Rachel Souza Ferreira

Doctoral Researcher

Scientific profile


My main interests lies in understanding the evolution and diversity of legumes (Fabaceae) functional traits, mainly in legumes (Fabaceae) species in the mimisoid clade. For my PhD research, I'm will focus on how the evolution of functional traits/key innovations has influenced mimosoid diversification across distinct continents and habitats. Which processes are related to the current disjunct distribution of mimosoids, and investigate which functional traits and dispersal mechanisms may have enabled the (long-distance) dispersal, colonization, diversification, and survival in distinct biomes. Specifically, I will investigate if the appearance of vegetative traits (e.g., leaf area, armature, plant height and growth form) was synchronic with the colonization of new biomes or biotic (i.e., megaherbivore) regimes, or ecological opportunities, and if that led to increased speciation and/or decreased extinction rates.

Scientific career


  • 2016-2019- Master of science in Ecology from the University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany.

        Master thesis: “Assessing the efficacy of camera trap distance sampling for surveying African tropical forest species” At the Max Planck Institute for                                        Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.

  • 2010-2015- B.S. in Biological Sciences with emphasis in environmental sciences at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil.

        Bachelor’s thesis: “Dynamics of the social structure of captive Sapajus flavius at Parque Estadual de Dois Irmãos” Recife, Brazil.

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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9739155
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