The UFSC Graduate Program in Biology of Fungi, Algae and Plants (PPGFAP) is committed to studying different aspects of the biodiversity of ecosystems where fungal, algal and plant communities play a major role on determining the structure and function of the environment. We are located in Santa Catarina Island, and our laboratories are near fieldwork sites such as high altitude fields, restinga, the Atlantic Forest, lagoons, estuaries, mangroves and rocky shores. This proximity allows the systematic monitoring of several aspects of biodiversity that are constantly affected by local and global impacts and by anthropogenic effects.
Within the Botany field, the Biology Studies on Biodiversity adopt a multidisciplinary approach. This concentration area brings together aspects of the different organization levels of Fungi, Algae and Plants from several perspectives (ecological, taxonomic, phylogenetic, evolutionary, phylogeographic, physiological, ecophysiological, biogeographic, ethnobotanical, anatomical, floristic, among others) and with a focus on “diversity”. Research at the PPGFAP is targeted at the investigation of the various implications on the diversity of these organisms, in a historical, current and future perspective, given the constant threat of climate change.
Biology of Fungi, Algae and Plants is the single concentration area of the PPGFAP. It is divided into two lines of research: a) Systematics and Structural Biology, and b) Physiology and Ecology. These two lines are comprehensive and include all areas of interest and expertise of the program’s faculty and of the other researchers and professors involved. Also, the PPGFAP seeks to integrate the different lines of research through the interdisciplinary activities of its faculty members.
LINES OF RESEARCH
- Systematics and Structural Biology
Theoretical and applied structural studies on different levels (macro, micro and ultra) to understand the evolutionary history and provide updated classifications for fungi, algae and plants, focusing on improving biodiversity knowledge.
The research projects in this line have as specific objectives to morphologically diagnose, describe and characterize the biodiversity of fungi, algae and plants, as well as to investigate their evolutionary relationships so as to identity natural clusters. In this respect, morphological and anatomical macro, micro and ultrastructural studies, with direct application on fungal, algal and plant taxonomy, ecology and ecophysiology, are included. This line also includes morphological, molecular and phylogenetic studies, followed by biogeographic approaches at different levels and by specific groups of macrofungi, algae and plants, as well as projects on the floristic and structural composition of field and forest vegetation and on macrofungal and macroalgal communities. Results from these studies can be applied to the conservation of biodiversity in the face of current climatic changes.
- Physiology and Ecology
Studies on traditional and applied physiology, ecophysiology, populations and community ecology, and ethnobotany of fungi, algae and plants, focusing on knowledge and elements that may have biotechnological and/or conservationist applications, either from organisms, natural landscapes or traditional community practices, and that act directly on the maintenance of the natural balance of ecosystems.
Research projects in this line have as specific objectives: a) to characterize developmental physiological processes in order to apply them to fungal, algal and plant conservation; b) to understand basic biotic and abiotic components essential to the formation of fungi, algae and plant communities, including the ecophysiological processes responsible for their structure and functioning; c) to understand, from an ecophysiological point of view, the photobiology, the secondary metabolism, the metabolomics and ecotoxicology of these organisms, aiming at biotechnological applications using bioinformatics, nanotechnology and bioremediation; and d) to access traditional knowledge and uses of these organisms from the ethnobotanical, historical ecology, and plant and landscape domestication approaches. These objectives are directed towards the development of knowledge and use of biodiversity at several levels and the implications for its conservation in a global climate change scenario.
Students’ admission to the master’s and doctoral programs is carried out annually through calls for applications usually released in October and published at http://ppgfap.posgrad.ufsc.br/processo-seletivo-e-editais, for admission in the next year. The number of seats is defined in each call according to the faculty availability.
Admission of Master’s students
The selection process for admission of master’s students is decentralized and involves a basic knowledge test about fungi, algae and plants and the evaluation of the applicants’ Curriculum Vitae, as established in the Call for Applications. For any further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admission of Doctoral students
Doctoral applicants are evaluated by the analysis, presentation and defense of a doctoral dissertation project and by the Curriculum Vitae evaluation, as established in the Call for Applications.
Students interested in applying for doctoral studies must submit their research projects according to the specifications provided in http://ppgfap.posgrad.ufsc.br/formularios/. Projects are evaluated each semester, usually in the beginning and middle of the year, for admissions in the first and second academic semester respectively. Students who do not need a scholarship must also fill out a “scholarship resignation” form.
Admission of postdoctoral researchers
The selection process for admission of postdoctoral researchers is carried out through Calls for Applications elaborated by a committee composed by three members of the program’s delegated council. These Calls are published at http://ppgfap.posgrad.ufsc.br/processo-seletivo-e-editais. For postdoctoral positions, a research project and a graduate-level course plan are typically required, and must be orally presented during an interview to be scheduled with the committee members. For any further information, please contact us at email@example.com.
FAP 410028 | Structural Biology of Fungi, Algae and Plants | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Structural organization of fungi, algae and plants. Structure of the fungal hyphae; main organells; mycellium organization, plectenchyma, stroma. Structure and organization of algal cells and stalk. Structure and organization of the plant cell, tissues, and body. Usual techniques in structural and ultrastructural analyses.
