top of page
Beachmere grey 02c.jpg


Thais Sasso Lopes


BSc Biological Sciences

Licence in Biology Education

Masters in Ecology


PhD Candidate

Contact details


Environmental Futures Research Institute

Building N78, Room 1.13, School of Environment and Science, 

Griffith University, Nathan Campus,

170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Queensland, Australia, 4111

Email: thais.sassolopes"at"

Twitter: @thais_sasso



I am a PhD candidate working with Dr. Laura Grogan, Prof. Hamish McCallum and Dr. David Newell (Southern Cross University). I completed a Bachelor's degree in Biology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 2013. For my senior thesis I reviewed the phylogenetic variation of reproductive and feeding strategies of a snake tribe from South-America.

Shortly after, I started working as a laboratory assistant at the Zoology Museum of the University of São Paulo. During my time at the museum, I was part of the Herpetology Lab to assist with molecular analysis for projects exploring the diversity and phylogeny of reptiles from the Brazilian Amazon and Atlantic forest.

Some years later, I earned a Master's degree in Ecology from the University of São Paulo. My master’s thesis focused on how to detect frogs communities in the field using environmental DNA and how this approach compares to traditional visual survey. I also described how torrent frogs use similar microhabitats in streams along the Atlantic Forest.

After obtaining my Masters I worked as a herpetologist for Operation Wallacea at Cusuco National Park, Honduras. There, I joined the field research group to conduct diurnal and nocturnal surveys for amphibians and reptiles, collect data on disease occurrence, as well as engage university students in fieldwork.

Research Overview

I am interested in a broad variety of topics, such as herpetofauna, community ecology, wildlife disease, and mathematical modelling. For my PhD I am interested in combining these topics to understand the recovery of amphibian populations following declines caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus.

Research Keywords


Disease ecology, wildlife conservation, herpetology, mathematical modelling, communities ecology

Publications & Conferences



  • Thais Sasso, Danielle Gilroy, Christian Cox., 2020. Social behaviour in Nototriton brodiei in the cloud forest of Cusuco National Park, Honduras. South-American Journal of Herpetology.

  • Carla Martins Lopes, Délio Baêta, Thais Sasso, Agustín Vanzetti, Kelly R. Zamudio, Pierre Taberlet, Célio F. B. Haddad., 2020. Power and limitations of environmental DNA metabarcoding for surveying leaf litter communities. Environmental DNA.


  • Sasso, T., Lopes, C.M., Valentini, A., Dejean, T., Zarnudio, K.R., Haddad, C.F.B., Martins, M., 2017. Environmental DNA characterization of amphibian communities in the Brazilian Atlantic forest: Potential application for conservation of a rich and threatened fauna. Biological Conservation 215, 225-232 (link).

  • Lopes, C.M., Sasso, T., Valentini, A., Dejean, T., Martins, M., Zamudio, K.R., Haddad, C.F.B., 2017. eDNA metabarcoding: a promising method for anuran surveys in highly diverse tropical forests. Molecular Ecology Resources 17, 904-914 (link).



bottom of page