Welcome! I am an evolutionary biologist, currently working as a Postdoc at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) University Museum, under Mike Martin.
Before, I was a visiting scholar at the Berkeley Evolab in UC Berkeley. I did my PhD with the Frontiers of Evolutionary Zoology group at the University of Oslo, and my MSc at the Centre for Functional Ecology in Coimbra.
I combine genomic data (population genomics, phylogenomics, comparative genomics), together with ecological and phenotypic data from non-model organisms to understand how species evolve and adapt. During the last few years I have worked on adaptation (how species adapt), speciation (how an ancestral species becomes different species), biogeography (how species move around and are distributed), and parallel and convergent evolution (how different species adapt to similar problems) - focusing mostly on Islands and Archipelagos. Considering global climatic changes, as well as elevated rates of species extinction, there is an urgent need for understanding how species adapt, diversify, move around and respond to changing environments. Islands can provide with solid inferences on the evolution of organisms, since islands have special ecological conditions.
I am open to collaboration, contact and inquiries from the general public, press or peers. Feel free to contact me from at jose.cerca (at) gmail.com
More about myself
I am originally from the small, cosy town of Guarda, Portugal - where I’ll always have my heart. When I was 18, I moved to Coimbra to study biology at the Universidade de Coimbra, and did a one-year Erasmus in Siena, Italy. I returned to Coimbra to do a MSc in Ecology and then moved to Lisboa for a 6 months stay as a technician, and eventually moved to Oslo for my PhD. I enjoy following sports (I am a big F. C. Porto and SF 49ers fan), politics, spending time with friends, watching series, hiking - I’d say that other than my work, I’m pretty normal!