PhD projects of the group

Sofia Terzopoulou (CV)

PhD project (2011-present): Taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of Azorean Coleoptera: a holistic approach. (PhD Completed).

My PhD research focuses on the ecological and evolutionary forces that drive the species diversity patterns in isolated Archipelagos. To address this issue, I am studying the taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity of the beetle species (Coleoptera) of the Azorean island complex, aiming to a comprehensive approach of biodiversity. The Azorean Archipelago is one of the most isolated insular groups of the world which has also suffered a major destruction of native vegetation. As a result the Azorean beetle fauna is a mixture of endemic and invasive species, thus providing the grounds for a comparative approach of biodiversity.

In detail, this project aims to:
  • collect the key ecological traits that link the beetle species to the ecosystem’s functions (body size, life history traits) 
  • reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of the beetle species of the Azores
  • explore the connection between the different components of biodiversity (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic)
  • probe into the mechanisms underlying biological diversity by combining species functional traits and their evolutionary history
  • assess the relatedness of endemic and invasive species in the view of their functional traits and evolutionary history.
05. Terzopoulou, S., Rigal, F., Whittaker, R.J., Borges, P.A.V., Triantis, K.A. 2015. Drivers of extinction: the case of Azorean beetles. Biology Letters. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2015.02732015. Abstract.
04. Whittaker, R.J., Rigal, F., Borges, P.A.V., Cardoso, P., Terzopoulou, S., Casanoves, F., Pla, L., Guilhaumon, F., Ladle, R.J., Triantis, K.A. 2014. Functional biogeography of oceanic islands and the scaling of functional diversity in the Azores.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2014, 111: 13709-13714. Abstract.
03. Cardoso, P., Rigal, F., Fattorini, S., Terzopoulou, S., Borges, P.A.V. 2013. Integrating Landscape disturbance and Indicator Species in Conservation Studies. PLoS ONE8(5): e63294. Abstract and full text. 
02. Parmakelis, A., Balanika, K., Terzopoulou, S., Rigal, F.,Crespo, L., Beasley, R.R., Jones, K.L., Lance, S.L., Whittaker, R.J., Triantis,K.A. & Borges, P.A.V. 2013. Development of 28 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the endemic Azorean spider Sancus acoreensis (Araneae, Tetragnathidae). Conservation Genetics, 5: 1133-1134. Abstract.
01. Papadopoulou, A., Anastasiou, I., Spagopoulou, F., Stalimerou, M., Terzopoulou, S., Legakis, A., Vogler, A.P. 2011. Testing the species - genetic diversity correlation in the Aegean archipelago: towards a haplotype-based macroecology? American Naturalist, 178: 241–255. Abstract.

Penny Lampri (CV)
PhD project (2015-present): Biodiversity of animal taxa in aquatic ecosystems of the Aegean: status, processes, threats and predictions.

My PhD research is focused on the phylogeny, ecology and population genetics of macroinvertebrate taxa inhabiting insular aquatic systems, and especially those taxa that have been assigned a threatened status in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The population trends and dynamics of the targeted taxa will be investigated within a phylogenetic and population genetics framework while taking into account the prevailing climatic change scenarios that have been put forward. For these purposes, during the course of my PhD, I will use species distribution modelling techniques to re-construct the targeted species’ niches. Based on these reconstructions and using the temporal frame guided by the phylogenetic analyses, I will try to disentangle the effect of history and ecology on the distributional patterns recorded for the species targeted. Following that, I will evaluate the effect that the global change scenarios are going to exert on the distributional trends and the population dynamics of the taxa studied.

02. Lampri, P-N., Chatzispyrou, A., Kapiris, K. 2016. The growth of appendix masculina of the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus) in the central Aegean Sea (e. Mediterranean). Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 15: doi: 10.4194/1303-2712-v15_3_19. 
01. Christodoulakis, N.S,, Lampri, P-N., Fasseas, C. 2009. Structural and cytochemical investigation on the leaf of silver leaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), a drought resistant alien weed of the Greek flora. Australian Journal of Botany 57: 432-438.