Sofia Costa

People Detail

Research Area : Biodiversity

Position : Integrated members


PhD Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, UK, 2007 MSc Ecology, University of Coimbra, 2002 Post-grad Organic Agriculture, ESA-IPVC, 2015 Lic Biology, University of Coimbra, 1998


My research interests include soil ecology and sustainable plant-parasitic nematode management in agroecosystems. My research focus has been on soil-dwelling nematodes, investigating their interactions with other soil organisms, that can be exploited to develop alternative, environmentally-friendly plant-parasitic nematode control strategies. These include biological control, plant mutualists such as rhizobial bacteria, and plant host resistance (including plant grafting).

Ongoing Projects

HANDLER Host Adaptation and root-knot Nematode seLEction by partially resistant tomato Rootstocks - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029283

TREND Potential damage of Tobacco rattle virus, and associated plant parasitic nematodes, on potato crops - POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029289

Team member:
COCOON Combined sustainable strategies for root-knot nematode management in protected crops - PTDC/AGR-PRO/3438/2014; POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016611
ECOAGRIFOOD- Innovative Green Products and Processes to Promote Agri-Food Bioeconomy - NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000009
CLIMALERT: Climate Alert Smart System for Sustainable Water and Agriculture - ERA4CS/0004/2016

Concluded Projects

RESCOE: Risk Assessment and Ecological Sustainability of Cork Oak in Montado Ecosystems. Funded by FCT (PTDC/BIA-BEC/102834/2008) (PI)
‘What Turns a Quiet Alien into a Powerful Invader? An assessment of introduction history and invasive plant traits’ Funded by: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar (III/62/2008) (PI)

Team member:
MIRRI Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure, European Union FP7 theme INFRA-2012-2.2.5 Grant 312251 (Post-doc Researcher)
HiCC-Luta Biológica por Hipovirulência contra o Cancro do Castanheiro em Portugal. Funded by FCT PTDC/AGR-PRO/4606/2012 (Research Assistant)
Montado: from biodiversity to ecosystem services, funded by COMPETE/Ciência Viva (Team Member)
Robin – Rhizosphere organisms as determinants of Biological Invasion, Funded by: FCT Portugal (POCI/BIA/BDE/56941/2004) (Team Member)
EcoTrain – Ecology of plant parasitic nematodes, their host plants and antagonists in European sand dunes: Training opportunity for ecologists and agricultural biocontrol researchers. Funded by: Marie Curie European Union Research and Training Network (RTN) program contract RTN2-0464 (PhD Student/Team Member)

Pestisense - Novel tools and data for the detection and assessment of ecological risks of pesticides - CBMA Universidade do Minho Internal project
CBC – CarBuCida Parte II – Bolsa de Ignição inovC 2012: Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, IPC


André Eiras
Ariana Silva
Gil Sá
João Pinto
João Sousa
José Azevedo
Rui Carvalho


van den Hoogen J., Geisen S. et al (2019) Soil nematode abundance and functional group composition at a global scale. Nature 572(7768): 194-198. DOI:10.1038/s41586-019-1418-6
Martins A., Tavares D., Freitas H. & Costa S.R. (2018) Plant sex and phenological stage affect interactions with rhizosphere nematode communities. Plant Ecology & Diversity 11: 227-238. DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2018.1471624
Maleita C.M.N., Costa S.R., Abrantes I.M.O. (2018) Laimaphelenchus suberensis sp. nov. associated with Quercus suber in Portugal. European Journal of Plant Pathology. 150: 747-758. DOI: 10.1007/s10658-017-1324-4
Martins A, Freitas H, Costa SR. 2017. Corema album: unbiased dioecy in a competitive environment. Plant Biology 19(5): 824-834
Arosa ML, Bastos R, Cabral JA, Freitas H, Costa SR, Santos M. 2017. Long-term sustainability of cork oak agro-forests in the Iberian Peninsula: a model-based approach aimed at supporting the best management options for the montado conservation. Ecological Modelling 343: 68-79;
Arosa ML, Costa SR, Freitas H. 2017 Cork oak leaf decomposition in three different land uses within a montado of southern Portugal. Soil Research 55: 215-221
Mourão I, Brito LM, Ferreira ME, Moura ML, Costa S. 2017. The effect of pruning systems on yield and fruit quality of greenhouse grown grafted tomato. Horticultura Brasileira 35(2): 247-251
Arosa, M.L., Freitas, H., Costa, S.R. 2016 Temporal effects dominate land use as factors affecting soil nematode communities in Mediterranean oak woodlands. Agroforestry systems 90: 127-136
Maleita, C., Costa, S.R., Abrantes, I. 2015 First report of Laimaphelenchus heidelbergi (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae) associated with cork oak in Europe. Forest Pathology 45:76-81.
SR Costa, A Antunes, N Lima, The MIRRI Consortium 2015 Towards a strategic concept for innovative learning programmes and tools in the Microbial Resource Research Infrastructure (MIRRI). Intrinsic Activity, 2015; 3(Suppl. 1): A1.1 (abstract)
Arosa ML Ceia RS Costa SR Freitas H 2015 Factors affecting cork oak (Quercus suber) regeneration. Acorn sowing success and seedling survival under field conditions. Plant ecology and diversity 8 (4): 519-528
Costa, S.R, Davies, K.G., Bardgett, R.D. and Kerry, B.R. 2012. Ecology of Nematode Microbial Enemies in Coastal Sand Dunes. Oecologia 170: 1053-1066
Costa SR, Kerry BR, Bardgett RD & Davies KG (2011) Top-down control in a natural ecosystem: interactions between plant parasitic nematodes and their microbial enemies. Nematropica 41: 342 (abstract)
Costa SR, Martins AF, Arosa ML, Freitas H, Almeida MTM, Maleita CMN & Abrantes IMO (2011) Nematodes Associated with cork oak, Quercus suber, in Montado ecosystems. Nematropica 41: 393 (abstract)
Piskiewicz, A.M., Duyts, H., Berg, M.P., Costa, S.R. and van der Putten, W.H. 2007. Soil Microorganisms Control Plant Ectoparasitic Nematodes in Natural Coastal Foredunes. Oecologia 152 (3): 505-514
Kerry, B. and Costa, S. 2007. Plant-parasitic nematodes as components of the soil ecosystem. Phytopathology 97(7): S157-S158 (abstract)
van der Putten, W.H., Cook, R., Costa, S., Davies, K.G., Fargette, M., Freitas, H., Hol,, W.H.G., Kerry, B.R., Maher, N., Mateille, T., Moens, M., de la Peña, E., Piskiewicz, A., Raeymaekers, A., Rodríguez-Echeverría, S. & van der Wurff, A.W.G. 2006. Nematode Interactions in Nature: Models for Sustainable Control of Nematode Pests of Crop Plants? Advances in Agronomy 89: 227-260;
Costa, S.R., Kerry, B.R., Bardgett, R.D. and Davies, K. G. 2006. Exploitation of Immunofluorescence for the Quantification and Characterization of Small Numbers of Pasteuria Endospores in a Sand Dune System. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 58(3): 593-600. - Faculty of a 1000 Biology Recommended
Costa, S. dos S. da R., M. S. N. de A. Santos, and M. F. Ryan. 2003. Effect of Artemisia vulgaris Rhizome Extracts on Hatching, Mortality and Plant Infectivity of Meloidogyne megadora. Journal of Nematology 35(4): 437-442
Santos, M. C. V. dos, I. M. de O. Abrantes, S. dos S. da R. Costa and M. S. N. de A. Santos. 2002. Field evaluation of the effect of Verticillium chlamydosporium on Meloidogyne arenaria race 3. Nematology 4, 283-284. (abstract)
Pires D, Costa S, Mourão I, Almeida MT. 2016. Avaliação da resistência de cultivares de feijoeiro (Phaseolus spp.) a Meloidogyne javanica, para uso como porta-enxerto. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 25: 126-132.
Teixeira A, Almeida MT, Costa S. 2016. Estudo comparativo das comunidades de nemátodes em horticultura biológica e convencional. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 25: 120-125.
Vaz FB, Mourão I, Rodrigues R, Costa SR, Brito LM, Moura ML. 2016. Avaliação da enxertia na produtividade e qualidade de feijão-verde na região de Ponte de Lima. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 25: 21-27.
Ferreira AL, Capitão JA, Mourão I, Costa SR, Brito LM, Moura ML. 2016. Avaliação da enxertia na cultura protegida de feijão-verde na região Litoral Norte. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 25: 15-20.
Costa S, Martins MF, Mourão I, Moura ML. 2016. Avaliação da resistência de linhagens de feijoeiro ao nemátode Meloidogyne javanica e ao fungo Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. phaseoli. Actas Portuguesas de Horticultura 25: 143-149.