Fernanda Werneck

Fernanda Werneck

CAPES Visiting Professor at Harvard University


2007-2012: PhD in Integrative Biology, Brigham Young University (BYU). Fellowship: Partnership between Fulbright Program and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).

2004-2006: Masters in Ecology, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brazil. Fellowship: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).

1999-2003: Bachelor in Biological Sciences, Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Brazil 1999 – 2003.


Work history

2019 – 2020   CAPES Visiting Professor Fellowship at Harvard University.

2017-present  Head of the Biological Scientific Collections Division. National Institute of Amazonian Research/Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Brazil.

2017              L'Oréal-Unesco International Rising Talents For Women In Science Awardee.

2016              L'Oréal-Unesco-ABC For Woman in Science Awardee Brazil-2016.

2013-present  Associate Researcher and Curator, Herpetology Collection. National Institute of Amazonian Research/Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Brazil.

2012-2015     Young Talents Fellowship. Science Without Borders Program of CNPq. UnB, Brazil.

2002-2013     Associate Researcher. UnB and Member of CNPq Research Groups.

2007-2012     Research Assistant – Department of Biology, Brigham Young University (BYU).

2005-2007     Collection Manager at the Herpetological Collection of University of Brasília (CHUNB).

2006-2007     Titular Professor at Centro Universitário de Brasília (UniCeub), Brazil.

2002-2004     Teaching Assistant, Reptile & Amphibian Biology, Vertebrate Zoology. UnB, Brazil.


Research interests

I am a full-time researcher and Curator of Herpetology at the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA, Manaus, Brazil), currently on a sabbatical at Dr. Edwards lab at Harvard during the year of 2019. I am broadly interested in integrating ecological and evolutionary approaches to investigate the processes responsible by generating patterns of diversity, genetic variation, and diversification of the highly diverse Neotropical fauna (dry biomes and rainforests), and the effects of climate change on natural populations of amphibians and reptiles, including implications for conservation (https://wernecklab.weebly.com/). I am also engaged to promote and value the role of women in Science and the importance of health work environments in the academic research environment.




Selected publications

For full list of publications from my group, please visit here.

Oliveira, J. A., Farias, I. P., Costa, G. C. & Werneck, F. P. Model-based riverscape genetics: disentangling the roles of local and connectivity factors in shaping spatial genetic patterns of two Amazonian turtles with different dispersal abilities. Evolutionary Ecology. In Press.

Bravo, G.A., Antonelli, A., Bacon, C.D., Bartoszek, K., Blom, M., Huynh, S., Jones, G., Knowles, L.L., Lamichhaney, S., Marcussen, T., Morlon, H., Nakhleh, L., Oxelman, B., Pfeil, B., Schliep, A., Wahlberg, N., Werneck, F., Wiedenhoeft, J., Willows-Munro, S. & Edwards, S.V. (2018) Embracing heterogeneity: Building the Tree of Life and the future of phylogenomics. PeerJ Preprint. 6: e26449v3.

Pontes-da-Silva, E., Magnusson, W. E., Sinervo, B. R., Caetano, G. H., Miles. D. B., Colli, G. R., Diele-Viegas, L. M., Fenker, J., Santos, J. C. & Werneck, F. P. 2018. Extinction risks forced by climatic change and intraspecific variation in the thermal physiology of a tropical lizard. Journal of Thermal Biology. 73: 50-60.

Costa, G. C., Hampe, A., Ledru, M. P., Martinez, P. A., Mazzochini, G. G., Shepard, D., Werneck, F. P., Moritz, C. & Carnaval, A. C. 2018. Biome stability in South America over the last 30 kyr: Inferences from long-term vegetation dynamics and habitat modelling. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 27: 285-297.

Ortiz, D. A., Lima, A. P. & Werneck, F. P. 2018. Environmental transition zone and rivers shape intraspecific population structure and genetic diversity of an Amazonian rain forest tree frog. Evolutionary Ecology. 32: 359-378.

