Marina Corrêa Côrtes
Assistant Professor

​I am an ecologist interested in the processes generating the spatial distribution and genetic structure of plants. I am particularly interested in the role that animals play on the dispersal of pollen, seeds and genes across natural and human altered environments in the tropics.​


Phone (work): +55 19 3526 4231


PhD students

co-advised PhD students

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Robert Timmers

Robert is a PhD candidate based at Utrecht University in the The Netherlands. His work is part of the animal-plant interactions project that is co-funded by FAPESP and NWO. Through a combination of focal observations and the use of wildlife cameras, we aim to quantify plant-frugivore interactions across a chronosequence of regenerating Atlantic Forest fragments. Based on our findings we aim to develop restoration guidelines to promote plant-frugivore interactions that enhance biodiversity and ecosystem restoration.

Main advisors: Prof. Merel Soons (Utrecht University), Dr. Marijke van Kuijk (Utrecht University).


Marianne Azevedo Silva

Marianne is interested in evolutionary ecology and landscape genetics of ants. Her goals are to characterize the latitudinal distribution of intraspecific genetic diversity of ants in the Cerrado and evaluate its association with environmental heterogeneity. She is a PhD student in the Ecology program at UNICAMP, Campinas. Advisor: Dr. Paulo Oliveira, co-advisor Marina Côrtes. Collaborators: Dr. Sebastian Sendoya, Dra. Anete Pereira de Souza (UNICAMP), Dr. Gustavo M. Mori (UNESP Litoral Paulista).


Master students


Willian is a Master's student in the Ecology & Biodiversity graduate program. He aims at understanding the role of fruit nutritional content on structuring plant-frugivore networks in regenerating Atlantic forests.



Carina is a Master's student studying the role introduced plant species play in naturally regenerating secondary forest fragments. She hopes to integrate novel molecular techniques with more traditional observational methods to analyze seed dispersal from multiple perspectives.



Chico is a Master's student in the Ecology & Biodiversity program at UNESP. He aims at evaluating the influence of land use and cover on wing fluctuating asymmetry of frugivorous butterflies in agricultural landscapes. Collaborator: Dr. André Freitas (UNICAMP).

Learn more about his work



Undergraduate students

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Yuri Maluf Napoleão 

Yuri is an Ecology student at UNESP Rio Claro. He is interested in bird behavior and the effects on frugivory and seed dispersal. He is involved in the outreach initiative Aves da Minha Rio Claro and believes raising awareness of the biodiversity in our neighborhood can help biological conservation. He is currently building a database of birds and associated functional traits for our project on animal-plant interactions in regenerating forests.


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Rafaela Wolf

Rafaela is a Biology student at UNESP and an intern in our lab. She is passionate about bird behavior and also member of the outreach programme Aves da Minha Rio Claro. She has great experience on mist netting and bird identification and is assisting with the avian survey in the animal-plant interactions project.


Isabela is a Biology student at UNESP Rio Claro. She is interested in biological conservation and education. Initially she worked on optimizing lab protocols for isolating animal DNA. Now she is looking at how the centers for animals rehabilitation have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Former students


Mariana Giuliatti Winter

2021 Master in Ecology & Biodiversity, UNESP, Rio Claro

Thesis: Seed rain spatial pattern of a tropical palm generated by fruit-eating birds


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Larissa Sakellarios Lazzari

2021 BSc In Ecology, UNESP, Rio Claro

Senior thesis: Seed dispersal attributes of trees regenerating in areas with different land use histories in the Corumbataí Basin


2020 Master in Ecology & Biodiversity, UNESP, Rio Claro.

Thesis: Limitação da dispersão de sementes e suas consequências genéticas em remanescentes da Mata Atlântica

Co-advisor: Dr. Carolina da Silva Carvalho


Bruno Leles: PhD, Ecology & Biodiversity (2019), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Efeitos do isolamento: da ecologia populacional a políticas públicas". 
Clariana Lima: MSc, Ecology & Biodiversity (2019), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Comunidade de pequenos mamíferos e os fatores que influenciam a abundância de espécies em um fragmento de Mata Atlântica". Co-advisor: Dr. Ricardo Bovendorp.
Rafaela Aparecida Silva: PhD, Ecology & Biodiversity (2018), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Histórico de transformação da paisagem e a percepção atual dos serviços ecossistêmicos: buscando estratégias para a adequação ambiental dos estabelecimentos rurais". 
Letícia Leite Ferraço*: MSc, Zoology (2013), Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, Brazil. "Efetividade da dispersão de sementes pelo macaco-prego-do-peito-amarelo (Sapajus xanthosternos, Primates: Cebidae) em um mosaico florestal da Mata Atlântica: implicações para a regeneração de florestas". Advisor: Dr. Deborah Faria.
Karen Fernandes: BSc, Ecology (2018), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Revisitando os estudos sobre germinação de sementes da palmeira juçara Euterpe edulis".  
Giovane Böerner: BSc, Biology (2018), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Dispersão de pólen e sistema reprodutivo da palmeira Euterpe edulis em fragmentos da Mata Atlântica." Co-advisor: Dr. Carolina da Silva Carvalho. 
Carolina da Silva Carvalho: PhD, Ecology and Biodiversity (2018), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Variação fenotípica, genética e dispersão de sementes de uma palmeira da Mata Atlântica". Advisor: Dr. Mauro Galetti, co-advisor Marina Côrtes and Dr. Pedro Jordano. 
Renata Fabrega Gonçalves: MSc, Ecology and Biodiversity (2017), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Influência da paisagem na estrutura e diversidade genética de uma espécie pioneira em fragmentos da Mata Atlântica". Advisor: Dr. Marina Côrtes, co-advisor Milton C. Ribeiro. 
Marília Souza Lucas: BSc, Ecology (2016), UNESP, Rio Claro, Brazil. "Limitação da dispersão pela distância e diversidade genética das sementes dispersas de palmito juçara em fragmentos da Mata Atlântica". Advisor: Dr. Marina Côrtes, co-advisor Carolina da Silva Carvalho. 
Pâmela Friedemann Tavares*: MSc, Ecology (2018), INPA, Manaus, Brazil. "Respostas da comunidade de aves de sub-bosque a mudanças antropogênicas em paisagens de campinarana na Amazônia Central". Advisor: Dr. Cíntia Cornelius.