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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a neurobiologist with research interests in the sensory mechanisms underlying animal behavioural diversity. I am currently studying the auditory physiology, acoustic behaviour and evolution of hearing in both vertebrate and invertebrate species. I have a particular interest in the development of novel behavioural paradigms that could lead to the integration of ethological observation with its neurophysiology.

Scholarly biography

I was born in the Algarve, in the south of Portugal. I undertook my Biology Degree in the University of Evora, where I started to take an interest in animal behaviour and in the physiology of behaviour. There, I had my first contact with experimental biology - characterizing the sensory morphology of cork oak beetles. This experience led me to my first position as a research assistant at the National Institute of Agrarian Research, near Lisbon, where I studied the physiological mechanisms of pathogenicity and the taxonomy of nematodes causing Pine Wilt Disease. During this time, I also started to study at the Superior Institute of Applied Psychology, Lisbon, where I received my Masters in Ethology. For the masters’ thesis, I worked as a research assistant at the Behavioural Neuroscience Group of the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, where I studied the behavioural strategies of rats playing economical games. There I also gained precious experience which allowed me to be selected to the Champalimaud Neuroscience Doctoral Programme. Already in the UK, I received in 2013 my PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge. There, I created new experimental learning paradigms which I then used to discover and describe how the different phenotypic phases of desert locusts vary in their learning and memory parameters. Also in 2013, I was appointed to the position of Research Fellow in the Sensory Neuroscience Research Group at the University to study the hearing physiology and the acoustic behaviour of mosquitoes. This position allowed me to grow my interest in the vertebrate hearing function and currently, I’m working on a MRC-funded project in order to characterize the physiology of the supporting cells of vertebrate’s cochlea, alongside with the ongoing research on mosquito hearing.


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