversity.




Teixeira, H; Koop, G; Zinner, D; Brito, JC; Ferreira da Silva, MJ. “Modelling gene flow in the entire
distribution range of guinea baboons
”. November 17-20, 2015, Évora (Portugal) - V Iberian Primatological Conference.

Teixeira, H; Rodríguez-Echeverría, S; Correia, M; Timóteo, S; Heleno, R; “The biodiversity right beneath our eyes: Using above and belowground approaches to understand the ecological units of the Gorongosa National Park – Mozambique”. (Talk) June 16-19, 2015, Coimbra (Portugal) -  4º Encontro Ibérico de Ecologia.


Teixeira, H; Rodríguez-Echeverría, S; “Genetic diversity of bacteria nodulating leguminous trees
in the Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique)
”. June 16-19, 2015, Coimbra (Portugal) - 4º Encontro Ibérico de Ecologia.

Rodríguez-Echeverría,  S;  Teixeira,  H;  Nabais,  C;  Garcia,  C;  “Genetic  variation  of  Juniperus
phoenicea  turbinata  across  its  Western  distribution  range
”.  June  16-19,  2015,  Coimbra
(Portugal) - 4º Encontro Ibérico de Ecologia.




Teixeira,  H;  "Biodiversity  in  Madagascar  island:  a  field  work  approach". (Talk) December  3,  2013.
Centro de Ecologia Funcional, Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal) - Ciclo de Palestras Cientificas do CEF.
Teixeira H; DeSoto L; “Climate change over the Western Mediterranean and Atlantic Islands:
a  dendroclcimatic  and  genetic  survey  of  the  genus  Juniperus
”.  (Talk) November  13,  2012,  Vairão,
University of Porto (Portugal) - CIBIO meeting “The multifarious evolutionary consequences of dispersal and gene flow: mating patterns, colonization, contemporary adaptation and speciation”

Tel.:+49 511 953-8430
Fax.:+49 511 953-8586
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