Emina Šunje (Faculty of Sciences, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina) | December 2, 2016 – 12h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




The black salamander from Mt. Prenj (Salamandra atra prenjensis) is restricted to open alpine meadows of isolated mountain peaks in the Dinarides. The populations of this subspecies are fragmented and have different ecology compared to closely related, continuous populations of Salamandra atra atra occurring in forested areas in the Alps. This seminar will be organized in three chapters: the first chapter deals with evolution of morphological traits between these two isolated subspecies and its relation to different ecology/habitat of these individuals. The second chapter presents the (currently ongoing) comparative thermoregulation study of the two subspecies which will answer the question if thermal and hydric requirements for highest activity and best performance of these individuals are the same despite their different ecology? The third chapter deals with general biology of the species and will present the methodology used to assess the diet of individuals and population densities. The conclusion of the seminar is to present the implication of this work in field of species conservation planning.
I intend to present the work behind my PhD which, in broad sense, deals on ecology of the black salamander from Mt. Prenj and includes the implication of the findings I have been gathering in species conservation planning. I will present the results of the first part of my PhD, which I completely finished (comparative morphometrics), the methodology put forth and some results of the two remaining chapters.


Emina Šunje was born in 1987 in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina – B&H). Emina's work includes genetic and ecology studies of amphibians and reptiles (in broad sense: morphology, taxonomy, ethology and environmental studies for conservation purpose). She finished her undergraduate and graduate (Master's) degrees in Biology by the end of 2011, at the Faculty of Natural Sciences of the University of Sarajevo, researching molecular markers as estimators of diversity of the black salamander from Mt. Prenj. She began her career at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) as a teaching assistant in several courses in the field of molecular biology (2010- 2013). In 2013, she founded the first Herpetological Association in B&H: BHHU: ATRA (www.bhhuatra.com) through which she conducted several research projects such as investigation of olm distribution in B&H and research and protection of black salamander populations of the Dinarides , which is also the topic of her doctoral dissertation. Since May 2015, she is an employee at the Department of Ecology at the Faculty of Science of the University of Sarajevo. She enrolled in a PhD program at the same Faculty in January 2015. Her doctoral thesis is carried out with international and regional cooperation together with HHD Hyla (Croatia) and the University of Antwerp (Belgium) as a Join EU-SEE Erasmus Mundus grantee. During her short career, she is already the leader of six projects (6) concerning investigation and protection of biodiversity in BiH, and grantee of three scholarships (3). She published six papers (6) and two (2) educational brochures on the topic of biodiversity B&H. She attended various conferences and symposia, presenting both oral communications (6) and posters (3).


[Host: Guillermo Velo-Antón, Biodiversity of Deserts and Arid Regions]


Image credits: Emina Šunje