Sonia Negrao

Research Scientists

Research Scientist



Bld. 2, Lev. 3, Sea Side, 3231-WS11


​Sónia graduated in Agronomic Engineering from Instituto Superior de Agronomia (Portugal), and has a major in plant breeding. She completed her PhD in Biology at the Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (Portugal) in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines). Sónia was the deputy of Prof. Mark Tester and was involved in all projects in the lab.

Research Interests

My research interest is focused on rice genomics and evolution. I was working on the 3000 Rice Genome Project in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (Philippines) and the Computational Bioscience Research Center at KAUST. My main goal was to perform comparative genome and evolutionary analysis in this dataset.

Selected Publications

  • Comprehensive phenotypic analysis of rice (Oryza sativa) response to salinity stress. I.S. Pires, S. Negrão, M. M. Oliveira, M. D. Purugganan. Physiologia Plantarum, Issue 155, 43–54, (2015)
  • Salt resistant crop plants. S.J. Roy, S. Negrão, M. Tester. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Issue 26, 115-124, (2014)
  • Coping with abiotic stress: proteome changes for crop improvement. I.A. Abreu, A.P. Farinha, S. Negrão, N. Gonçalves, C. Fonseca, M. Rodrigues, R. Batista, N.J.M. Saibo, M.M. Oliveira. Journal of Proteomics, Issue 93, 145-168, (2013)
  • Different evolutionary histories of two cation/proton exchanger gene families in plants. I.S. Pires, S. Negrão, M.M Pentony, I.A. Abreu, M.M. Oliveira, M.D. Purugganan. BMC Plant Biology, Issue 13, e-97, (2013)
  • New allelic variants found in key rice salt-tolerance genes: an association study. S. Negrão, C. Almadanim, I.Pires, I. Abreu, J. Maroco, B. Courtois, G. Gregorio, K. McNally, M. Oliveira Plant Biotechnology Journal, Issue 11, 87–100, (2013)


  • 2008- PhD degree in Biology, Instituto Tecnologia Química e Biológica- Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ITQB-UNL), Portugal. PhD was obtained in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines.
  • 2004- PhD doctoral training through the CBS (Chemical and Biological Sciences) PhD Program held at ITQB-UNL, Portugal.
  • 1995/2001- Course “Agronomic Engineering- Crop Breeding” Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Portugal.

Professional Profile

  • 2013- 2018: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2008- 2013: Postdoctoral fellow, ITQB-UNL, Oeiras, Portugal
  • 2003- 2008: Ph.D. student, ITQB-UNL, Oeiras, Portugal
  • 2002- 2003: Assistant Research fellow, ITQB-UNL, Oeiras, Portugal

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • ​Portuguese National Order of Engineers (OE)