Carolina Romeiro Fernandes Chagas

Postdoc researcher dr. Carolina Romeiro Fernandes Chagas

Postdoc duration: 2017–2020

Postdoc supervisor: habil. dr. Gediminas Valkiūnas (P. B. Šivickis laboratory of parasitology)

Postdoc topic: Molecular characterization of avian haemosporidian parasites and determination of their vectors

The project addresses diagnostics and transmission of cosmopolitan avian haemosporidian infections. These blood parasites cause health problems both in birds and dipteran insects, but remain insufficiently investigated. Importantly, some haemosporidian species (for example, malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum pGRW4) are actively transmitted in tropical countries including Brazil, but also emerging to Europe. That indicats global significance of avian haemosporidian research. Postdoc researcher is experienced in PCR-based diagnostics of haemosporidians using cytochrome b (cytb) partial sequences, but not in application of other genes in molecular characterization of the parasites as well as in taxonomy and vector research. Qualification of the researcher would be markedly improved on these topics. The new knowledge will also contribute to development of avian parasitology in Lithuania and Europe. The project is a unique opportunity to bring a Brazilian young researcher to the Lithuanian laboratory, which is well-recognizable in studies of wildlife haemosporidians.