Research Interests

Sitting down on the edge of an amazing waterfall (direct to the Atlantic Ocean) in Caparide creek (Cascais, Portugal) Feb-2017

Currently, I am particularly interest in understanding invasion patterns of aquatic organisms (mostly fish) in the freshwater realm, and unveiling their invasion routes and dispersal modes (natural and human-assisted). I am also interested in discovering commonalities, on biological features, that determine the invasion success of fishes, and to understand how life-history plasticity influences the colonization success of invasive fish. A research line aiming to discover the impacts of non-native fishes (pumpkinseed sunfish, chameleon cichlid, sander and European catfish) is currently being developed. In the lab, what I love to do is to identify larval fishes, both in estuarine and riverine systems, unfortunately there is limited funding to work on this currently. 

At Ziz river in Morocco (October 2013)

My dissertation research focused on the patterns and processes of fish invasions in Iberian streams, specifically assessing this problem in the Lower Guadiana River (Portugal). Also, my efforts aim to improve conservation of endemic freshwater fishes from the Iberian Peninsula, specifically aiming to increase sustainable water use and conservation of aquatic life. I am particularly keen in doing outreach to large public, schools, press and media, social-media and citizen science, all of these actions I consider them as part of my job description, though never valued by scientific peers in evaluation panels. 

Research Projects

FRISK - FReshwater fish InvaSions RisK assessment: identifying invasion routes

Facebook page - link 

Website page @ Biodiversity4all.org site - link

Start Date: July-2016

Funding: FCT Grant number PTDC/AAG-MAA/0350/2014 - 180 000 Euros (competitive)

Project synopsis 

Societies are increasingly concerned with the economical costs of invasive species, but as well with the ecosystem services losses given the multitude of detrimental impacts attributed to invasive species. Currently, in Europe, the damages and costs caused by invasive species are approximately 12.5 billion Euros per year, and soon will rise to unsustainable levels. Identifying invasive species predominant pathways and understanding species spatial spread patterns are highly important goals for an effective management. This project focuses on freshwater fish biodiversity, since freshwater ecosystems are among the most heavily impacted by invasive species worldwide. Amongst vertebrates, freshwater fishes are the most introduced group across the globe, being also an indicator of invasion patterns of less conspicuous taxa.

Earlier studies showed high diversity of invasive fishes in south-western Europe (Iberia) as a result of introductions from central Europe due to recreational fisheries. Iberian Peninsula freshwater ecosystems encompass unique endemic rich fish diversity, many threatened due to invasive fishes. The current proposal aims to forecast the arrival of invasive fishes into Iberian Peninsula by 1) identifying the predominant European invasion routes into Iberia, 2) understanding the invasive fish spatial spread patterns focusing on Silurus glanis and Sander lucioperca and 3) mapping high invasion risk areas for Portugal considering recreational fisheries pressures and species natural spread. An online Early Warning System for Invasive Fish will be implemented, as a rapid detection tool for managers, but as well as a project outreach and environmental awareness product for stakeholder groups and public.

To identify invasion pathways and prioritize areas of direct management for invasive species are key objectives of the Aichi Biodiversity Target 9. This research project proposal will aim to contribute to this goal and reduce the current rate of arrival of invasive fishes into Iberia in the near future, helping to preserve its unique freshwater biodiversity, reduce the economic losses and maintain the ecosystem services.

Evaluation of population trends and genetic diversity of the critically endangered Lisbon Arched-mouth Nase (Iberochondrostoma olisiponensis)

Start Date: October-2015

Funding: Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund (Grant number 152510795) - 10 000 Euros (competitive)

Site here 

BioDiversity4All - Citizen Science Project 


Spanish Freshwater Fish Database


Portuguese Freshwater Fish Database


Researcher metrics

Google Scholar (link)

Scopus Author  (link)

Researcher ID: A-4949-2010 (link)