Students and collaborators

I was fortunate to supervise the research of a brilliant group of graduate students. I have tried to the best of my abilities to train a new generation of historians of science in Portugal making them able to match the most demanding international standards of the profession. But in truth I was the one who benefited the most --- from their talents, their knowledge, and their stimulus. Here is information on my former students, my present PhD and MSc students, and my Post-doctoral collaborators. I also include information on other collaborators.


Doctoral students

Past PhD Students.

Bernardo Mota (PhD, 2008) got his degree under my supervision (co-supervisor was Arnaldo do Espírito Santo). His outstanding dissertation won the very prestigious «Prix Jeune Historien» of the Académie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences (2009). (The dissertation was later published in book form by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation). Bernardo got a Humboldt fellowship and worked in Berlin for a couple of years. He is now at the Classics Department at the University of Lisbon and we collaborate in several projects.

José Miguel Pinto dos Santos's (PhD, 2012) doctoral research was on Kenkon bensetsu, a seventeenth-century text on natural philosophy written by a Portuguese in Japan. I was supervisor together with João Paulo Oliveira e Costa (UNL). His dissertation is an example of first rate scholarship and exceptional linguistic skills. It can be downloaded here (NB: It's a 20MB file, ca. 1000 pages). José Miguel and I are working together on other projects.

Bruno Almeida (PhD, 2012) researched the influence of Pedro Nunes' nautical ideas in sixteenth century Portuguese and European science. His excellent dissertation won the "Prémio Cultura - Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, 2012". Bruno's work is of great quality, the first full length work on a very important topic.

Teresa Nobre de Carvalho (PhD, 2013) wrote a dissertation on Garcia de Orta's Colóquios dos Simples (1563). I supervised together with Rui Loureiro. Teresa's research is an important contribution to all future studies on the Colóquios dos Simples and especially to a modern edition of Orta's text -- a much needed enterprise. The dissertation won a "Menção Honrosa" in the 2014 edition of the Prize “Almirante Teixeira da Mota” [Academia de Marinha]. A revised and shortened version of Teresa's dissertation was published in the book: Os desafios de Garcia de Orta. Colóquios dos Simples e Drogas da Índia (Lisboa: Esfera do Caos, 2015). 

Francisco Romeiras's (PhD, 2014) doctoral dissertation was on the teaching and popularization of science, especially the biological sciences, in Portugal in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He studied in particular the role played by Jesuit colleges and the journal Brotéria. Francisco's contribution is a major step forward in the comprehension of science in Portugal at the beginning of the 20th century. If you're interested in his work take a look at the site he put up with some results of his research. A revised and shortened version of Francisco's dissertation was published in the book: Ciência, Prestígio e Devoção - Os Jesuítas e a Ciência em Portugal (sécs. XIX e XX) (Cascais: Lucerna, 2015). Francisco's book got a "Menção Honrosa" at the 2015 edition of the “Prémio Victor de Sá de História Contemporânea”. 


Current PhD Students

Mário Simões Fernandes studied cometary theories in Portugal in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He focused particularly in theories and observations of comets by Jesuit mathematicians, unearthing interesting new materials. I co-supervised his research together with Miguel Monteiro (FL-UL). Mário is currently waiting for his public examination.

Luis Tirapicos, who got his Master's degree under my supervision in 2010 (see below), decided that he hadn´t had enough of me and started doctoral studies under my supervision. He is working on a (long desired) study of the scientific activities of Giovanni Battista Carbone during the kingdom of D. João V. Luís will have the public examination of his dissertation in the next months.

Wellington Silva Filho comes from Maringá, Brazil. He has just started his doctoral program under my supervision at the University of Lisbon. Wellington will be working with seventeenth and eighteenth century descriptions of the natural history of Brazil, botanics and pharmaceutical knowledge. Wellington is at the final stages of the writing of his dissertation.

Cristina Picanço is working on the description of sea animals by fifteenth to seventeenth century sailors and travelers. She is interested on the narratives used to describe these animals, the discussions around evidence and credibility, the visual depictions, the connection of new observations with ancient knowledge. (Completion expected in 2017).

José Manuel Malhão Pereira´s doctoral dissertation is on Portuguese "Roteiros" of the seventeenth and eighteenth century -- a rather poorly known subject. J. M. Malhão Pereira is today's most accomplished expert on nautical instruments and ancient navigational techniques in Portugal and it has been been a pleasure working together. He already presented some of his work in talks at Harvard, Greenwich, Budapest and many other places. (Completion expected in 2017).

Vasco Nuno Figueiredo Medeiros. I am co-supervising Vasco's work together with Fernando Grilo (FLUL, U. Lisbon). I know some of Vasco's work and I am really looking forward to work more with him. 

Manuel Xavier started his doctoral studies recently under my supervision. His plan is to look into materials of technical astronomy, mostly by sixteenth century Portuguese mathematicians and astronomers.

Luís Ribeiro recently started his doctoral programme. I am co-supervising his work, together with Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute, London). Luis is studying a fascinating topic: the participation of Jesuits in astrological activities. 


Visiting PhD Students and other PhD Students

Zaqueu Vieira Oliveira, USP, visited our group and worked under my supervision from April to June 2014. Zaqueu studied the mathematical works of van Roomen, and recently got his degree in Brazil.

Letitia Destro, from PUC-Rio, visited our group and worked under my supervision from May to September 2015. Leticia is working on the fifteenth century knowledge of Africa and the construction of an image of the negro.

Joseph da Costa, from King's College, London, visited our group, from September to December 2016.

Nuno Castel-Branco studied under my supervision as a graduate student, for more than one year. He is now at the PhD Programme at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.