FAP 410029 | Ecophysiology of Fungi, Algae and Plants | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Biology of the fungal cell; fungal growth and reproduction; fungi in ecosystems: symbiont and saprobic communities; fungi and biogeochemical cycles. Algae: general ecophysiological characteristics of algal cells; algal photosynthesis and primary production; nutrient absorption dynamics and growth of micro- and macroalgae; biotic associations in algae; phytoplancton ecology; phytobenthos ecology; algae and biogeochemical cycles. Plants: water absorption; mineral nutrition; ions and solutes absorption; photosynthesis.
FAP 410030 | Fundamentals of Fungi, Algae and Plant Systematics | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Analysis and discussion of the principles of Plant Systematics and the tools used in different approaches. Basic knowledge for understanding biodiversity, vegetal evolution and phylogenetic relationships. Subsidies for interpreting and developing taxonomic studies.
FAP 410034 | Botanical Studies Week (SEBO) | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Presentation and discussion of theoretical and methodological aspects of the students’ research projects. Problematization of concepts, theories, methods, innovations, techniques and consonance with the lines of research in each project. Structuring of theses and dissertations.
BVE 410036 | Methods of electronic and confocal microscopy applied to plant biology | 60 class hours | 4 credits
Structure and functioning of transmission electronic microscopy (TEM), scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and confocal (CM) microscopy. Fixative solutions and resins, sample preparation, razor making, ultramicrotomy. SEM sample preparation: critical point and metallization. SEM and TEM sample analysis. Discussion on artifacts and critical analysis of electromicrographies. CM sample preparation. Potentials, advantages and disadvantages of the technique. Notions of cytochemistry. Section thickness, choice of fixatives, inclusion media, choice of fluorophores, slides mounting, choice of mounting media.
FAP 410001 | Fundamentals of Mycology | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Introduction to Mycology. Mycological concepts and terminology analysis. Macro- and microscopic features, systematics, reproduction and ecology of Chytridiomycota, Zygomycota, Glomeromycota, Ascomycota and Basidiomycota.
FAP 410002 | Vegetation and Flora of Southern Brazil | 90 class hours | 6 credits
Historical aspects of Southern Brazilian vegetation; main angiosperm families, genera and species found in different phytophysiognomies; identificating and recognizing families and genera using vegetative and/or reproductive features. APG III classification system; improvement of techniques for pressing and preserving botanical material.
FAP 410003 | Instrumental Photosynthesis Analysis | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Algal and plant photosynthesis. Photophosphorylation. Carbon fixation. Photosynthesis measurement methods: oximeter, fluorimeter (PAM), IRGA.
FAP 410008 | Principles and Methods of Plant Historical Biogeography | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Principles and methods of historical biogeography. Distribution areas. Geographic distribution patterns. Continental drift. Biogeographic processes: speciation, extinction, dispersal and vicariance. Areas of endemism, biogeographic regionalization, methods for calibrating and dating molecular phylogenies, phylogeography, integrative biogeography. Methods for delimiting endemic areas. Historical biogeography inference. Panbiogeography, Cladistic Biogeography, Dispersal-Vicariance Analysis (DIVA). Historical overview of South American vegetation biogeography.
FAP 410014 | Technical English for preparing scientific papers | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Structure of scientific texts: title, authors, institutions, abbreviations, running title, abstract, introduction, material and methods, results, discussion, legends, figures, graphs, diagrams, acknowledgements, references. Scientific English: clarity, objectivity, brevity, fluidity, style and writing rythm. Main grammatical errors in technical-scientific English. Main cultural and technical errors in technical-scientific English by Portuguese-speaking people. Techniques for developing scientific papers in English. Submission cover letters. Requesting reviewers and other special requests. Techniques and tools that help preparing papers in English.
FAP 410016 | Fundamentals of Molecular Systematics | 60 class hours | 4 credits
Fundamentals of biology, evolution and molecular systematics; molecular markers; main phylosophies and analytical methods in molecular systematics; DNA barcoding; fundamentals of population genetics and phylogeography.
FAP 410019 | Theoretical Basis of Phylogenetic Systematics | 60 class hours | 4 credits
History and phylosophy of phylogenetic systematics; biological classification; species concepts; circumscription of terminal taxa; homology; types of systematic information; characters; phylogenetic trees; methodologies and algorithms for phylogenetic inference; innovative approaches to phylogenetic inference.
FAP 410026 | Especial Topics: Introduction to Statistics | 60 class hours | 4 credits
Introduction to R software and packages for uni- and multivariate data analyses; Types of variables used in data analyses; Measures of central tendency and dispersion; Hypothesis testing and confidence intervals; analysis of variance in ecology (Anova and t test), uses and limitations. Correlations versus regressions in ecology (Pearson and Spearman correlations): when to use them?; Modeling ecological data (simple and multiple linear regression), validation and inferences from models; Model selection (AIC and BIC); Analysis of categorical data (chi-square, G-test and Fischer’s test); Transformation and standardization of multivariate data; Multivariate distance measures; Similarity, dissimilarity and distance coefficients; Ordination analyses (PCA and PCoA); Graphic and tabular presentation of data and obtained results.
