Prof. Fernando Augusto Oliveira Silveira

I hold a Ph.D in Plant Biology (2011) from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, when I was supervised by Dr. José Pires Lemos-Filho at LFV and Dr. Geraldo Wilson Fernandes. I did part of my Ph.D. thesis with Fernando Valladares in Spain. Now I am a professor at the Department of Plant Biology, UFMG, and I supervise graduate students in Plant Biology and Ecology. I am also an associated editor of FLORA. I am fascinated by plants from the Cerrado vegetation and those in OCBILs.  I play the bass and electric guitar.


Post-doc associates


Tadeu J. A. Guerra -

Tadeu joined LEEPT in December, 2014. He is studying seed dispersal complementarity in species with generalist seed dispersal syndromes. He is evaluating seed dispersal effectiveness (SDE) in Miconia species which are primarily dispersed by birds and secondarily dispersed by ants, lizards and small mammals.

Ph.D. Students


Carolina Santos Oliveira -

Carolina is a biologist from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and joined LEEPT in 2017 as a PhD student.  She is interested in studying the effects associated with the availability of nutrients in biological communities. Her PhD project aims to investigate the herbivory in infertile environments through the quantitative analysis of herbivore damage and physical, chemical and phenological defense characteristics along ecological gradients. 


André Jardim Arruda -

Andre is a biologist and joined the Plant Biology Program at UFMG in 2012 as a master student, researching ecological and taxonomic aspects of the ironstone outcrop vegetation at Carajas National Forest, Para, Brazil. In 2015 he become part of the LEEPT as a PhD student. He aims to study the campos rupestres vegetation of the Espinhaco mountain range, searching useful informations for the conservation and restoration of this unique ecosystem. He is specially interested in exploring the following aspects: the influence of low soil fertility in the allocation of nutrients and biomass to seeds, the dynamics of seed rain and removal in degraded and preserved areas, and the limiting factos for the seedling establishment in degraded areas. The results will contribute to the knowledge on plant ecology and evolution of these ancient, climatically buffered and extremely nutrient-poor environments.


Roberta Dayrell de Lima Campos -

Roberta is a biologist from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and joined LEEPT in 2013 as a master’s student in the Plant Biology Program at UFMG. She is interested in ecology and evolution of seed dormancy in campos rupestres. Her master project evaluated the existence of a ecological and phylogenetic correlates of seed dormancy in native plant species of this vegetation. Her PhD project aims to investigate the regeneration ecology in climatically stable, nutrient-poor and fire-prone vegetations. This includes ecophysiological studies of P economy and P allocation to seeds. She is now doing part of her Ph.D. at the University of Western Australia, under the supervision of Prof. Hans Lambers. Roberta plays the drums.


Deise Tatiane Bueno Miola -

Deise is a biologist, professor of Faculdade de Pará de Minas and CEO of Artemis Environmental Consulting ( She joined the LEEPT in 2015 as a PhD student in ECMVS-UFMG. Her project involves the study of conservation and phylogenetic diversity of Campos Rupestres Vegetation in the Espinhaço Range


Diego F. Escobar  -


In seasonal ecosystems, seed germination at the beginning of the rainy season is crucial for the establishment of seedlings. In my doctoral thesis, I investigate the strategies that allow Brazilian savanna plants to synchronize their germination with the beginning of the rainy season, the effect of life-history traits on these strategies and the evolution of seed dormancy.


São Paulo (UNESP/Rio Claro), advised by Alessandra Fidelis and co-advised by Fernando Silveira. He
is interested in the effects of fire (and non-fire-related) factors on seed dormancy, germination, and
survival in flammable ecosystems, especially in legumes from the Cerrado vegetation. This includes
investigating the role of seed traits and phylogeny on those patterns, which he is doing at the CIDE/CSIC
Institute (Valencia, Spain), supervised by Dr. Juli G. Pausas. In addition, Luís is applying for a post-doc
to definitely join LEEPT in 2018. This next project comprises management of data compiled by the
FIRESEED Network, in collaboration with fire and seed ecologists throughout the world.

Master students

Marcílio Zanetti -

Marcilio Zanetti is a biologist graduated from the Federal University of Espirito Santo, and joined LEEPT in 2017 as a master student in the plant biology program at UFMG.  His project aims to study seed dormancy and viability of species from Canga da Serra dos Carajás – PA, a conservation area that suffers intense mining activities.


João Vitor de S. Messeder -

João Vitor is a biologist graduated at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). He joined LEEPT in 2015 as undergraduate researcher, and now he is a master's student at the Plant Biology Grad School Program at UFMG. His research is about mutualistic interactions between plants and seed dispersers in the Neotropical region, investigating the role of Miconieae (Melastomataceae) fruits as keystone resource. Between August 2014 and July 2015 he studied two semesters and did a research internship at the Odum School of Ecology at University of Georgia (USA) supervised by Dr. Catherine Pringle.


