Raquel Vasconcelos

Raquel Vasconcelos
University of Porto | UP · BIOPOLIS

PhD

About

76
Publications
27,510
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
788
Citations
Introduction
Combining ecological modelling techniques with morphological and genetic data for assisting conservation planning using insular reptiles as privileged models.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - June 2022
University of Porto
Position
  • Researcher
Description
  • Systematics; Integrative Taxonomy; Biodiversity; Island Biogeography; Conservation Genetics; Conservation Planning; Ecological Modelling; Geographical Information Systems (GIS); Herpetology; Phylogenetics.
January 2018 - December 2018
University of Porto
Position
  • Consultant
Description
  • Scientific advisor for the study "The Impact of Science performed in Portugal“
June 2016 - June 2016
University of Cape Verde
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • invited lecturer of Molecular Biology in the Biological Sciences’ graduation course
Education
January 2009 - December 2017
University Pompeu Fabra
Field of study
  • Biology
January 2006 - May 2011
University of Porto
Field of study
  • Biology
September 2001 - December 2008
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Miralles, A., Vasconcelos, R., Perera, A., Harris, D. J. & Carranza, S. (2010). An integrative taxonomic revision of the Cape Verdean skinks (Squamata, Scincidae). —Zoologica Scripta, 40, 16–44. A comprehensive taxonomic revision of the Cape Verdean skinks is proposed based on an integrative approach combining (i) a phylogenetic study pooling all t...
Article
Full-text available
Aim To reassess the relationships between Tarentola geckos from the Cape Verde Islands by including specimens from all islands in the range. To determine the variation within forms by sequencing over 400 specimens, thereby allowing the discovery of cryptic forms and resolving some of the issues raised previously. This extensive sampling was also us...
Article
Full-text available
The importance of targeting ecological and evolutionary processes in reserve design has been widely acknowledged in the literature but rarely implemented on islands. Using Soco-tran reptiles as models, we aim to relate richness of widespread and restricted-range species directly with landscape variables and to compare the impact of setting conserva...
Article
Full-text available
DNA metabarcoding is widely used to characterize the diet of species, and it becomes very relevant for biodiversity conservation, allowing the understanding of trophic chains and the impact of invasive species. The need for cost‐effective biodiversity monitoring methods fostered advances in this technique. One question that arises is which sample t...
Article
Full-text available
The Madeiran wall lizard Teira dugesii is a relatively new species to the Azores Archipelago, where it was accidentally introduced about 150 to 200 years ago. This lacertid quickly became naturalised and now occurs in all the nine main islands of the Azores. At Praia Islet, off Graciosa Island, the Madeiran wall lizard was recently observed preying...
Article
Full-text available
Pseudoscorpions are known worldwide and yet are poorly studied mainly due to the difficulty of detecting them. Among their predators are ground-dwelling taxa, such as arthropods, amphibians, birds, and reptiles. Only four pseudoscorpion species are known to occur in the Cabo Verde Archipelago, and none in the Desertas Islands, located in the northw...
Chapter
Full-text available
Biodiversity loss is a hot topic. We are losing species at a high rate, even before their extinction risk is assessed. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List is the most complete assessment of all species conservation status, yet it only covers a small part of the species identified so far. Additionally, many of the exis...
Article
Full-text available
Research in Macaronesia has led to substantial advances in ecology, evolution and conservation biology. We review the scientific developments achieved in this region, and outline promising research avenues enhancing conservation. Some of these discoveries indicate that the Macaronesian flora and fauna is composed of rather young lineages, not Terti...
Article
Full-text available
The Macaronesian islands constitute an enormous reservoir of genetic variation of wild carrots (subtribe Daucinae; Apiaceae), including 10 endemic species, but an accurate understanding of the diversification processes within these islands is still lacking. We conducted a review of the morphology, ecology, and conservation status of the Daucinae sp...
Article
Full-text available
Tarentola gigas (Bocage, 1875) is the largest gecko living in the Cabo Verde Archipelago. It is subdivided into two subspecies, one confined to the Branco Islet, Tarentola gigas brancoensis (Schleich, 1984), and another to the Raso Islet, Tarentola gigas gigas (Bocage, 1875). These islets were classified as Integral Natural Reserves and further stu...
Article
The interaction between the Anthroposphere and the Biosphere has resulted in increasingly rapid biodiversity loss. This negative interaction is influenced by attitudes (feelings, actions), and perceptions) of humans towards certain species. Despite the importance of reptiles in food chains and ecosystem services, they are often negatively perceived...
Article
Our knowledge of the conservation status of reptiles, the most diverse class of terrestrial vertebrates, has improved dramatically over the past decade, but still lags behind that of the other tetrapod groups. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive evaluation (~92% of the world's ~1714 described species) of the conservation 1 Joint senior authors...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean monk seal Monachus monachus is one of the most threatened marine mammals, with only 600–700 individuals restricted to three populations off the coast of Western Sahara and Madeira (North Atlantic) and between Greece and Turkey (eastern Mediterranean). Its original range was from the Black Sea (eastern Mediterranean) to Gambia (wes...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of gecko of the genus Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described from São Nicolau Island, Cabo Verde Archipelago, and the Sal and Boavista island populations of Hemidactylus boavistensis (i.e., Hemidactylus boavistensis boavistensis comb. nov. and Hemidactylus boavistensis chevalieri comb. nov.) are recognized as subspecies. Hem...
