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About Dr Naiara Sales

My research focuses on the application of distinct molecular tools for biodiversity assessment, ecosystem monitoring, and species conservation. I studied at PUC Minas in Brazil, where I obtained my BSc in Biological Sciences and MSc in Zoology (2013). I moved to the UK where I completed my PhD (2019) at the University of Salford (UK), in which I used innovative methods (e.g., Environmental DNA metabarcoding, metagenomics, ddRADSeq) for species delimitation, biomonitoring, and species management and conservation in both tropical and temperate ecosystems. After completing my PhD, I worked as a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lisbon where I also applied a wide range of molecular tools to investigate rodent invasions pathways, occurrence of rodent borne diseases, rodenticide resistance, and parasite-microbe interactions.


Currently I teach on a range of modules, including Genetics and Evolution, Wildlife Crime and Conservation, Data Handling, Research Methods, Applied Conservation Genetics.


I am interested in the application of distinct molecular tools to address a wide variety of ecological and evolutionary questions. Research focuses mainly on using novel genetic and genomics techniques for biodiversity assessment, ecosystem monitoring, and species conservation.
As a researcher I have been focusing on the application of distinct molecular tools for biodiversity assessment, ecosystem monitoring, and species conservation in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. 

Published Work

Broadhurst HA, Gregory LM, Bleakley EK, Perkins JC, Lavin JV, Bolton P, Browett SS, Howe CV, Singleton N, Tansley D, Sales NG, McDevitt A. (2021). Mapping differences in mammalian distributions and diversity using environmental DNA from rivers. bioRxiv. DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.27.441610

Jackman J, Benvenuto C, Coscia I, Boubli J, Magnusson W, McDevitt A, Sales NG. (2021). eDNA in a bottleneck: Obstacles to fish metabarcoding studies in megadiverse freshwater systems. Environmental DNA Journal. DOI: 10.1002/edn3.191

Browett SS, Curran TG, O’Meara DB, Harrington AP, Sales NG, Antwis RA, O’Neill D, O’Reilly C, Yearsley JM McDevitt A. (2021).  Primer biases in the molecular assessment of diet in multiple insectivorous mammals. In prep.

Sales NG, Wangensteen OS, Carvalho DC, Coscia I, McDevitt AD, Mariani S. (2021). Space-time dynamics in monitoring neotropical fish communities using eDNA metabarcoding. Science of the Total Environment. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142096

Milan DT, Damasceno JS, Mendes IS, Teixeira DF, Sales NG, Carvalho DC. (2020). New 12S metabarcoding primers for enhanced Neotropical freshwater fish biodiversity assessment. Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-74902-3

Sales NG, McKenzie MB, Drake J, Browett SS, Coscia I, Harper LR, Wangensteen OS, Baillie C, Bryce E, Dawson DA, Mariani S, Hänfling B, Handley LL, Lambin X, Sutherland C, McDevitt AD. (2020). Fishing for mammals: comparing environmental DNA to traditional survey methods for the detection of terrestrial mammalian communities. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13592

Sales NG, Kaizer MC, Coscia I, Perkins J, Highlands J, Boubli JP, Magnusson WE, Benvenuto C, McDevitt AD. (2020). Assessing the potential of environmental DNA metabarcoding for monitoring Neotropical mammals: a case study in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Mammal Review.  DOI: 10.1111/mam.12183

Dos Santos JE, Marcon L, Brito MFG, Sales NG, Rizzo E, Bazzoli N. (2019). Reproductive biology of the Neotropical catfish Iheringichthys labrosus (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae), with anatomical and morphometric analysis of gonadal tissues. Animal Reproduction Science. DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2019.106173

Sales NG, Wangensteen OS, Carvalho DC, Mariani S. (2019). Influence of preservation methods, sampling medium and sampling time in eDNA recovery in a Neotropical river. Environmental DNA Journal.  DOI: 10.1002/edn3.14

McDevitt AD*, Sales NG*, Browett S, Sparnenn A, Mariani S, Wangensteen OS, Coscia I, Benvenuto C. (2019). Environmental DNA metabarcoding as an effective and rapid tool for fish monitoring in canals. Journal Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14053 *Equal contribution.

Sales NG, Mariani S, Salvador GN, Pessali TC, Carvalho DC. (2018). Hidden diversity hampers conservation efforts in the Doce river basin: a highly impacted Neotropical river system. Frontiers in Genetics.  doi:10.3389/fgene.2018.00271

Sales NG, Pessali TC, Andrade Neto FR, Carvalho DC. (2017). Introgression from non-native species unveils a hidden threat to the migratory Neotropical fish Prochilodus hartii. Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-017-1556-4

Santos JE, Sales NG, Santos ML, Arantes FP, Godinho HP. Early ontogeny and swimming behaviour of larvae of the neotropical fish Prochilodus costatus Valenciennes 1850 Prochilodus argenteus Spix & Agassiz 1829 (Characiformes: Prochilodontidae). Revista de Biologia Tropical. DOI: 10.15517/rbt.v64i2.19052

Gomes LC, Casarim TP, Sales NG, Pompeu PS, Carvalho DC. (2016). Integrative taxonomy detects cryptic and overlooked fish species in a neotropical river basin. Genetica. DOI: 10.1007/s10709-015-9856-

Becker RA, Sales NG, Santos GM, Carvalho DC. (2015). DNA barcoding and morphological identification of neotropical ichthyoplankton from the Upper Paraná and São Francisco. Journal of Fish Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.12707


PhD In Molecular Ecology and Conservation, University of Salford (2019). Thesis: “DNA Barcoding and Metabarcoding of a rapidly changing Neotropical freshwater community”

MSc Degree in Zoology of Vertebrates. PUC Minas, Brazil (2015). Thesis:  “Introgression from non-native species unveils a hidden threat to the migratory fish Prochilodus hartii”.

BSc degree in Biological Sciences. PUC Minas, Brazil (2012).

Licentiate degree in Biological Sciences, Subject Environmental Education. PUC Minas, Brazil (2012).