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Department of Zoology



2016-Present: Research Associate; University of Cambridge, UK

2012-2015: Research fellow; University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK

2007-2011: PhD in Biology: Molecular Biology and Genetics; University of Aveiro, Portugal and Bangor University, Wales, UK

2005-2006: Post-graduate Leonardo Da Vinci program award; Bangor University, Wales, UK

2000-2005: Five years degree in Biology; University of Aveiro, Portugal.


My research interests focus on the integration of ecology, evolutionary biology, behaviour and functional genomics in non-model organisms. I am particularly interested in exploring how individuals and natural populations respond and adapt to environmental change at a molecular level.


Key publications: 

Eleanor Bladon, Sinead English, Sonia Pascoal*, Rebecca M Kilner*. 2020. Early‐life effects on body size in each sex interact to determine reproductive success in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 33: 1725-1734. *contributed equally

Syuan-Jyun Sun, Andrew M Catherall, Sonia Pascoal, Benjamin JM Jarrett, Sara E Miller, Michael J Sheehan, Rebecca M Kilner. 2020. Rapid local adaptation linked with phenotypic plasticity. Evolution Letters, 4: 345–359.

Sonia Pascoal, Judith E. Risse, Xiao Zhang, Mark Blaxter, Timothee Cezard, Richard J. Challis, Yongxiang Fang, Xuan Liu, Karim Gharbi, John Hunt, Sujai Kumar, Emma Langan, Jack G. Rayner, Michael G. Ritchie, Urmi Trivedi, Nathan W. Bailey. Field cricket genome reveals the footprint of recent, abrupt adaptation in the wild. 2019. Evolution Letters. doi:10.1002/evl3.148.

Nathan W. Bailey*, Sonia Pascoal*, Fernando Montealegre-Z. Testing the role of trait reversal in evolutionary diversification using song loss in wild crickets. 2019. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Early, 9 p. *contributed equally

Jack G. Rayner*, Sonia Pascoal*, Nathan W. Bailey. Release from intralocus sexual conflict? Evolved loss of a male sexual trait demasculinizes female gene expression. 2019. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 286: 20190497. *contributed equally

Sara B. Tavares, Filipa I.P. Samarra, Sonia Pascoal, Jeff A. Graves, Patrick J.O. Miller. Killer whales (Orcinus orca) in Iceland show weak genetic structure among diverse isotopic signatures and observed movement patterns. 2018. Ecology & Evolution, 8:11900-11913 .

Peter A. Moran, Sonia Pascoal, Timothee Cezard, Judith E. Risse, Michael G. Ritchie, Nathan W. Bailey. 2018. Opposing patterns of interspecific and intraspecific differentiation in sex chromosomes and autosomes. Molecular Ecology, 27:39053924; Special issue: Sex chromosomes and speciation.

Sonia Pascoal, Benjamin J. M. Jarrett, Emma Evans, Rebecca M. Kilner. 2018. Superior stimulation of female fecundity by subordinate males provides a mechanism for telegony. Evolution Letters, 2: 114-125.

Sonia Pascoal, Xuan Liu, Yongxiang Fang, Steve Paterson, Michael G. Ritchie, Nichola Rockliffe, Marlene Zuk and Nathan W. Bailey. 2018. Increased socially mediated plasticity in gene expression accompanies rapid adaptive evolution. Ecology Letters, 21: 546–556. 

Sonia Pascoal and Rebecca M. Kilner. 2017. Development and application of 14 microsatellite markers in the burying beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides reveals population genetic differentiation at local spatial scales. PeerJ5:e3278.

Sonia Pascoal, Magdalena Mendrok, Alastair J. Wilson, John Hunt, Nathan W. Bailey. 2017. Sexual selection and population divergence II. Divergence in different sexual traits and signal modalities in field crickets (Teleogryllus oceanicus). Evolution71, 1614–1626.

Sonia Pascoal, Xuan Liu, Tony Ly, Yongxiang Fang, Nichola Rockliffe, Steve Paterson, Sally L. Shirran, Catherine H. Botting, Nathan W. Bailey. 2016. Rapid evolution and gene expression: A rapidly-evolving Mendelian trait that silences field crickets has widespread effects on mRNA and protein expression. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 70, 1234-1246.

Sonia Pascoal, Peter Moran, Nathan W. Bailey. 2016. Signal evolution: “Shaky” evidence for sensory bias. Current Biology, 26, R78-R80.

Sonia Pascoal, Magdalena Mendrok, Christopher Mitchell, Alastair J. Wilson, John Hunt, Nathan W. Bailey. 2016. Sexual selection and population divergence I. The influence of socially flexible cuticular hydrocarbon expression in male field crickets, Teleogryllus oceanicus. Evolution, 70, 1, 82-97.

Emma F. Young, Mark Belchier, Lorenz Hauser, Gavin J. Horsburgh, Michael P. Meredith, Eugene J. Murphy, Sonia Pascoal, Jenniffer Rock, Niklas Tysklind, Gary R. Carvalho. 2015. Oceanography and life history predict contrasting genetic population structure in two Antarctic fish species. Evolutionary Applications, 8, 486-509.

Sonia Pascoal, Timothee Cezard, Aasta Eik-Nes, Karim Gharbi, Jagoda Majewska, Elizabeth Payne, Michael G. Ritchie, Marlene Zuk and Nathan W. Bailey. 2014. Rapid convergent evolution in wild crickets. Current Biology, 24, 1369-1374.

Sonia Pascoal, Gary Carvalho, Olga Vasieva, Roger Hughes, Andrew Cossins, Yongxiang Fang, Kevin Ashelford, Lisa Olohan, Carlos Barroso, Sonia Mendo and Simon Creer. 2013. Transcriptomics and in vivo tests reveal novel mechanisms underlying endocrine disruption in an ecological sentinel, Nucella lapillus. Molecular Ecology, 22, 1589-1608.

Sonia Pascoal, Gary Carvalho, Simon Creer, Sonia Mendo and Roger Hughes. 2012. Plastic and heritable variation in shell thickness of the intertidal gastropod Nucella lapillus associated with risks of crab predation and wave action, and sexual maturation. PLoS ONE, 7 e52134.

Clive J. Fox, Martin I. Taylor, Jeroen van der Kooij, Natasha Taylor, Stephen P. Milligan, Aitor Albaina, Sonia Pascoal, Delphine Lallias, Marjorie Maillard, and Ewan Hunter. 2012. Identification of marine fish egg predators using molecular probes. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 462, 205-18.

Sonia Pascoal, Gary Carvalho, Simon Creer, Jenny Rock, Kei Kawaii, Sonia Mendo, and Roger Hughes. 2012. Plastic and heritable components of phenotypic variation in Nucella lapillus: an assessment using reciprocal transplant and common garden experiments. PLoS ONE, 7 e30289.

Sonia Pascoal, Simon Creer, Martin I. Taylor, Henrique Queiroga, Gary Carvalho, and Sonia Mendo. 2009. Development and application of Microsatellites in Carcinus maenas: genetic differentiation between northern and central Portuguese populations. PLoS ONE, 4.

Research Associate

Contact Details

01223 (3)34466 01223 (3)35643 Lab