Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Research Interests

My research lies at the intersection of disease ecology, evolutionary biology and movement ecologyThis involves an integrated approach that combines data analysis, mathematical modeling, and computer simulations in order to reveal the mechanisms of disease transmission and persistence across species at different spatial and temporal scales.

Currently, I am working on the comparative analysis of genomic pathogen data using whole genome sequencing to understand the underlying evolutionary processes of bacterial epidemics (in particular bovine Tuberculosis, bTB) at the wildlife/livestock interface.


 I also have a particular interest in

  • developing computational tools to deal with large epidemiological, demographic, and movement datasets
  • understanding the impacts of movement patterns on the spatio-temporal disease dynamics
  • making projections for risk-based surveillance and understanding its impact on disease control.


Visiting and Research Positions

 I am a Visiting Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. My work focuses on uncovering the spatio-temporal dynamics of bacterial transmission in animal populations using phylodynamics.



Liliana received her PhD in Biology from Lisbon University, which was part of the PhD program in Computational Biology at Gulbenkian Institute of Science, under the supervision of Simon A. Levin (Princeton University) and Francisco Dionisio (Lisbon University).


During her PhD at Princeton University as a visiting student, she worked with Frederic Bartumeus, Simon A. Levin and William Ryu on the ecology and evolution of animal movement focusing on search strategies of microorganisms. 


For her postdoctoral work, Liliana moved to the University of Glasgow to work with Rowland Kao on the quantitative epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis. In September 2017, she started a new position as a Research Fellow at the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School at the University of Edinburgh.


Prior to her PhD, she studied Computer Science at the University of Porto, where she earned a BSc and a MSc in Computer Science focusing on the absolute security of cryptosystems using information theory and Kolmogorov Complexity, supervised by Luis Filipe Antunes.



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