Dora Aguin-Pombo

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Faculty of Life Ciencies
Universidade da Madeira


I am Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Madeira. I received my Ph.D. in Biosystematics from the University of Wales (UK) in 1995. My main research interests are focussed mainly on Biosystematics of Fulgormorpha and Cicadomorpha (Insecta, Hemiptera).


University of Wales (UK)


Island Biogeography
Asexual reproduction


Island parthenogenesis

The study of asexual reproduction is a core issue in evolutionary biology. One reason is that, despite the two-fold cost of sex, asexual reproduction is uncommon among most animal taxa Geographical parthenogenesis predicts that asexual reproduction is relatively common on islands. One explanation is that parthenoforms more easily colonise insular environments, since a single female is sufficient to establish a new population. However, detailed studies on the origin and history of colonization of asexual taxa on islands are scarce. We recently made an unusual report of three parthenoforms of Empoasca leafhoppers on Madeira Islands. This extraordinary finding can be interpreted as a natural variation of reproductive biology in insland populations, the result of hybridization or an infectious case of parthenogenesis. We propose to study the origin and history of island colonization and the reproduction of Empoasca leafhoppers in the Madeira archipelago through a multidisciplinary approach.

Applications Invited
A student to studt the reproductive biology of asexual forms