Research summary

The type of research I work on is called “fundamental research“, which is often driven by curiosity and aims to enhance our knowledge and understanding of the world. Nevertheless, part of my work might have some more practical aspects, such as in wildlife conservation efforts.

My main areas of work are Malacology (the study of mollusks) and Paleontology. This means that I study both living (recent) and fossil mollusks. More specifically, the kind of research I’m interested in lies in the areas called taxonomy, paleoecology and biogeography. You can find more information about these areas of study by clicking [HERE].

Below you can find a summary of my research, both ongoing and already concluded.


Recent snails

  • Land snail diversity in Brazil: The Brazilian land snail fauna is astoundingly diverse, with circa 700 species described. Nevertheless, this fauna is far from completely cataloged and new discoveries are very common. See more of this diversity [HERE].
    • Snail-paced science?: How fast are scientists cataloging and describing the Brazilian snail fauna? Check it out [HERE].
    •  Points of interest: These are places in the country that have a rich or unique snail fauna.
      • Pedra Talhada Biological Reserve: A truly remarkable place for land snails. Read all about it [HERE].
      • Trindade Island: For four decades the endemic land snails of this oceanic island were considered extinct. We found live snails on top of the island’s highest peaks. Learn more about the island’s degraded environment and its land snail fauna by clicking [HERE].
  • Endangered snails: Land and freshwater snails are very susceptible to extinction and many Brazilian species are critically endangered. Learn more about this [HERE].
  • Marine snails from southeastern Brazil: The cruise of the R/V Marion-Dufresne (MD55), in 1987, recovered a vast quantity of deep-water mollusks from the southeastern Brazilian coast. This material remained a long time without many studies. We decided to study a part of it, which can be seen [HERE].
  • Polly wants a snail: Brazilian macaws eat the shells of giant land snails and you can learn about this [HERE].

Fossil snails

  • Land and freshwater snails from the German Miocene: It might not seem so today, but Miocene Germany was a subtropical forested land, sporting a huge diversity of snails. See these paleoenvironments and its snaily inhabitants [HERE].
  • Predation marks on snail shells: Mysterious holes were found on the shells of some freshwater snails. A “crime scene investigation” revealed the culprit. Learn more [HERE].
  • Snails in paleoecology: These snails have some properties that make them perfect for paleoecological studies and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Learn more about this [HERE].
  • Land snails from Itaboraí Basin: The forests surrounding this ancient Brazilian hydro-thermal basin harbored a curious fauna of land snails. Learn more about it [HERE].

Museum stuff

  • Bynesian and pyrite decay: Poor storage facilities in museum collections can lead to these two problems. To know how it happens and how to avoid (or correct) them, click [HERE].
  • Type catalogues: Museum collection usually house extremely important specimens called “types”. To know more about them and see some examples from my research, click [HERE].

Miscellaneous

  • Taxonomy and conservation: Taxonomy is the basis of all Biology, right? And that should include biodiversity conservation, correct? Well, not every biologist seem to have learned that in university, so 184 taxonomists had to write this paper [HERE].
  • Video games for animal conservation: Video games have a natural potential for education and this could be harnessed into a force for animal conservation. You can read more about this [HERE].
  • Nesting behavior in early birds: The nesting strategies of modern birds did not take form in a single step. Fossil theropod dinosaurs and early birds can tell us a lot about how it came to be. See a little part of this story [HERE].
  • Dinosaur eggs in thermal waters: During the Cretaceous, a colony of sauropod dinosaurs nested on a hydrothermal site in Argentina. Find out the reason for such a strange behavior [HERE].
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