Silvia Pavan Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Silvia Pavan
(707) 826-5559
Science C 106

I was born and grew up in southeastern Brazil, where I completed my bachelor in Biological Sciences. After that I moved to Northern Brazil (Amazon), where I completed a MSC in Zoology. I then moved to New York City, where I completed my PhD.

Specialty Area

Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography of mammals, with the use of morphological and genetic data to uncover species diversity


PhD in Biology, 2016, City University of New York, USA
MS in Zoology, 2009, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi/Universidade Federal do Pará, Brazil
BS in Biology, 2007, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil

Courses Taught

ZOOL 356 Mammalogy


I am broadly interested in biodiversity, and I work with fieldwork exploration and collections-based research to discover and describe species, and to understand species diversity and evolution. My research has been focused on small mammals, especially Neotropical marsupials and rodents. In my studies, I use distinct sources of evidence, including morphological and genomic data, to address problems/questions in systematics, biogeography and evolution. I use both traditional tools, such as the collection and analyses of anatomical data from museum specimens, and modern methods to obtain DNA sequences from historical material deposited in scientific collections


  • Pavan, SE. 2023. Patterns of phenotypic evolution and diversification in the short-tailed opossum genus Monodelphis. In N Carceres (editor), New World Marsupials, 1st ed. Springer Nature, New York, USA.
  • Abreu EF, SE Pavan, MTN Tsuchiya, BS McLean, DE Wilson, AR Percequillo, JE Maldonado. 2022. Old specimens for old branches: Assessing effects of sample age in resolving a rapid Neotropical radiation of squirrels. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 175: 107576.
  • Abreu-Jr EF, SE Pavan, MTN Tsuchiya, DE Wilson, AR Percequillo, JE Maldonado. 2020. Museomics reveals hidden diversity, phenotypic convergence, and the need of a taxonomic overhaul in tree squirrels. BMC Evolutionary Biology 20(77): 1–25.
  • Pavan, SE. 2019. A revision of the Monodelphis glirina group (Didelphidae: Marmosini), with a description of a new species from Roraima, Brazil. Journal of Mammalogy 100: 103-117.
  • Pavan, SE, AC Mendes-Oliveira, RS Voss. 2017. A new species of Monodelphis (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) from the Brazilian Amazon. American Museum Novitates 3872: 1-20.
  • Pavan, SE, SA Jansa, RS Voss. 2016. Spatiotemporal diversification of a low-vagility Neotropical vertebrate clade (short-tailed opossums, Didelphidae: Monodelphis). Journal of Biogeography 43: 1299-1309.
  • Pavan, SE, SA Jansa, RS Voss. 2014. Molecular phylogeny of short-tailed opossums (Didelphidae: Monodelphis): Taxonomic implications and tests of evolutionary hypotheses. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 79: 199-214.

Graduate Students

Pricilla Ceja (starting in Fall 2023)