Diele-Viegas, L. M., Vitt, L. J., Sinervo, B. R., Colli, G. R., Werneck, F. P., Miles, D. B., Magnusson, W. E., Santos, J. C., Sette, C. M., Caetano, G. H. O., Pontes-Silva, E. & Ávila-Pires, T. C. S. 2018. Thermal physiology of Amazonian lizards (Reptilia: Squamata). PLOS One. 13: e0192834.

Antonelli, A., Ariza, M., Albert, J., Andermann, T., Azevedo, J., Bacon, C., Faurby, S., Guedes, T., Hoorn, C., Lohmann, L., Matos-Maraví, P., Ritter, C., Sanmartín, I., Silvestro, D., Tejedor, M., ter Steege, H., Tuomisto, H., Werneck, F., Zizka, A. & Edwards, S. 2018. Conceptual and empirical advances in Neotropical biodiversity research. PeerJ Preprints. 5: e3074v1.

Gehara, M. C., Garda, A. A., Werneck, F. P., Oliveira, E. F., Fonseca, E. M., Camurugi, F., Magalhães, F. M., Lanna, F. M., Sites, J. W., Marques, R., Silveira-Filho, R., São-Pedro, V. A., Colli, G. R., Costa, G. C. & Burbrink, F. T. 2017. Estimating synchronous demographic changes across populations using hABC and its application for a herpetological community from northeastern Brazil. Molecular Ecology. 26: 4756-4771.

Werneck, F.P., Leite, R.N., Geurgas, S.R. & Rodrigues, M.T. 2015. Biogeographic history and cryptic diversity of saxicolous Tropiduridae lizards endemic to the semiarid Caatinga. BMC Evolutionary Biology 15: 1-24.

Leite, R. N., Kolokotronis, S., Almeida, F. C., Werneck, F. P., Rogers, D. S. & Weksler, M. 2014. In the Wake of Invasion: Tracing the Historical Biogeography of the South American Cricetid radiation (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae). Plos One 9: e100687.

Werneck, F. P., Gamble, T., Colli, G. R.;,Rodrigues, M. T. & Sites Jr., J. W. 2012. Deep diversification and long-term persistence it the South American ‘dry diagonal’: integrating continent-wide phylogeography and distribution modeling of geckos. Evolution 66: 3014-3034.

Werneck, F.P., Nogueira, C., Colli, G.R., Sites Jr., J.W. & Costa, G.C. 2012. Climatic stability in the Brazilian Cerrado: implications for biogeographical connection of South American savannas, species richness, and conservation in a biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Biogeography 39: 1695-1706.

Avila-Pires, T.C.S., Mulcahy, D.G., Werneck, F.P. & Sites Jr., J.W. 2012. Phylogeography of Gamble, T., Colli, G.R., Rodrigues, M.T., Werneck, F.P. & Simons, A.M. Phylogeny and cryptic diversity in geckos (Phyllopezus; Phyllodactylidae; Gekkota) from South America’s open biomes. 2012. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 943-953.

Werneck, F.P. 2011. The diversification of eastern South American open vegetation biomes: historical biogeography and perspectives. Quaternary Science Reviews 30: 1630-1648.

Werneck, F. P.; Costa, G. C.; Colli, G. R.; Prado, D. E. & Sites Jr., J.W. 2011. Revisiting the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forests historical distribution: new insights based on palaeodistribution modelling and palynological evidence. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 272-288.

Werneck, F. P.; Colli, G. R & Vitt, L. J. 2009. Determinants of assemblage structure in Neotropical Dry Forest lizards. Austral Ecology 34: 97-115.

Werneck, F. P., Giugliano, L. G., Collevatti, R. G. & Colli, G. R. 2009. Phylogeny, biogeography and evolution of clutch size in South American lizards of the genus Kentropyx (Squamata: Teiidae). Molecular Ecology 18: 262-278.

Werneck, F. P. & Colli, G. R. 2006. The lizard assemblage from Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest enclaves in the Cerrado biome, Brazil and its association with the Pleistocenic Arc. Journal of Biogeography 33: 1983-1992.