Fernanda Antunes Carvalho

Life Sciences

Fernanda Antunes Carvalho’s journey to becoming a scientist was greatly influenced by her childhood experiences in both the rural areas of Minas Gerais and the urban environment of Belo Horizonte. Her adventures swimming in lagoons, exploring forests, and climbing trees fostered a deep connection with nature and ignited her curiosity to unravel its mysteries. Fernanda pursued her passion for biology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, further specializing with a master’s degree in botany from the National Institute for Amazonian Research in Manaus. She expanded her academic horizons internationally, earning a doctorate in natural sciences from Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany and completing a post-doctoral period at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her research focuses on the critical issue of bee extinction, analyzing bee pollination patterns to contribute to potential solutions. Outside of her professional life, Fernanda dedicates time to her young daughter and finds balance through yoga and meditation.


Deciphering Plant-Pollinator Relationships in the Cerrado with DNA Metabarcoding
Science / Life Sciences

Pollination, an indispensable ecosystem service for biodiversity and food security, is meticulously executed by bees, whose life cycle hinges on the pollen they collect from flowers. However, the alarming decline of bee species and the challenges posed by their conservation partly stem from our limited understanding of their intricate interactions with plants. To address this knowledge gap, this groundbreaking project will employ an innovative DNA sequencing technique known as DNA metabarcoding to comprehensively identify all the plants visited, and potentially pollinated, by bees in the Cerrado, Brazil’s vast and biodiverse savanna. This will be achieved by extracting genetic barcodes from the pollen samples collected from bee nests. This novel approach, which surpasses existing methods in terms of speed and efficiency, will empower us to unravel numerous enigmas surrounding the role of bees in preserving the Cerrado’s exceptional biodiversity, the impact of bee pollination on the region’s agricultural productivity, and the effects of habitat loss and climate change on bee populations.

Amount invested

R$ 100,000.00

Open Calls

Science Call 2
  • Topics
  • Abelhas
  • cerrado
  • DNA