FAP 410027 | Especial Topics: Elaboration of digital pieces for scientific papers | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Image resolution and editing and commonly used formats (JPEG and TIFF). Creating pieces from photographs and line drawings using Corel Draw. Figure legends. Fluxograms and other graphic schemes. Journal instructions for figure preparation.
FAP 410031 | Especial Topics: Scientific texts and project design | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Scientific texts: theses and dissertations; scientific articles, abstracts and scientific promotion material. Elements that structure a scientific text. Critical analysis exercises on scientific text elements: Title, Keywords, Abstract, Introduction, Results and Discussion, and References. Plagiarism on scientific publication. Basic notions on the history and modern characterization of the scientific method. Basic notions of epistemology. Concept and importance of an experimental design. Types of experimental design. Basic notions of statistics (principles, types of data, types of statistics, types of variables, types of hypotheses). Scientific projects: differences between general objectives, specific objectives and goals, and between null, primary and alternative hypotheses.
FAP 410032 | Comparative analyses: evolution, ecology and conservation | 60 class hours | 4 credits
Presentation of the main methods and goals for the use of phylogenies in evolutional, ecological, , biogeographical and conservational studies. Introduction to basic bibliography, with activities to become acquainted to computer programs commonly used in the area. Training in data analysis to exercise the theoretical knowledge.
FAP 410033 | Introduction to Ethnobotany | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Introduction. Historical development of Ethnobotany, theoretical approaches. Traditional populations and biological conservation. Ethnotaxonomy and ethnoclassification. Historical ecology, landscape management. Plant management and domestication. Data collection and analysis methods, research design in ethnobotany, qulitative and quantitative methods, integrated methodological approaches, multivariate analysis in ethnobotany.
FAP 410035 | Plant structure and function in Brazilian environments | 45 class hours | 3 credits
Morphoanatomical strategies and functional roles of plant species adaptations to the main environments across Brazilian phytogeographic domains.
FAP 410036 | Especial topics – Plant Ecology in a Changing World | 30 class hours | 2 credits
Plant Ecology: history, scales, adaptation, plasticity, environmental interaction, functional traits, reproduction. Global changes (climatic changes, habitat conversion and fragmentation, and invasion of introduced species): predictions and effects from the individual level to species distribution patterns. Effects of climate change on plant species functional traits (morphological, physiological and phenological). Plasticity and mechanisms of adaptation and rapid evolution in invasive introduced species. Effects of climate change on species distribution patterns and ecosystem functioning. Successional trajectories and alternative states. Aspects of Neotropical Historical Ecology in human-modified landscapes: processes of diversity reduction and amplification. Biotic homogenization in the Anthropocene. Ecosystem services and disservices. The new science of conservation: philosophical and ethical matters. The novel ecosystem concept and new paradigms on restoration science. Ecological science, conservation practice and adaptive management.
FAP 410037 | Especial Topics – Evolutionary Processes in Plants | 60 class hours | 4 credits
Overview of several evolutionary processes, focusing on plant lineages, notably angiosperms. Demographic structure and isolation: gene flow and drift. Reproductive biology. Morphological and phenotypic evolution. Speciation processes in plants: selection; geographic models; hybridization; polyploidy. Processes involved in angiosperm diversification. Origin and maintenance of floral diversity. Interactions: pollination and dispersal. Geographic distribution and niche evolution in plants.
FAP 410038 | Wood Macrofungi: Biology, Ecology and Diversity | 75 class hours | 5 credits
Wood-decomposing macrofungi biology. Life strategies. Ecological relationships: biotic and abiotic factors. Decomposing fungi x plant communities. Development of fungal communities in wood. Fungi in nutrient cycling and ecosystem services. Taxonomy and systematics of the group. Inventories and monitoring of wood macrofungi diversity.
FAP 410039 | Microscopic Study Techniques in Plant Biology | 75 hours | 5 credits
Instruments and equipment used in microscopic preparations. Preparation of Solutions. Methods for the study of cells and tissues in light microscopy: free-hand cuts, maceration, fixation, dehidration, paraffin inclusion, historesin and PEG 1500, microtomy, coloration and assembly. Basic histochemistry.
FAP 410040 | Experimental Design and Analysis in Ecology and Plant Ecophysiology | 45 hours | 3 credits
Design and analysis of experiments in ecology and ecophysiology. Scientific questions and setting of experiments to test hypotheses. Data exploration and analysis (R statistical software).
FAP 410041 | Topics in Plant Physiology | 60 hours | 4 credits
Various topics regarding plant physiology, with emphasis on the ways in which research studies are developed and on the logic behind each conclusion. Topics include: photosynthesis, mineral nutrition, plant hormones and development processes, such as germination, flowering, fructification, among others.
FAP 410042 | Herbarium management and use techniques for fungi and plants | 30 hours | 2 credits
History and importance of herbaria and the biological collections added to it. Practical and theoretical activities involving the steps of field collection, material processing and incorporation to the herbarium and databases. Functioning of a herbarium and opportunities of use of the collection information by the academic community and the general public.