Master students

Past MSc students

Pedro Raposo (MSc, 2006) got his MSc degree under my supervision and went on to win a «Magellan Prize» at the University of Oxford. He completed his DPhil degree in Oxford under Jim Bennet in 2010. Pedro returned to our group as a post-doctoral researcher for a brief period and recently got the place as Curator of Instruments at the Adler Planetarium, in Chicago.

Luis Tirapicos (MSc, 2010) got his degree with a dissertation on telescopes in Portugal (mostly in the eighteenth century). Luis is already the leading expert in this subject and his work is a major advance in our understanding of this topic. Luis is now working for a PhD under my supervision.

Ana Bastião (MSc, 2010) edited a late seventeenth century text on nautical matters. This is an important topic since studies on Portuguese nautical techniques tend to focus only on the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Alexandre Silva (MSc, 2011) wrote his dissertation on the historical development of the stereographic projection. He studied the mathematics involved, discussed some of the historical problems involved and explained practical applications of astrolabes.

Ana Marín (MSc, 2011) finished her dissertation under my supervision (co-supervisor was José Vaquero) on the scientific activities (meteorology, astronomy) of Bento Sanches Dorta (1739-1795).

Natércia Soares (MSc, 2014) studied the knowledge of Archimedes' works in Portugal. Starting from medieval and early modern manuscripts and going up to eighteenth century printed works she investigated how the works of the famous Greek mathematician were known and used in Portugal. 

Gianriccardo Pastore (MSc, 2014) did his dissertation on Astrology and Inquisition in 16th-17th cent. Portugal. Gianriccardo centered mostly on book censorship -- he made an analysis of the scientific books present in 16th cent. Portuguese Indices.

Carlos Godinho (MSc, 2016) wrote a very original dissertation on the history of the armillary sphere (co-supervisor was Antonio Sánchez).

Ana Garção (MSc 2017) studied João Rodrigues's description of seventeenth-century Japanese astronomy. She edited an important manuscript on the topic. 


Postdoctoral collaborators

Samuel Gessner (2008-2014) has been doing excellent work on instruments, especially sixteenth century instruments. He is an expert of international reputation in his field and his contributions have been of the utmost importance for the history of scientific instruments in Portugal. Together we have explored a number of different topics, from mathematical tiles, to courtly practices and visual representations of science. It has been a long, fruitful and very exciting collaboration.

Luana Giurgevich (2010 - ) is working on scientific libraries in Portugal and the circulation of scientific books in the early modern period. She has done a massive inspection of primary sources related to ancient libraries in Portugal, especially libraries in monasteries, convents and other religious houses. She has also examined in detail the circulation of scientific books in Portugal. We are preparing a book with detailed information on ca. 800 manuscript inventories and catalogues of old libraries in Portugal.

Joaquim Alves Gaspar (2011 - ) is a pioneer in the development and application of modern cartometric techniques to the study of ancient (sixteenth century) nautical charts. This is a new technique and, in my opinion, one of the most promising approaches to the history of cartography to have appeared in recent years. We already published some of our joint work, and more is about to appear.

Antonio Sánchez Martínez (2011 - 2016) is working on Portuguese and Spanish cartography of the early modern period. Antonio approaches the topic with tools from intelectual and cultural history and is opening new vistas on what many considered to be an old subject. Together we have been working on the concept of "Iberian science", an important notion that in our view requires a more precise delimitation.

Thomas Horst is an expert in globes, cartography and cosmographical knowledge in Europe in the early modern period. He is also interested in the scientific connections between Portuguese and German scholars in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and we started a project on this topic together. We are presently working on an exceptional document, completely unknown to historians: Leonard Thurneysser's description of Portuguese plants and animals written while he was staying at the house of Damião de Góis in Lisbon. Thomas' knowledge and skills are a guarantee that this will turn out to be a very nice piece of research.

Francisco Romeiras recently started working in a post-doctoral project about Science and book censorship in the sixteenth to eighteenth century. The topic is still poorly studied and Francisco's work is a much desired investigation.


Visiting post-doctoral researchers

Jorge Fernando Araújo comes from Brasil and is a visitor at our group.  We are working on a joint project on the making of the very earliest telescope lenses, 1609-1615. Jorge has a long expertise in lens-making techniques and this allowed us to study and reproduce in very minute detail all the peculiar aspects of this type of craftsmanship.


Other Co-authors, Colleagues and Collaborators

Walter Alvarez (UC Berkeley) is a world famous Geologist with whom I wrote two papers. Collaborating with Walter was a great honour and one of the most rewarding experiences in my professional life. I learned immensely from him (both scientifically and from a human point of view) during the time we worked together.

Rui Magone is sinologist living in Berlin. Along the years Rui has been my trusted advisor on all things chinese -- and much more. We have a major project going on.

Luis Carolino and I have discussed topics of common interest and we published a paper together. Luis has a brilliant career and is today one of the most respected historians of science in Portugal.

Palmira Fontes da Costa is a colleague historian of science with whom I published a paper. Although we usually work on very different topics when the opportunity came to do a joint work we did not hesitate. 

Magno Moraes de Mello is an historian of art, now in Brazil. When he was living in Portugal we worked together on seventeenth-century jesuit texts on perspective and painting. 

José Eduardo Franco and I edited a book with a selection of João Pereira Gomes's works.


Thinking of working under my supervision?
You are very welcome to show up and tell me your plans, but read this first.
Do you have any special linguistic skills? Can you read Arabic? Hebrew? Chinese? Are you well-trained in reading medieval paleography ? Then I want to meet you -- Let's talk.



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