Dr Maria Daniela Santos Nunes

Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology

Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught


Level 4 

  • The Practicing Scientist (BIOL4004)
  • Research Methods for Biology and Environmental Sciences (BIOL5013)

Level 5 

  • Molecular Biology (module leader) (BIOL5014)
  • Genetics (module leader) (BIOL5015)

Level 6 

  • Advanced Genetics and Genomics (BIOL6011)
  • Animal Neurobiology and Behaviour (module leader) (BIOL6012)
  • Evolution and Animal Development (BIOL6005)
  • Project (BIOS6010)
  • Independent Study in Life Sciences (BIOL6009)


Master students

  • Evelyne Mann (Vetmed Uni, Vienna, 2009)
  • Victoria Steinmann (Vetmed Uni, Vienna, 2011)

PhD students

  • Luis Baudouin Gonzalez (second supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, ongoing)
  • Abigail Bailey (second supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, ongoing)
  • Anna Schönauer (second supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, 2013-2016)
  • Christian Bonatto Paese (second supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, 2015-2018)
  • Michaela Holzem (second supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, 2015-2019)
  • Joanna Hagen (main supervisor, Oxford Brookes University, 2015-2019)


  • Dr. Rachel Wade (co-supervisor, main supervisor: Professor Tim Shreeve)

Research Students

Name Thesis title Completed
Amber Ridgway Using evolution to uncover development in Drosophila male genitalia 2023


I am the leader of the "Phenotypic Evolution and Adaptation" research group. We are an Evolutionary Biology Group with a particular focus on Molecular evolution, Population Genetics and Evolutionary Developmental Biology.

Currently, our research aims to provide a better understanding of the genetic basis of complex quantitative traits and the evolutionary processes responsible for their evolution.

Research grants and awards

  • September 2015- September 2018. Nigel Groome Research Studentship to sponsor Joanna Hagen PhD work.
  • January 2015- December 2017. ‘Characterising the genetic architecture and fitness effects of rapid morphological diversification.’ NERC. £417,670. (as Researcher Co-investigator)

Centres and institutes


Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Investigating the specification and evolution of organ size in Drosophila (led by University of Durham) (01/02/2023 - 31/03/2026), funded by: Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), funding amount received by Brookes: £85,349


slide 1 of 6