Evolutionary Biology

Isabel Gordo

The area of research interests of the group led by Isabel Gordo is Evolutionary Biology, with a great focus on microbial evolution. The research group combine both theoretical and empirical work with the aim at a better understanding of the major forces that shape variation in bacterial populations. 


Present and future projects of the research team include:

  • Study the process of adaptation in the context of ecosystems using Escherichia coli as a model organism.
  • Test theoretical models of adaptive evolution against genotypic and phenotypic data obtained in experimentally adapted bacterial populations.
  • Determine the level of epistatic interactions on fitness between mutations that confer resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
  • Study the evolution of mutation rates and determine the factors that influence polymorphism for mutation rates in bacterial populations.


Research Projects

Epistasis and antibiotic resistance

Epistasis and antibiotic resistance

Even with the success of antibiotics, the rapid evolution of multiple antibiotic resistances constitutes an increasing health problem. We are studying the importance of genetic interactions in the evolution of antibiotic resistance. In particular the costs of multiple resistance and the rate of comp

Bacteria evolution in the mammalian gut

Bacteria evolution in the mammalian gut

In this project we aim at determine the speed and mode of adaptation of Escherichia coli close to its natural environments. We used different strains of mice and a commensal strain of E. coli to unravel the dynamics of adaptation in this complex ecosystem. We are interesting in modeling the process





Isabel Gordo, Principal Investigator

PhD in Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom




Phone: +351 214407915

E-mail: igordo@igc.gulbenkian.pt