Pedro Monico

Pedro Monico

Rutgers, State University of New Jersey

Ph.D. Candidate


I am an early career Brazilian evolutionary biologist and a PhD candidate at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA. I’m a member of Dr. Soto-Centeno’s Mammal Evolution & Biogeography lab, and my current research revolves around the evolution and biogeography of islands, but also the taxonomy and systematics of widely distributed bat species. I’m also working with more specialized and geographically restricted species, focusing on their conservation and habitat use. My main objective as a postgraduate researcher is to develop impactful research and develop my skills and connections to build a pathway for my future as an evolution researcher.

In 2019, I got my bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, and in 2022, I got my licensed Natural Sciences teacher degree, both at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (UFES). I have worked with bats since my first semester as an undergraduate student back in 2015, and since then, I got so hooked by the immense diversity and features of the bats that I never stopped working with the group.

I have experience in field research, helping my peers in Brazil and the Caribbean, but also as a consultant for companies before I start my doctorate. In the Summer of 2024, I will start conducting my own field research in the Caribbean region with the Theodore Roosevelt Field Research, awarded by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).

During my first years in the doctorate, I actively mentored underrepresented students back in Brazil in the BRASA organization and participated in the PreDoctoral Leadership Development Academy (PLDA), a one-year program offered by my university to prepare students for leadership positions in higher education institutions. 

I am the second generation of GBatNet students. I also helped to kickstart / co-leaded the working group “Science Communication to Targeted Audiences: Scientists vs Public Audiences” in its initial stages. 

In my free time, I like to do physical activities such as rock climbing, jiu-jitsu, biking, and hiking. I also enjoy mental activities such as playing chess and having conversations over a mug of coffee!

Selected recent publications:

Mônico, P. I., & Soto-Centeno, J. A. (2024). Phylogenetic, morphological, and niche differentiation unveil new species limits for the big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus). Royal Society Open Science11(2), 231384.