Dr. Sara Branco completed her Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago as a Fulbright scholar, was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Paris. She has been studying fungi since she was 16 years old and earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Lisbon (Portugal). Currently Dr. Branco is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Integrative Biology at University of Colorado Denver.
Dr. Branco studies the ecology and evolution of fungi with the goal of understanding the ecological factors that generate and maintain fungal diversity. Specifically, the Branco Lab uses a combination of field, laboratory and computational approaches to investigate how fungi colonize and persist in the environment. Dr. Branco’s studies range biological scales, from ecological communities to genomes and genes, and have a particular emphasis on adaptation to hostile environments. In addition to her passion for scientific research, Dr. Branco is also committed to promote efforts for effective science communication and increasing diversity in science.
Dr. Branco has been an MSA member since 2005 and has been actively serving the society in several capacities. Her service ranges from compiling and disseminating diversity data, to serving as councilor for Ecology/Pathology and Genetics/Cell Biology, and being member and/or chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Mentor Awards Committee, the Ambassador Interchange Fund committee, the Distinctions Award Committee, and the SPORES mentoring program subcommittee.
Lab website: https://saramayerbranco.wixsite.com/brancolab