LUOMUS

Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo

Alexandre Aleixo

Curator

I am curator of the ornithological, osteological, and vertebrate tissue collections at the Finnish Museum of Natural History. I collect and use specimens deposited in biological collections to study the evolutionary processes driving the diversification of modern birds and other vertebrate taxa, and include the fields of biogeography, historical ecology, genomic adaptation, molecular systematics, phylogeography, and taxonomy. I am currently Subject Editor for Biogeography and Systematics of the Journal of Ornithology and Associate Editor of the journal Ornithology Research. I am also a Trustee of the “Trust for Avian Systematics” and coordinate de South America geographic group in charge of updating the Howard and Moore Checklist of the Birds of the World. I am also the leader of the Laboratory of Avian DiversityLADY, which along the years has been joined by dozens of undergraduate, Master´s and Doctoral students and post-docs.


Research topics

Publications and activities

Research database TUHAT

Publons

Google Scholar

Research Gate

Twitter: @AlexandreAlei20

 

Research group

 
Laboratory of Avian DiversityLADY 
 
LADY in the media!

Biogeography

One of the key aspects of my research program is to address fundamental questions concerning the timing, mode, and rates of avian diversification in both temperate and tropical latitudes. To this end, we characterize and synthesize the spatio-temporal context of diversification of avian lineages   by integrating different disciplines such as genomics, niche modeling, trait evolution, geology, remote sensing, and statistical phylogeography. The role of past landscape and climate change on rates of biotic diversification and extinction provides a historical perspective supporting forecasts on how individual species and entire communities will respond to global change during the Anthropocene.

Art by Dan Lane
 

Genomic adaptation to climate change

The identification of genetic traits associated with species’ responses to climate change is critical, as it can support conservation strategies to mitigate biodiversity loss and enhance species resilience. However, current and future genomic adaptive responses to climate change have only begun to be addressed worldwide. To contribute with this effort, my latest line of research seeks to unravel the genomic and geographic basis of adaptation to climate change and identify the most threatened and resilient populations of selected bird lineages across environmental gradients in both Europe and the Amazon basin. The identification of lineages with different levels of genomic vulnerability is a critical step to support ‘evolutionary rescue’ and ecosystem restoration initiatives.


 

Historical ecology

Understanding how modern biological communities have assembled historically in response to past climate change becomes a necessary step to estimate their current climatic tolerances and model reliably how they will be affected by future scenarios of global change. To this end, one of my research lines aims to integrate recently developed frameworks joining species-abundance data with satellite imagery, climatic data and genomic data to model biotic community structure at present and backwards in time to evaluate how past climatic and landscape changes affected their assembly. 

Photo by Adriano Gambarini

 


Speciation

How many bird species does exist? The evaluation of the degree of reproductive isolation between divergent populations of polytypic bird species can help solve the great controversy surrounding the status of several taxa as species or subspecies. However, the majority of published phylogeographic studies have not tested explicitly reproductive isolation with adequate sample sizes, both in terms of number of individuals and molecular markers. My research group uses genomic approaches to quantify levels of introgression and reproductive isolation among genetically differentiated phylogroups of avian species/superspecies coming together along contact zones.


Systematics and taxonomy

We employ molecular systematics and a multi-character approach that integrates molecular, bioacoustical, and morphological characters to diagnose evolutionary distinct avian lineages deserving formal taxonomic recognition at any rank. Over the past years, my research group has named one new bird family, and has described 9 species-level avian taxa. Currently, we are working on descriptions of seven new bird taxa from the Amazon basin.

 

 


LADY in the media! 

Luon­non kät­ket­tyä mo­ni­muo­toi­suut­ta pal­jas­tui - tut­ki­jat löy­si­vät uusia ete­lä­ame­rik­ka­lai­sia pöl­lö­la­je­ja kir­ku­pöl­lös­ten ryh­mäs­sä

Hid­den biod­iversity un­covered: re­search­ers dis­cover new spe­cies of South Amer­ican screech owls

Corujas amazônicas são descobertas, e uma delas é batizada em homenagem a Dorothy Stang

More than meets the eye: How many species does the bird genus Dendrocolaptes contain?

1300 spe­cies, 2400 genes, 21 mu­seums, and 40 years: the trop­ical di­versity para­dox ad­dressed by a mul­tina­tional team of sci­ent­ist

Törmäsikö lintu ikkunaasi? Löysitkö kuolleen eläimen? Toimita näyte tutkijalle ja auta suojelemaan luontoa

Amazo­nin lin­nus­ton mo­ni­puo­li­suus poh­jau­tuu il­mas­ton mui­nai­siin vaih­te­lui­hin

Mixing Motmots: A hybrid between Rufous and Amazonian Motmot in Brazil

Diversificação das aves amazônicas dependeu dos rios e do clima

A origem dos pássaros

Ave do Pará surgiu da rara mistura de duas espécies

Ave da Amazônia se originou de processo de hibridização

Análise de DNA revela origem da diversidade de aves ne espécies da Amazônia

Novidade no céu da Amazônia

Novas aves da Amazônia


Laboratory of Avian DiversityLADY 

Doctoral student Carlynne Simões finished her MSc thesis on the flycatcher genus Rhynchocyclus in 2018, which resulted in the description of a new species to be published soon. She is now supervised by Péricles Sena do Rêgo and Aleixo and works on her PhD studying the diversification history and species limits of another widespread Neotropical bird lineage: the woodcreepers of the genus Glyphorynchus (Dendrocolaptidae).


 

Doctoral student Leilton Luna is working on the diversification history of Amazonian birds associated with seasonally flooded forests.


 

Doctoral student Renata Biancalana is working on the phylogeny and diversification of swifts (Apodidae).


Gone but not forgotten!

