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Biological Sciences Profiles

Laura Rodrigues Vieira de Alencar

Postdoctoral Fellow
Biological Sciences Department

Office: Jordan Hall
Phone: 864-624-7438
Personal Website:


 Educational Background

University of Sao Paulo 2016

University of Sao Paulo 2010

Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais 2006

 Courses Taught

Readings in Evolution (BIOL8070)

 Research Interests

I am primarily interested in understanding the patterns and processes shaping the radiation of vertebrates. My research combines natural history, morphological, geographical and phylogenetic information with the application of statistical models to answer questions in large taxonomic, temporal and spatial contexts.

 Extension and Outreach

I am currently an Associate Editor of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. I'm also part of the Brazilian outreach group "Herpetologia segundo herpetólogas", aiming to approximate scientific and non-scientific communities, and to increase the voice of women in both herpetology and STEM.


Alencar, L. R. V., T. B. Quental. 2019. News & Views: Exploring the drivers of population structure across desert snakes can help to link micro and macroevolution. Molecular Ecology 28, 4529-4532.

Birskis-Barros, I., L. R. V. Alencar, P. I. Prado, M. Böhm, and M. Martins. 2019. Ecological and conservation correlates of rarity in New World pitvipers. Diversity, 11, 147 - Special Issue: Systematics and conservation of Neotropical amphibians and reptiles.?

Burin, G., L. R. V. Alencar, J. Chang, M. Alfaro and T. Quental. 2019. How well can we estimate diversity dynamics for clades in diversity decline?. Systematic Biology, 68, 47-62.

Alencar, L.R.V., M. Martins, and H. W. Greene. 2018. Evolutionary History of Vipers. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester.

Alencar, L.R.V., M. Martins, G. Burin and T. Quental. 2017. Arboreality constrains morphological evolution but not species diversification in vipers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284, 1869.

Maritz, B., J. Penner, M. Martins, J. Crnobrnja-Isailovic, S. Spear, L.R.V. Alencar, J. Sigala-Rodriguez, K. Messenger, R.W. Clark, P. Soorae, L. Luiselli, C. Jenkins, H.W. Greene. 2016. Identifying global priorities for the conservation of vipers. Biological Conservation, 204 Part A:94-102.

Alencar, L. R. V., T. Quental, F. Grazziotin, M. Alfaro, M. Martins, M. Venzon, and H. Zaher. 2016. Diversification in vipers: phylogenetic relationships, time of divergence, and shifts in speciation rates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 105:50-62.

Ruggeri, J., A. Longo, M. P. Gaiarsa, L. R. V. Alencar, C. Lambertini, D. S. Leite, S. P. Carvalho-e-Silva, K. R. Zamudio, L. F. Toledo, and M. Martins. 2015. Seasonal variation in population abundance and chytrid infection in stream-dwelling frogs of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Plos One, 10: e0130554.

Gaiarsa, M. P., L. R. V. Alencar, P. H. Valdujo, L. R. Tambosi, and M. Martins. 2015. Setting conservation priorities within monophyletic groups: an integrative approach. Journal for Nature Conservation, 24:49-55.

Alencar, L. R. V., and L. B. Nascimento. 2014. Natural history data of a common snake suggest inter-populational variation and conservatism in life history traits: the case of Erythrolamprus poecilogyrus. Herpetological Journal, 24:79-85.

Böhm, M., B. Collen, B., J. Baillie, E.M. Bowles, P. Chanson, J. Cox, N. Hammerson, G. Hoffmann, M. Livingstone, S. R. Ram, M. Rhodin, A. G .J. Stuart, S. N. Van Dijk, P. P. Young, B. E. Afuang, L. E. Aghasyan, A. García, A. Aguilar, C. Ajtic, R. Akarsu, L. R. V. Alencar, et al. 2013. The conservation status of the world s reptiles. Biological Conservation, 157:372-385.

Alencar, L R. V., M. P. Gaiarsa, and M. Martins. 2013. The evolution of diet and microhabitat use in Pseudoboine snakes. South American Journal of Herpetology, 8:60-66.

Gaiarsa, M., L. R. V. Alencar, and M. Martins. 2013. Natural history of Pseudoboine snakes. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 53:261-283.

Alencar, L. R. V., C. A. B. Galdino, and L. B. Nascimento. 2012. Life history aspects of Oxyrhopus trigeminus (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) from two sites in southeastern Brazil. Journal of Herpetology, 46:9-13.


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