Article
Full-text available
Although parasites represent a major component of biodiversity, they remain poorly assessed, especially in remote regions. In this study, we screened 461 reptiles from Socotra, the largest and most biologically diverse archipelago in Arabia. Using 18S rRNA primers, we detected various apicomplexan parasites, namely haemogregarines, sarcocystids, an...
Article
Full-text available
Cabo Verde Archipelago presents one of the largest knowledge gaps in the distribution and taxonomy of bats in the world. Old works indicated that there are five species classified as European taxa. We have conducted an integrative taxonomy to revise the systematic position and distribution of Cabo Verdean bats with molecular, morphological, and eco...
Article
Full-text available
The Socotra Archipelago is a unique hotspot of biodiversity, particularly for terrestrial reptiles (28 endemic out of 31 native species) whose ecology is known only in general terms. We describe the ecological preference and the daily activity of 21 species of terrestrial reptiles, geckos, lizards, skinks, snakes and chameleon, from the largest isl...
Article
Full-text available
Umbrella species are defined as species that can be rare and sensitive to human disturbance, whose protection may confer the protection of other co-occurring species. The dragon’s blood tree Dracaena cinnabari Balf.f. was already considered an umbrella species on Socotra Island (Indic Ocean, Yemen) due to its ecological importance for some native b...
Article
Full-text available
Dietary studies can reveal valuable information on how species exploit their habitats and are of particular importance for insular endemics conservation as these species present higher risk of extinction. Reptiles are often neglected in island systems, principally the ones inhabiting remote areas, therefore little is known on their ecological netwo...
Book
Full-text available
Este estudo fornece uma geografia e radiografia da ciência feita em Portugal, em geral e especificamente sobre as ciências do mar, durante o período compreendido entre 1987 e 2016. Com base num conjunto de indicadores, foi realizada uma análise dos recursos financeiros e humanos importantes na produção da ciência e dos resultados alcançados a parti...
Article
Full-text available
Over the previous decades, numerous studies focused on how oceanic islands have contributed to determine the phylogenetic relationships and times of origin and diversification of different endemic lineages. The Macaronesian Islands (i.e., Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canaries, and Cabo Verde), harbour biotas with exceptionally high levels of endemis...
Article
Full-text available
Trophic networks in small isolated islands are in a fragile balance, and their disturbance can easily contribute toward the extinction vortex of species. Here, we show, in a small Atlantic island (Raso) in the Cabo Verde Archipelago, using DNA metabarcoding, the extent of trophic dependence of the Endangered giant wall gecko Tarentola gigas on ende...
Article
Toads are likely to have been introduced to Qatar, but little information is available on toad populations in the country, including the species present and their probable origin. Therefore, we collected tissue samples for analysis from 32 toads found in six different locations in northern and central Qatar. Phylogenetic analysis based on16S rRNA m...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge on diet composition of a species is an important step to unveil its ecology and guide conservation actions. This is especially important for species that inhabit remote areas within biodiversity hotspots, with little information about their ecological roles. The emblematic giant wall gecko of Cabo Verde, Tarentola gigas, is restricted to...
Article
Full-text available
RESUMO A região Oeste africana apresenta uma das maiores falhas de conhecimento na distribuição e taxonomia das espécies, especialmente das menos conspícuas. Este trabalho apresenta um dos poucos estudos alguma vez realizado nas ilhas de Cabo Verde sobre morcegos. O conhecimento da distribuição das sete espécies registadas neste arquipélago é ainda...
Article
Full-text available
In the present work, we use an exceptional database including 5,359 records of 101 species of Oman’s terrestrial reptiles together with spatial tools to infer the spatial patterns of species richness and endemicity, to infer the habitat preference of each species and to better define conservation priorities, with especial focus on the effectiveness...
Article
Abstract The ability to adapt to harsh environments and thrive with minimal food and water input, places goats among the most popular livestock species in Arab countries. However, little is known about the historical and contemporary genetics of most Arabian goat breeds and populations. In this study, we genetically analyzed 617 individuals (126 fr...
Article
Full-text available
Islands are excellent geographic scenarios to study speciation and diversification processes. Among non-volant tetrapods, reptiles are a model group to illustrate these processes due to their low over-sea dispersal. Although biodiversity catalogues are rather complete on islands, remote archipelagos still show high levels of undescribed diversity,...
Article
Full-text available
Background The extent of social behaviour among reptiles is underappreciated. Two types of aggregations are recognized in lizards: ecological and social, i.e., related to the attraction to a site or to animals of the same species, respectively. As most lizards are territorial, aggregations increase the probability of aggressive interactions among i...
Data
Abstract in Portuguese (official language of Cabo Verde)
Data
Raw databases Details for quadrats (per gecko and per station) and for transects.
