João Carvalho | October 24, 2014 - 15h20 | CIBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




Speciation is often viewed as a continuous process influenced by multiple mechanisms that interact during the build-up of barriers to gene flow between populations across time. Here we focus on genetic and morphological divergence between the two sister species of flat periwinkles, Littorina obtusata and L. fabalis, including ecotypic variation of the latter associated with different habitats. Two main regions of their distribution were independently studied with different molecular markers, the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Europe, highlighting how different processes can be involved in the diversification of flat periwinkles across different stages of the speciation process, with natural selection likely acting as a key player. The work presented here reveals the potential of this system as model to investigate how reproductive barriers evolve and interact with each other across the speciation continuum and, more specifically, to explore the topic of parallel ecological speciation.


Graduated in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology at Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa since 2011, João’s main research interests are related with the broad topic of ecological speciation. These interests have been at the basis of his work during the MSc thesis on the evolution of the flat periwinkles group, which was carried out under the supervision of Rui Faria (CIBIO/InBIO, Portugal and IBE, Spain) and Juan Galindo (University of Vigo, Spain). In this seminar, João will present the results obtained during his MSc thesis, which will soon be defended at the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa.


Image credits: Rui Faria