In the last years, a Doctoral Program for projects to be carried out in Africa was created. It was built as an extension of the very successful Post-Graduate Programme in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV) coordinated by CIBIO-InBIO University of Porto.

Global environmental changes are causing a major impact in the levels of biological diversity at a planetary scale. Of particular concern is the situation in Southern Africa, where biodiversity is directly linked to the quality of life of local communities and highly relevant for long-term sustainability and development of human societies. In the last few years, several CIBIO TwinLabs were established in Southern African countries, which are now working as a network:

  • Angola,
  • Mozambique,
  • South Africa,
  • Zimbabwe
  • Namibia.

In 2017, a UNESCO Chair entitled Life on Land was awarded to the University of Porto, precisely to promote the interaction among the TwinLabs of the SADC area, and to organize the different on-going and future research and capacity-building projects and actions involving these five TwinLabs. Highly qualified human resources, dedicated laboratories, infrastructures, and data on all levels of the biological sciences are needed in Southern African countries.

All these are part of the UN 2030 Agenda, the 17 SDGs (Sustainability Development Goals). "Life on Land” is precisely SDG 15, and all PhD research projects will be included in this goal, thus contributing decisively to the implementation of this topic. In addition, the research projects to be developed under this particular BIODIV Call will also contribute to other equally relevant SDGs.

Successful PhD students will work in close connection with one or more partner institutions from the five Southern African countries that are part of the UNESCO Chair Life on Land, and will be able to choose between a vast variety of topics within the biological sciences. These will include but are not limited to ecology and conservation in Southern Africa, the relevance, restoration and management of protected areas, the biology of iconic or endangered species, genetics and genomics of populations; and applications to the understanding of biodiversity at all levels, phylogenetics, taxonomy and the description of new taxa, the use of non-invasive molecular techniques, genetic resources and applications for a sustainable agriculture, emerging infectious diseases in an evolutionary context, tropical biology, conservation of endangered and fragmented ecosystems, impact of climate change on biodiversity.


Cátedra UNESCO Life on Land:

Livro Biodiversity of Angola: