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How to find us J.I. (Joana) Sabino Pinto, PhD

J.I. Sabino Pinto, PhD

J.I. Sabino Pinto, PhD
+31 50 36 32378 (Office)


Joana Isabel Sabino Pinto
Date of birth
December 10th, 1990
Personal Website
Research Gate
Google Scholar


Ph.D., Zoological Institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany)
Dissertation Title: “Deadly and beneficial roles of microbes in amphibians: from detection methods to host responses to the pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, with insights into cutaneous microbiota”; Advisor: Prof. Dr. Miguel Vences; Magna Cum Laude (top 15%)
May 2015 –
Dec 2018
M.S. in Biology, Free University of Brussels (Belgium)
Dissertation Title: “Using amphibian skin secretions to predict host susceptibility to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis”; Advisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Pasmans
Sep 2011 –
Jun 2013
B.S., Faculty of Sciences, Lisbon University (Portugal)
Major: Biology; Minor: Evolutionary and Developmental Biology
Sep 2008 –
Jul 2011


PostDoc; University of Groningen (the Netherlands)
Project: Fungus, frogs and MHC: the role of sexual selection in the evolution of disease resistance
Nov 2019 –
Research Associate; University of Massachusetts (United States of America)
Responsibilities: - Primer design
                           - MHC and mucosome analysis
                           - Routine laboratory work
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Doug Woodhams, Dr. Molly Bletz
Feb – Mar 2019
Sep 2019
Research Assistant; Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany)
Project: Determination of Fire Salamandra management units in Germany
Responsibilities: - Training students (Geo-ecology, 2017 and 2018; 5 students, 240h) on the theory behind the laboratorial approaches and experimental design
                           - Teaching laboratorial techniques (qPCR, eDNA, barcoding)
                           - Guiding the students on data analysis (Qime, Deblur, Mothur) and writing the final report
Aug – Sep 2017
 Aug – Sep 2018
Bioinformatics Assistant; Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany)
Responsibilities: - Analysis and management of large genomic (16S Illumina data: Qime, Deblur, Mothur, LEfSE) and transcriptomic (microarrays and RNAseq: Trinity, Bowtie, DRAP, R, R Bioconductor, Trinity, Annocript, Blast+) datasets on Linux, Windows, and Mac (Python and R).
                           - Training of students (BSc to PhD) in analyzing “omics” data and providing technical support
Apr 2016 –
Jan 2019
PhD; Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany)
Additional Responsibilities: - Organization of Lab Meetings and other group activities
May 2015 –
Dec 2018
Project Coordinator; Technische Universität Braunschweig (Germany)
Project: Understanding Bsal’s distribution and developing conservation strategies for salamanders in Germany
Responsibilities: - Managing collaborators
                           - Organizing the field and lab work
                           - Conducting country wide screenings in both captivity and in the wild to track the expansion of Bsal’s geographical range
                           - Processing all samples (qPCR, culturing bacteria, conduction inhibition assays)
                           - Analyzing the data and wroting some of the manuscripts
Jul 2015 –
Nov 2017
Field assistant; University of Porto (Portugal)
Project: Long Term Ecological Research at Baixo Sabor
Responsibilities: Capturing amphibians, fish and locust
Mentor: Dr. Pedro Beja
Jan – Apr 2015
Field assistant/ Lab technician; Lisbon University (Portugal)
Project: Emerging diseases and the future of amphibians in Europe
Responsibilities: - Capturing and sampling amphibians (skin swabs and toes)
                           - Processing all the toe samples (skeletochronology)
                           - Analyzing the results
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Rui Rebelo
Sep 2013 –
Apr 2015
Internship / Field assistant; Free University of Brussels (Belgium)
Project: Investigating the possibility of mating pheromones in amphibians
Responsibilities: - Capturing amphibians
                           - Set up field enclosures
                           - Hourly checking of all individuals
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Franky Bossuyt
Mar – Apr 2012
Volunteership /Field assistant; University of Kent (United Kingdom)
Project: Emerging diseases and the future of amphibians in Europe
Responsibilities: Capturing and sampling amphibians (skin swabs and toes).
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Richard Griffiths
Apr – May 2011
Internship; University of Lisbon (Portugal)
Project: Creation of a database of European and North American Mammals
Responsibilities: Development of a Mammals of America database.
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Henrique Pereira
Oct 2009 –
Jul 2010


