Génétique et Ecologie Evolutive


Catarina Vila Pouca

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twitter: @catarina_vp
I have had a passion for sharks for as long as I can remember and decided early on I would become a shark biologist. I studied the behaviour of blue sharks off the North Atlantic and the learning abilities of the charismatic Port Jackson sharks from Australia. With time, my career has taken me to different waters.
I am interested in understanding how and why species and individuals vary in behavioural and cognitive traits. I have worked on expanding our knowledge on shark learning abilities as well as exploring some of its mechanisms, such as personality and laterality. More recently, I have focused on understanding how ecological and evolutionary processes (particularly predation and hybridization) can shape the evolution of brain and cognitive traits, using the Trinidadian guppy as study system - a fascinating and classic system for behavioural ecology and evolution.
I am also committed to share my research, and general scientific knowledge, with a vast audience. I frequently engage with the media and with educational and outreach science programs.
In my new project at CEFE with Mathieu Joron, funded by a ​Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship, I will investigate the behavioural mechanisms of disassortative mate choice in Heliconius numata butterflies, in particular the role of multimodal cues in mate preferences and the potential for females to modulate mate choice decisions based on information gathered from experience.
You can find more information about my career, research projects, and science outreach in my personal webpage (https://catarinavilapouca.wordpress.com/).