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Department of Plant Sciences


Former Research Group

Ecosystems and Global Change


Research Overview

I am interested in understanding the language of nature through viruses and how they communicate the dynamics of life and ecosystems evolution.  I use state-of-the-art (Paleo) EcoGenomics approaches to study virus-host interactions in past and present-day ecosystems.  The main goal is to understand their impacts on ecosystem processes and their response to climate change, from thawing permafrost to agricultural systems and the rhizosphere.  In this context, I am also interested in exploring the ecological aspects of plant-virus interactions, including the role of viruses in providing plant-beneficial functions, to find solutions for sustainable crop production by improving associations with beneficial microbes and protecting plants against pathogens.


Previous positions

2019-2020  Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biochemistry, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

2017-2018  Postdoctoral researcher, Agroecology, INRA AgroSup Dijon, France



2013-2017  PhD in Rhizosphere Microbial Ecology, Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

2009-2011  MSc in Forestry Resources, ESALQ, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

2004-2008  BSc in Biotechnology, State University of Sao Paulo, Brazil


Key publications

Braga L.P.P., Schumacher R.I. 2023. Awaking the dormant virome in the rhizosphere. Molecular Ecology
Braga, L.P.P, Orland, C., Emilson, E.J.S., Fitch, A.A., Osterholz, H., Dittma,r T., Basiliko, N., Mykytczuk, N.C.S., Tanentzap, A.J. 2022. Viruses direct carbon cycling in lake sediments under global change. PNAS, 119 (41).
Braga, L.P.P., Coutinho, F.H., Amgarten, D.E., Kot, W., Hansen, L., Setubal, J.C., Philippot, L. 2021. Novel virocell metabolic potential revealed in agricultural soils by virus‐enriched soil metagenome analysis. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 13 (3), 348–354.
Braga, L.P.P., Spor, A., Kot, W., Breuil, M.C., Hansen, L.H., Setubal, J.C., Philippot, L. 2020. Impact of phages on soil bacterial communities and nitrogen availability under different assembly scenarios. Microbiome, 8 (1), 52, 2020.
Braga, L.P.P., Soucy, S.M., Amgarten, D.E., da Silva, A.M., Setubal, J.C. 2018. Bacterial diversification in the light of the interactions with phages: The genetic symbionts and their role in ecological speciation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6.


All publications

google scholar link:

Independent Researcher
Dr Lucas Braga

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Plant Sciences,
University of Cambridge,
Downing Street,