Sofia Fernandes Gomes
Sofia received her BSc degree in Biology in 2009 and her MSc in Applied Microbiology in 2011 at the University of Lisbon (FCUL), Portugal.
Sofia received her BSc degree in Biology in 2009 and her MSc in Applied Microbiology in 2011 at the University of Lisbon (FCUL), Portugal. During my MSc thesis I learned morphological and molecular identification techniques of fungi. Afterwards, she strengthened her background in fungal taxonomy at IRCBio, Barcelona University in Spain where she worked on the morphological characterization of the fungi group Russulales, applying micromorphological techniques, such as optical and electron transmission microscopy. This period was part of a Leonardo Da Vinci Scholarship funded by the European Community.
In 2014, she started her PhD at Naturalis Biodiversity Center and in 2016 she joined the Conservation Biology Department at CML.
Her research interests focus on the interactions between mycorrhizal fungi and their host plants, in particular on the evolution of the mycorrhizal specialization of mycoheterotrophic plants. These achlorophyllous plants developed a life strategy to exploit their fungal partners, obtaining their carbon ultimately from surrounding green plants through the extensive below-ground mycorrhizal networks. This interaction is characterized by the rupture of the symbiotic association usually seen between green plants and mycorrhizal fungi. She is interested in understanding the diversity, ecology and structure of these interactions.
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