João Tonini

João Tonini

Harvard-Lemann Brazil Program Postdoctoral Fellow

My research interests are related to understanding the relative importance of mechanisms generating biodiversity at multiple geographic scales and how human-driven environmental impacts accelerate species extinction risks. To investigate topics along those lines, I collect empirical data on phenotypic features, behavioral traits, genetics, and species distribution. In addition, to develop null distribution and test hypotheses, I use model-based approaches that incorporate fundamental evolutionary and ecological processes affecting biodiversity patterns. My ongoing projects focus on the evolution of Cerrado biodiversity of birds and butterflies, evolution of frog calls, evolutionary history of phytotelm-breeding frogs, and systematics and biogeography of Neotropical frogs.  




2004-2008 Bachelor of Science in Biology, Department of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Advisor: Dr. Leonora P. Costa.

2009-2011 Master of Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Advisor: Dr. Leonora P. Costa; and co-advisor: Dr. Ana Carnaval (CUNY). Project: Comparative phylogeography of endemic species of the Atlantic Forest.

2013-2017 Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Biological Sciences, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052. Advisor: Dr. R. Alexander Pyron. Project: Ecological and evolutionary drivers of biodiversity and extinction risks in amphibians and squamates




Selected Publications


1. Forlani MC, Tonini JFR, Cruz CAG, Zaher H, de Sá RO (2017) Molecular and morphological data help to discovery three new cryptic species of Chiasmocleis (Mehely 1904) (Anura, Microhylidae) endemic to the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. PeerJ v. 5, p. e3005.

2. Tonini JFR, Beard K, Ferreira RB, Jetz W, Pyron RA (2016) Fully-sampled phylogenies of squamates reveal evolutionary patterns in threat status. Biological Conservation v. 204, p. 23–31. 

3. Tonini JFR, Moore A, Stern D, Shcheglovitova M, Orti G (2015) Concatenation and species tree methods exhibit statistically indistinguishable accuracy under a range of simulated conditions. PLoS Currents Tree of Life, p. 1–10.

4. Tonini JFR, Forlani MC, de Sá RO (2014) A new species of Chiasmocleis (Microhylidae, Gastrophryninae) from the Atlantic Forest of Espírito Santo State, Brazil. ZooKeys, v. 428, p. 109–132.

5. Tonini JFR, Costa LP, Carnaval ACOQ (2013) Phylogeographic structure is strong in the Atlantic Forest; predictive power of correlative paleodistribution models, not always. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, v. 51, p. 1–8.




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