Sara Branco

Dr Sara Branco
PhD • Assistant Professor • Biology Research Faculty
Department of Integrative Biology

Mailing Address:
Department of Integrative Biology
Campus Box 171
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
115o 12th Street
SI 4100
Denver, CO 80204

Office Hours:

Dr. Branco: Tue 2:00-3:00pm in 4100 Science Building
Dr. Wilson by appointment



Expertise Area:

The Branco Lab studies the ecology and evolution of fungi with the goal of understanding the ecological factors that generate and maintain fungal diversity. Specifically, we use a combination of field, laboratory and computational approaches to investigate how fungi colonize and persist in the environment. Our studies range biological scales, from ecological communities to genomes and genes, and have a particular emphasis on adaptation to hostile environments. Please refer to the lab website for more information:

2010 - Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology. University of Chicago, USA. 
2001 - Undergraduate degree (Licenciatura) in Biology. University of Lisbon. Portugal

I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in fungal ecology and evolution and my laboratory at the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver focuses on the origins and maintenance of fungal diversity and adaptation. My studies range biological scales, from ecological communities to genomes and genes, and have a particular emphasis on local adaptation.

I started studying fungi when I was 16 years old and have since conducted multiple studies on fungal ecology and evolution. I received my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where I investigated adaptation of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities and their oak partner to serpentine soils. I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California (Berkeley) studying population genomics and adaptation of Suillus brevipes, a North American mycorrhizal fungus associated with pine trees, and at Université de Paris-Sud, where I investigated the evolution of mating-type chromosomes in anther smut fungi.

BIOL 3445 Introduction to Evolution
BIOL 6655 Seminar Series