Senior Researcher at CCMAR and Invited Assistant Professor at University of Algarve. Holds a BSc in Marine Biology from University of Algarve (1996), and a PhD in Animal Physiology from the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (2002). Post-doctoral fellow at Dept. of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, USA (2003-2007) and seasonal investigator at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, USA (2005-2012), with research experience at the University of Cadiz (Spain), University of Gothenburg (Sweden), Austral university of Chile (Chile) and Waterloo University (Canada) ). Research and travel awards from the Portuguese-American Foundation for Development, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Society for Experimental Biology, Aquagenome Consortium. National delegate and conference organizer for COST FA1004 Conservation Physiology of Marine Fishes and participant in COST FA 867 Welfare of Fish in European Aquaculture.
Main interest is fish ecophysiology the physiological mechanisms that allow organisms, especially fish, to adjust to the conditions of their environment, in an evolutionary process, but also in the context of rapid climate change, extreme environments or invasive species. Research focuses mainly on the processes of stress response, osmo and ionoregulation, metabolism, behavior and endocrine regulation. In detail we work on 1) the endocrine response to osmotic challenges and ion/osmolytes balance (namely calcium and phosphate) with a special emphasis on renal but also on intestinal and branchial processes, 2) the HPI-axis and the mechanisms of stress response, a crucial adaptive reaction in a changing natural or social environment, 3) metabolic changes and behavioral processes in relation to habitat or social contexts. Methods used include hormone, electrolyte and substrate determination in tissues and fluids, molecular biology of gene expression, protein identification and quantification, transepithelial transport on ex vivo and in vitro systems (electrophysiology and Ussing chamber) with or without radiotracers, in vitro tissue incubation and perifusion techniques, cell culture, in vivo fish manipulations (injection and blood vessel or urinary cannulation, etc).
Since 2012 has been conducting research in the Antarctic region through the Portuguese Polar Program - PROPOLAR, having participated in 5 expeditions to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula area. In Antarctic fish, it investigates the ability to acclimate to the variation in temperature and salinity and the ability of the immune system to understand how they have evolved in an extremely cold but stable environment and to predict the possible impacts of climate change predicted for the Antarctic Ocean.