World Congress of Herpetology - Student Support Schemes (2,000€)
Jan 2020
Research Grant, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany (65,000€)
Nov 2019 – Oct 2021
Congress Travel Award (Kongressreisen), DAAD, Germany (1,500€)
Nov 2017
PhD Scholarship, FCT, Portugal (36,000€)
Not accepted due to offered position in Germany (my PhD)
Jan 2017
World Congress of Herpetology - Student Support Schemes (2,000€)
Aug 2016
PhD Scholarship, Biodiv, Portugal (36,000€)
Not accepted due to offered position in Germany (my PhD)
Aug 2016
Introduction to Research Fellowship (BII), FCT, Portugal (1,000€)
Oct 2009 – Jul 2010


20. Schulz, V., Schulz, V., Klamke, M., Preissler, K., Sabino-Pinto, J., Müsken, M., Schlüpmann, M., Heldt, L., Kamprad, F., Enss, J., Schweinsberg, M., Virgo, J., Rau, H., Veith, M., Lötters, S., Wagner, N., Steinfartz, S., Vences, M. (2020). Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in the Ruhr District, Germany: history, distribution, decline dynamics and disease symptoms of the salamander plague. Salamandra, 56(3): 189-214.
19. Sachs, M., Schluckebier, R., Poll, K., Schulz, V., Sabino-Pinto, J., Schmidt, E., Simon, K., Künzel, S., Ziegler, T., Arndt, H., Vences, M. (2019). Evidence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and other amphibian parasites in the Green toad (Bufotes viridis), syntopic amphibians and environment in the Cologne Bay, Germany. Salamandra, 56(3): 257-284.
18. Sabino-Pinto, J., Goedbloed, D., Sanchez, E., Czypionka, T., Nolte, A., Steinfartz, S. (2019). The role of plasticity and adaptation in the incipient speciation of a fire salamander population. Genes, 10(11): 875.
17. Sabino-Pinto, J., Rakotoarison, A., Bletz, M.C., Edmonds, D., Glaw, F., Vences, M. (2019). A new species of the Spinomantis bertini species complex (Anura: Mantellidae) from Pic d’Ivohibe Special Reserve (Madagascar). Zootaxa, 4656(1): 133-142.
16. Sabino-Pinto, J., Martel, A., Pasmans, F, Steinfartz, S., Vences, M. (2019). Pooling skin swabs does not inhibit qPCR detection of amphibian chytrid infection. PloS one, 14(4): e0214405.
15. Sabino-Pinto, J., Krause, E.T., Bletz, M.C., Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Steinfartz, S., Vences, M. (2019). Detectability vs. time and costs in pooled DNA extraction of cutaneous swabs: a study on the amphibian chytrid fungi. Amphibia-Reptilia, 40(1): 29-39.
14. Lötters, S., Wagner, N., Kerres, A., Vences, M., Steinfartz, S., Sabino-Pinto, J., Seufer, L., Preissler, K., Schulz, V., Veith, M. (2018). First report of host co-infection of parasitic amphibian chytrid fungi. Salamandra, 54(4): 287-290.
13. Bletz, M.C., Kelly, M., Sabino-Pinto, J., Bales, E., Praet, S.V., Bert, W., Boyen, F., Vences, M., Steinfartz, S., Martel, A., Pasmans, F. (2018). Disruption of skin microbiota contributes to salamander disease. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285(1885): DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0758.
12. Sabino-Pinto, J., Veith, M., Vences, M., Steinfartz, S. (2018). Asymptomatic infection of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in captivity. Scientific Reports, 8(1): 11767.
11. Dalbeck, L., Düssel-Siebert, H., Kerres, A., Kirst, K., Koch, A., Lötters, S., Ohlhoff, D., Sabino-Pinto, J., Preißler, K., Schulte, U., Schulz, V., Steinfartz, S., Veith, M., Vences, M., Wagner, N., Wegge, J. (2018). Die Salamanderpest und ihr Erreger Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal): aktueller Stand in Deutschland. Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie, 25: 1-22.
10. Sabino-Pinto, J., Galán, P., Rodríguez, S., Bletz, M.C., Bhuju, S., Geffers, R., Jarek, M., Vences, M. (2017). Temporal changes in cutaneous bacterial communities of terrestrial and aquatic phases of newts (Amphibia). Environmental Microbiology, 19(8): 3025-3038.
09. Bletz, M.C., Vences, M., Sabino-Pinto, J., Taguchi, Y., Shimizu, N., Nishikawa, K., Kurabayashi, A. (2017). Cutaneous microbiota of the Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus), a representative of an ancient amphibian clade. Hydrobiologia, 795(1): 153-167.
08. Sabino-Pinto, J., Bletz, M.C., Iturriaga, M., Vences, M., Rodríguez, A. (2017). Low infection prevalence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Chytridiomycetes: Rhizophydiales) in Cuba. Amphibia-Reptilia, 38(1): 1-7.
07. Rosa, M.G., Sabino-Pinto, J., Laurentino, T.G., Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Rebelo, R., Griffiths, R.A., Bosch, J., Stöhr, A., Marschang, R., Price, S., Garner, T., Bosch, J. (2017). Impact of asynchronous emergence of two lethal pathogens on amphibian assemblages. Scientific Reports, 7: 43260.
06. Sabino-Pinto, J., Bletz, M., Islam, M.M., Shimizu, N., Bhuju, S., Geffers, R., Jarek, M., Kurabayashi, A., Vences, M. (2016). Composition of the cutaneous bacterial community in Japanese amphibians: effects of captivity, host species, and body region. Microbial Ecology 72(2): 460-469.
05. Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A., Martel, A., Asselberghs, J., Bales, E., Beukema, W., Bletz, M., Dalbeck, L., Goverse, E., Kerres, A., Kinet, T., Kirst, K., Laudelout, A., Marin da Fonte, L., Nöllert, A., Ohlhoff, D., Sabino-Pinto, J., Schmidt, B.R., Speybroeck, J., Spikmans, F., Steinfartz, S., Veith, M. Vences, M., Wagner, N., Pasmans, F., Lötters, S. (2016). Expanding Distribution of Lethal Amphibian Fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Europe. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 22(7): 1286-1288.
04. Sabino-Pinto, J., Bletz, M., Hendrix, R., Perl, R.B., Martel, A., Pasmans, F., Lötters, S., Mutschmann, F., Schmeller, D., Schmidt, B.R., Veith, M., Wagner, N., Vences, M., Steinfartz, S. (2015). First detection of the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in Germany. Amphibia-Reptilia, 36(4): 411-416.
03. Rosa, M.G., Sabino-Pinto, J., Noël, J., Andreone, F. (2014). Predation on the treefrog Boophis rufioculis (Anura: Mantellidae) by the freshwater crab Hydrothelphusa sp. (Decapoda, Potamonautidae) in Madagascar. Crustaceana, 87(7): 890-894.
02. Sabino-Pinto, J., Mayerl, C.J., Meilink, W.R.M., Grasso, D., Raaijmakers, C.B., Russo, V.G., Segal, M., Stegen, G., Clegg, J., Srikanthan, A.N., Glaw, F., Vences, M. (2014). Descriptions of the advertisement calls of three sympatric frog species in the subgenus Vatomantis (genus Gephyromantis) from Madagascar. Herpetology Notes, 7: 67-73.
01. Meilink, W.R.M., Clegg, J.R., Mayerl, C.J., Sabino-Pinto, J., Grasso, D., Stegen, G., Segal, M., Kok, P.J.R. (2013). Confirmation of the presence of the sphaerodactylid lizard Gonatodes vittatus in Guyana, and an indication of a reproductively active population in Georgetown. Salamandra, 49(1): 59-62.


