Featured Researcher

Aline de Oliveira Lira

PhD student in Entomology, Rural Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil – 2020 to present

Master of Zoology, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Brazil – 2018

Bachelor of Agronomy, Federal University of Mato Grosso, Barra do Garças, Brazil – 2013

Research interests

Systematics, Evolution, Ecology, and the mechanisms involved in pollination and other ecological interactions of Neotropical curculionid species and their host plants.

My interest in insects began in practical entomology classes, making morphological drawings. It was then that the Professor invited me to participate in a project with Curculionidae taxonomy, then I started working with the adult and immature descriptions of Homalinotus depressus (L.), pest species of coconut plants. Taxonomy has fascinated me ever since!

Doing my work, I perceived the multidisciplinarity involved in this science and the variety of skills that I could possibly expand working from basic science, which is crucial for the understanding of biodiversity and has important effects on human life. All of this led me to see the diversity of Curculionidae and its complex organization, as a personal interest and a professional ideal.

My training as a taxonomist of Curculionidae was reinforced during my master studies when I deepened in the studies of ecology, biogeography, systematics, and evolutionary history of the group. During my Master’s degree, I carried out a taxonomic review of the South American species of the genus Heilus Kuschel. At that time, I contacted curators from several collections in Brazil and some from abroad to request material for my dissertation.

Currently, I am working on the Systematics and Natural History of the genus Udeus Champion (Curculioninae, Eugnomini). These weevils are possible pollinators of Cecropia, common and diverse plants in the Neotropical region. With this project, my interest in curculionids goes beyond taxonomic research. I am venturing into ecological studies, behavioral and chemical communication with the help of my advisors Dr. Paschoal Coelho Grossi and Dr. Bruno de Medeiros, and other collaborators. I intend to study the diversity of Udeus, infer the phylogeny of the genus using molecular data, and investigate the mechanisms involved in the interaction of these weevils with their host plants.

For the future, I wish to continue venturing into the immense diversity of weevils and seize the opportunities to engage with the various disciplines applicable to the study of Curculionidae.

Last updated September 10, 2021