Undergraduate students


Patrícia Alves

Patrícia is an undergraduate student and is helping André in his PhD project. She is doing an intership at the University of Regensburg, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Peter Poschlod.

Luisa Azevedo -

Luisa is helping Roberta in her PhD project. Luiza plays the acoustic guitar.


João and Davi Silveira - No email available yet

João's project plays a central role in the activities of LEEPT. His main attributions are to bringing joy and happiness to the group. Davi has an additional job: keeping everyone awake in the night.



Past students

Lisieux F. Fuzessy -

Lisieux did her Ph.D on the ecological interactions between Neotropical primates and fruits, aiming to describe the evolution of plant traits related to primatocory and the dispersal potential of primates through meta-analyses gut passage effects on seed germination, and seed dispersal distances. She is now a post-doc research at the State University of São Paulo


Alberto L. Teixido -
Alberto studied the ecology and evolution of tropical flowers using species of Kielmeyera as study models. He investigated the factors shaping floral size and longevity in a seasonal environment. He is now professor of ecology at the Federal University of Mato Grosso. 

Luís Felipe Daibes -

Luís is a seed biologist born in Porto Velho (Northern Brazil), currently finishing his PhD in the State of São Paulo (UNESP/Rio Claro), advised by Alessandra Fidelis and co-advised by Fernando Silveira. He is interested in the effects of fire (and non-fire-related) factors on seed dormancy, germination, and survival in flammable ecosystems, especially in legumes from the Cerrado vegetation. This includes investigating the role of seed traits and phylogeny on those patterns, which he is doing at the CIDE/CSIC Institute (Valencia, Spain), supervised by Dr. Juli G. Pausas. In addition, Luís is applying for a post-doc to definitely join LEEPT in 2018.



Rafaella C. Ribeiro -

Rafaella studied the ecology, dispersal, evolution and anatomy of Melastomataceae seeds. She was supervised by Prof. Dra. Denise M. T. Oliveira at the PPGBOT-UFMG and co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Renato Goldenberg (UFPR) and me. Her project aimed to evaluate the role of seed characters in taxonomy and phylogeny of Miconieae. She is also investigated the structural changes of Miconia  seeds after bird gut passage. Furthermore, she analyzed the fruit’s ontogenesis and patterns of dehiscence in species of Microlicieae Melastomataceae). She did part of her thesis under the supervision of Dr. Fabian Michelangeli at the NYBG.


Silvana A. B. Castro -

Silvana was supervised by Prof. José Pires Lemos Filho at the ECMVS-UFMG. She studied leaf functional traits of Melastomataceae through ecophylogenetics.


Guilherme V. T. Ribeiro -

Guilherme joined LEEPT in 2013 as a master’s student in the ECMVS-UFMG. His project aimed to find out geographic and phylogenetic biases in seeds ecology research in Brazil. His project attempts to find a "museum effect" in seed ecology studies, in other words, whether studies are disproportionately concentrated at determined biomes, Brazilian regions and botanical families. He pointed out knowledge gaps in seed ecology science and discussed major implications for plant conservation. He got his master thesis in February 2015.

Alessandra M. O. Santos -

Alessandra´s project was entitled Seed dispersal effectiveness in two Miconia (Melastomataceae) species by birds at the Iron Quadrangle, Brazil. She examined seed dispersal effectiveness by looking at both quantitative and qualitative components. She was co-supervised by Prof. Cláudia M. Jacobi. She defended her master thesis at the ECMVS-UFMG in February 2015.


Luiza F. A. Paula -

Luiza did her master thesis looking at the inventory, functional and phylogenetic diversity of plant communities on inselbergs (granitic and gnaiss outcrop rock) flora at northeastern Minas Gerais. Now she is a PhD student at the University of Rostock, Germany, under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Porembski. She continues to collaborate with the LEEPT. Luiza plays the flute and percussion.


Naila Nativel -

Naila pleased us with her company for a shorte period of 4 months.  She came from Université du Montpellier II in France to finish her master and she left us with saudade. She studied the effects of seed coat scarification and seed storage on germination and dormancy break in several species of Fabaceae from the campos rupestres. Her study linked seed dormancy with restoration ecology and provided important basis for restorationists.


Christiane Marta Genrich

Chris studied seed dispersal by rats and marsupials in grasslands and woodlans. She was supervised by Prof. Adriano Paglia at the ECMVS-UFMG. Through seed viability tests she as able to determine legitimate and illegitimate interactions, using network theory. 



Agnello Picorelli -


Agnello helped Rafaella in her study of seed dispersal in Melastomataceae


Renato Fernandes -

Renato helped Luiza Paula in her master thesis. Renato plays the melodica.


Pedro Loureiro -

Pedro helped Roberta in her master thesis.


João Victor -

João helped Lisieux in her Ph.D. thesis.