I have had a passion for sharks for as long as I can remember and decided early on I would become a shark biologist. I studied blue sharks off the North Atlantic and the charismatic Port Jackson sharks from Australia. With time, my career has taken me to different waters.
I am now more interested in understanding the evolution of behaviour and cognitive abilities, still focusing on sharks and bony fish if I can! I am currently working with a fascinating and classic system for behavioural ecology and evolution, the guppies of Trinidad.
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands, working in Alex Kotrschal‘s lab since August 2019. Our lab uses guppies from Trinidad to investigate the role of predation in cognitive and brain evolution. My research project aims to test if hybridisation events can be an engine for evolution of cognitive abilities.
In 2015, I was awarded a highly competitive Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship to investigate elasmobranch cognition at The Fish Lab. My research aimed to expand current knowledge on shark cognition, as well as explore some mechanisms of cognition such as personality and laterality. In September 2018, I was proudly awarded a PhD in Biological Sciences by Macquarie University, Australia.
During 2013-2015, I was a research assistant and lab manager at the Animal Learning and Behavior Lab at the University of Minho, Portugal, which contributed to build up my knowledge on the principles of animal behaviour.
I completed an undergraduate degree in Biology in 2010 and a masters in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution in 2012, both at the University of Porto, Portugal. My masters’ research focused on spatial dynamics and habitat use of pelagic sharks in the North Atlantic.
I am committed to share my research with a vast audience and promote a positive image of sharks, and fish in general, as sophisticated and fascinating animals that deserve our empathy and protection.
You can find my academic CV here.