Data
Material details Total area (in squared meters) and percentage of cover of each habitat registered on São Vicente Island (Diniz & Matos, 1994), number of quadrats per habitat and total and average numbers (±squared deviation, SD) of adults, juveniles and total geckos found in quadrats of each habitat.
Article
Full-text available
The biogeographic dynamics affecting the Indian subcontinent, East and Southeast Asia during the Plio-Pleistocene has generated complex biodiversity patterns. We assessed the molecular biogeography of the small Indian civet (Viverricula indica) through mitogenome and cytochrome b + control region sequencing of 89 historical and modern samples to (i...
Article
Full-text available
Distributions of sedentary ectotherms are dependent on temperature and humidity due to their low homeostatic and dispersal abilities. Lizards are strongly conditioned by temperature, but hydric environment may be also important, at least in arid environments. Biotic interactions may also play a role in range patterns, but they are of minor importan...
Article
The understanding that biodiversity is supported by an entangled network of interactions is fundamental if we are to guarantee the persistence of endemic and restricted-range taxa. When it comes to remote, isolated and rural areas, local human communities play a pivotal role in preserving their native flora and fauna. Locals typically show contrast...
Poster
Full-text available
Studying mutualistic interactions that entail threatened taxa is instrumental to protect endemic and restricted-range taxa, such as the Socotran reptiles. e archipelago of Socotra (Yemen, UNESCO-declared Natural World Heritage site) hosts one of the richest endemic ora and a high number of threatened species. Dragon’s blood forests represent one of...
Poster
Full-text available
Distributions of sedentary ectotherms are strongly dependent on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity due to the low homeostatic and dispersal abilities. In particular, reptiles are considered to be strongly conditioned by their thermal environment, since their main biological functions are temperature-dependent and behavioural the...
Article
Full-text available
Few DNA barcoding studies of squamate reptiles have been conducted. Due to the significance of the Socotra Archipelago (a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site and a biodiversity hotspot) and the conservation interest of its reptile fauna (94% endemics), we performed the most comprehensive DNA barcoding study on an island group to date to test its app...
Article
Full-text available
El criterio fundamental para considerar que una especie es alóctona en el territorio español se basa en la constatación de que la coloniza-ción no ha sido natural, sino de origen antró-pico. Según este criterio, debemos considerar como poblaciones alóctonas la mayoría de las tratadas en este volumen, con algunas excepcio-nes como Testudo graeca en...
Research
Full-text available
Relatório preliminar que faz a Confirmação da presença de populações reprodutoras da espécie exótica invasora Agama agama (LINNAEUS, 1758) em Mindelo, São Vicente
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Agama agama is a successful invader that was recently introduced to Santo Antao Island of the Cape Verde archipelago. The species was then noted to be present also in Sao Vicente and Santiago Islands but the geographic origin of the introductions remains undetermined. Given its wide range and taxonomic identification problems, we compared new 16S R...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
DNA barcoding is based on the idea of using a short genetic sequence from a standard marker (cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene, COI) for species identification. It has the advantage of facilitating species identification and accelerating discovery of candidate/cryptic species in a largely reliably and cost‐efficient way, with many implications in conserv...
Article
Full-text available
A new species of gecko of the genus Hemidactylus (Squamata: Gekkonidae) is described from Oman and extreme eastern Yemen. Hemidactylus minutus sp. nov. is characterized morphologically by its very small size, being the smallest Hemidactylus in mainland Arabia, absence of enlarged tubercles anywhere on the body, expanded subcaudal scales beginning s...
Article
Full-text available
Spanish Abstract: El alcaudón sureño (Lanius meridionalis) es un depredador común de reptiles, cono- cido por empalar sus capturas en arbustos espinosos como reserva. El 3 de Marzo de 2014, des- pués de detectar un ejemplar de L. meridionalis alrededor de nuestro campamento en la reser- va forestal de Firmhin (Socotra), encontramos unos restos de T...
Presentation
Full-text available
Durante o trabalho de campo para o meu doutoramento que incidia sobre a sistemática e conservação dos répteis de Cabo Verde apercebi‐me do medo que muitas crianças e adultos, inclusivamente pessoal do ministério do ambiente, tinham destes animais. Tal devia‐se principalmente ao desconhecimento de alguns factos científicos associados à enorme quanti...
Article
Full-text available
Cape Verde has a higher number of reptile taxa and endemics than any of the five archipelagos in the Macaronesian region. Mapping the precise distributions and assessing the conservation status of reptiles is the first step towards effective conservation. Presence/absence and abundance data were gathered from extensive fieldwork and post-1980 liter...
Article
Full-text available
Recent phylogeographical analyses using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences indicate that the Tarentola geckos from the Cape Verde archipelago originated from a propagule that dispersed from the Canary Islands approximately 7.7 Mya and that underwent a fast evolutionary radiation. Molecular analyses carried out to date clearly show some incongruenc...
Article
Full-text available
The amphibian Amietophrynus regularis is distributed throughout equatorial Africa, with presumed introduced populations in the Cape Verde archipelago. Portions of the 12S and 16S rRNA mitochondrial regions of 30 specimens from Kenya, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde were used to assess genetic diversity and to...