 

Post-doctoral Researcher Alexandre Fernandes joined the group between 2012 and 2014 to carry out his project on the diversification of the Slaty Antshrike species complex. Part of his work developed in the group can be found at: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/the-effects-of-climate-change-on-the-distribution-of-south-americ

Currently, he is Adjunct Professor at Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, UFRPE in Serra Talhada, Brazil and head of the Laboratório de Ornitologia UAST/UFRPE.


Áurea Cronemberger was a PhD student in the group between 2015 and 2019, successfully defending her Dissertation on the diversification and species limits in the Warbling Antbird complex. So far, her PhD work resulted in one publication.

Twitter: @AureaCronemberg


Master´s student Bruno Almeida finished his MSc thesis in the group in 2013. His thesis focused on the phylogegraphy of the Spotted Puffbird Bucco tamatia.


Elinete Batista Rodrigues completed her Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Lineated Woodcreeper species complex in 2010, which resulted in the description of a new species.

 

Greg Thom completed his Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the White-shouldered Antshrike in 2012. He is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the American Museum of Natural History.


Leonardo Miranda completed his Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Iheringi´s Antwren species complex in 2011, which resulted in the description of a new species.

He continued in the group as a PhD student to conduct his studies on Cymbilaimus antshrikes and Microcerculus wrens, earning a Doctoral degree in 2015.

He is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at the Goeldi Museum in Brazil.

Twitter: @miranda_le0

 


Lincoln Carneiro completed his Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Spotted Antpitta species complex in 2011, which resulted in the description of a new species.

He continued in the group as a PhD student to develop his studies on Grallariidae birds, earning a Doctoral degree in 2015. Two papers derived from his PhD work can be found at: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/molecular-systematics-and-biogeography-of-lowland-antpittas-aves-  and https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/phenotypic-similarity-leads-to-taxonomic-inconsistency-a-revision

Currently, he is Adjunct Professor at Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA).

Twitter: @LincolnCarneir4


Lucas Araújo Silva completed his Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Straight-billed Hermit species complex in 2012.

He continued in the group as a PhD student to develop his studies on Phaethornis hermits, earning a Doctoral degree in 2017.


Master student Mateus Ferreira finished his MSc thesis in the group in 2013. His thesis focused on the phylogeny and species limits in the Neotropical puffbird genus Malacoptila.

Currently, he is Adjunct Professor at Universidade Federal de Roraima in Brazil and Research Associate at the Department of Ornithology of the American Museum of Natural History.

Twitter: @mateusfbio


Marcelo Silva was a PhD student in the group between 2016 and 2020, successfully defending his Dissertation on the biogeographical connections between the northeastern Brazilian Atlantic Forest and eastern Amazonia.


Nárgila Moura was a PhD student in the group between 2010 and 2014, successfully defending her Dissertation on the composition and dynamics of bird communities associated with distinct land-use patterns in the Brazilian Amazon. Her PhD dissertation resulted in the following papers:

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/two-hundred-years-of-local-avian-extinctions-in-eastern-amazonia

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/idiosyncratic-responses-of-amazonian-birds-to-primary-forest-dist

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/publications/avian-biodiversity-in-multiple-use-landscapes-of-the-brazilian-am

Twitter: @NargilaMoura


Pablo Vieira Cerqueira completed his Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Black-billed Thrush species complex in 2014.

He continued in the group as a PhD student to develop his studies on Caatinga birds, earning a Doctoral degree in 2019.


Post-doctoral Researcher Pedro Peloso joined the group between 2014 and 2017 to carry out his project on the diversification of Amazonian frogs. Part of his work developed in the group can be found at: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/phylogeny-of-map-tree-frogs-boana-semilineata-species-group-with-


Romina Batista completed her Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Amazonian Barred-Woodcreeper species complex in 2012, which resulted in the description of a new species.

She is currently a Postdoctoral researcher at INPA in Manaus, Brazil.

Twitter: @RominaSSBatista


Roxiris A. Azuaje Rodríguez completed her Master´s on the diversification and species limits in the Amazonian woodecreeper genus Hylexetastes in 2017.

She is currently a Doctoral student at UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil.


Sidnei Dantas was a PhD student in the group between 2010 and 2013, successfully defending his Dissertation on the systematics and diversification of Megascops owls. A published chapter of his Dissertation can be found at: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/molecular-systematics-of-the-new-world-screech-owls-megascops-aye

He continued in the group until 2018 as a Postdoctoral researcher working on the phylogeography of the Wing-barred Piprites.


Post-doctoral Researcher Silvia Pavan joined the group briefly in 2017 to carry out her project on the description of new species of marsupials from the Amazon.


Post-doctoral Researcher Sofia Marques Silva joined the group between 2014 and 2018 to carry out projects on the diversification of Amazonian birds and South American lagomorphs. Some representative publications resulting from her work in the group can be found at: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/a-dynamic-continental-moisture-gradient-drove-amazonian-bird-dive and https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/illuminating-the-obscured-phylogenetic-radiation-of-south-america

Currently, she is researcher at the Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, CIBIO/InBIO in Portugal.


Master´s student Tania Quaresma finished her MSc thesis in the group in 2020. Her thesis focused on the phylogegraphy and species limits in the Amazonian endemic scale-backed antbirds (genus Willisornis).


Marcela Lima was a PhD student in the group between 2013 and 2016, successfully defending her Dissertation on the systematics and biogeography of capuchin monkeys belonging to the genus Sapajus. Her PhD dissertation resulted in the following papers:

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/capuchin-monkey-bioge...

https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/publications/a-phylogenomic-perspe...

Currently, she is a Postdoctoral researcher at Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA).


Sivun vastuuhenkilö: 
Alexandre Aleixo
13.4.2021