Invited Speaker, Evolutionary Genetics, Development and Behaviour Seminar, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, “Fungus, frogs and MHC: the role of sexual selection in the evolution of disease resistance”
Jun 2019
Invited Speaker, Department of Biology Seminar, U. Mass, Boston, United States of America, “Deadly and beneficial roles of microbes in amphibians: from detection methods to host responses to the pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, with insights into cutaneous microbiota”
Mar 2019
Presenter, Amphibian Disease meeting, Arizona, United states of America, “Asymptomatic presence of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans in captivity”
Nov 2017
Presenter, 19 SEH European congress of Herpetology, Salzburg, Austria, “Screening of the fungal pathogens Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal) in captivity indicates asymptomatic infections and clearance of Bsal through heat treatments”
Sep 2017
Presenter, 8th World Congress of Herpetology, Hangzhou, China, “Composition of the cutaneous bacterial community in Japanese amphibians: effects of captivity, host species, and body region”
Aug 2017
Presenter, 1st junior researchers meeting, Center of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes. Lisbon, Portugal, “Role of age on the pattern of infection by Ranavirus in mountain populations of Bosca's newt, Lissotriton boscai”
Dec 2014


Member, British Ecological Society
2019 – Present
Member, European Society for Evolutionary Biology
2019 – Present
Manuscript Reviewer, 6 journals
Applied and Environmental Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, PeerJ, Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, Journal of Animal Ecology, Amphibia-Reptilia
2015 – Present
Founding Member, Associação Portuguesa de Herpetologia
2014 – Present
Member, Societas Europaea Herpetologica
2012 – Present
Last modified:01 October 2020 2.33 p.m.

Contact information


+31 50 36 32378 (Office)