Dr. Sara Fratini

Sara Fratini

Genetics and genomics approaches are powerful tools for conservation of mangrove biodiversity

Habitat degradation and climate change are among the main causes of the increasing global loss of biodiversity, and mangroves are no exception. Mangrove forests host a unique faunal community, dominated by brachyuran crabs and gastropods which strongly contribute to the functionality of the entire ecosystem. The global biodiversity crisis calls for information able to accurately describe and identify species, to define conservation units and to monitor how biodiversity responds to different environmental pressures over time. In this context, genetic and genomic data may offer a great contribution to inform efficient management and conservation plans.

Short Bio

Dr. Fratini is an Assistant Professor of Zoology at the Department of Biology of the University of Florence in Italy, and a member of the IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group. Since her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior at the University of Florence, she has been interested in studying ecology and behavior of intertidal and marine invertebrates, mainly focusing on mangrove crabs and mollusks. Her research includes also phylogenetic, phylogeographic and population genetics studies of intertidal invertebrates. Currently, her research activities explore the application of metabarcoding and genomics to the study of biodiversity and environmental adaptations. Her overarching goal has been to devote her skills in genetics, genomics and ecology to the conservation of biodiversity.