Dr. Sara Santos

PostDoc at Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Pólo de Évora (CIBIO-​UE) da Universidade de Évora

Unit of Conservation Biology (UBC), Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources (CIBIO/​UE)
University of Évora, Department of Biology, Mitra
7002 – 554 Évora, Portugal
telephone +351 266 760 881 — ext 24493
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Skype: saramsantos1


Researcher ID: L-​7380 – 2013
ORCID: 0000000349311080

My main research area of interest is wildlife ecology and conservation, particularly applied to small mammals. Previously to my PhD I studied physiology, habitat selection, and vegetation composition of colonies of Cabrera voles in several areas of southern Portugal (Grândola, Alandroal, Mora, and Montemor-​o-​Novo). During my PhD, I investigated the distribution and co-​occurrence patterns of two sister species of pine voles, Microtus duodecimcostatus and M. lusitanicus, in Portugal. Within this study, the environmental preferences of both species were analysed and compared at different spatial scales. I first focused on the national distribution of the two species, and then sampled both species in a zone of sympatry and parapatry around the São Mamede mountain (Portalegre district) in order to assess the relative contributions of local vs. landscape scale factors to the regional distribution of each species. At a local scale, the patterns of space use of the Lusitanian pine vole were investigated with radio-​telemetry in a Mediterranean polyculture (Tomar district).

Since 2011 I’m a post-​doctoral researcher working on the effects of roads on wildlife. In particular, I’m interested in assessing the barrier effect of roads to animal movements and how these structures influence landscape functional connectivity and regional population persistence. Specifically I intend to assess how roads affect populations persistence, and which life-​history traits make species more vulnerable to the impacts of roads, using both real and virtual species.

I am also interested in studying the effects of methods used on mortality numbers and spatial patterns when conducting/​planning roadkill surveys. In particular, I have focused on the effects of different sampling frequencies on the numbers of carcasses counted and on the spatial accuracy of roadkill hotspots for several taxonomic groups.

Keywords: ecology; conservation; modelling; microtus; road ecology; vole ecology; wildlife road mortality; road monitoring design; landscape connectivity

Selected 5 publications:

Santos, S.M., Carvalho, F., Mira A. How long do the dead survive on the road? Carcass persistence probability and implications for road-​kill monitoring surveys. PLoS ONE (2011) 6(9): e25383. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0025383.

Santos, S.M., Mathias, M.L., Mira, A.P. Local coexistence and niche differences between the Lusitanian and Mediterranean pine voles (Microtus lusitanicus and M. duodecimcostatus). Ecological research (2010) 25 (5): 1019 – 1031, doi: 10.1007/s11284-0100728-9.

Santos, S.M., Mathias, M.L., Mira, A.P. The influence of local, landscape and spatial factors on the distribution of the Lusitanian and the Mediterranean pine voles in a Mediterranean landscape. Mammalian Biology (2010), 76(2): 133 – 142, doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2010.03.007.

Santos, S.M., Mira, A.P., Mathias, M.L. Factors influencing large scale distribution of two sister species of pine voles (Microtus lusitanicus and M. duodecimcostatus): the importance of spatial autocorrelation. Canadian Journal of Zoology (2009), 87 (12): 1227 – 1240 (doi: 10.1139/Z09-108).

Santos, S.M., Simões, M.P., Mathias, M.L., Mira, A. Vegetation analysis in colonies of an endangered rodent, the Cabrera vole, in southern Portugal. Ecological Research (2006) 21:197 – 207

Contact:Casa Cordovil, 2º andar, Rua Joaquim Henrique da Fonseca, 7000 – 890 Évora 
phone: +351 266 759 350 email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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