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About Alison Gainsbury

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. My research interests lie in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology, specializing in herpetology. I have been fortunate to participate in the most amazing field expeditions across Brazil. Several field expeditions to Cerrado (savanna) enclaves within the Amazon forest provided a unique opportunity during my Masters’ research to test spatial and temporal dynamics of long-term natural isolation on lizard community structure and the role of stochastic extinctions. While pursuing my doctorate, I was fortunate to continue conducting my research in the Brazilian Cerrado, testing for anthropogenic impacts of introduced Eucalyptus plantations on native Cerrado lizard communities in Central Brazil. During my postdoctoral fellowship, I applied macroecology and biogeography theory and methods to study the global relationship between climate, net primary productivity and lizard dietary niche breadth to elucidate important processes driving biodiversity patterns. I look forward to collaborating on research implementing novel evolutionary ecology approaches to maximize biodiversity conservation.


Present Assistant Professor, University of South Florida College of Arts & Sciences


2008 - 2010 Bilateral Collaboration Grant
CAPES-University of Texas Austin
2008 - 2010 FAPDF
Brazilian Financial Agency
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Honors and Awards

  • Azrieli International Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • Research Fellowship, Dept. of Integrative Biology, UT Austin, 2004-2007
  • CAPES Master's Fellowship, Brazilian Government, 2000-2002


  • BSC 6971 Thesis: Master's of Science in Conservation BIology
  • BSC 6932 Quantitative Analytical Methods: Statistics in R
  • BSC 4933 Herpetology
  • BSC 4933 Wild Vertebrates of Florida
  • BSC 4933 Vertebrate Biodiversity
  • BSC 4933 Senior Seminar in Biology
  • PCB 3043 Principles of Ecology


Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin ‐ Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
M.S., University of Brasilia ‐ Ecology
B.S., University of Toronto ‐ Zoology

Contact Information

Office: DAV 244
Phone: 873-4309


Peer Reviewed Articles (10)