A JOURNEY IN ACADEMIA
My research journey began at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, where I had a couple of great years doing my Degree in Biology with a minor in management (2006-2010). I after travelled to the neighbour Spain to do one year of a research internship (2010-2011), under an European Erasmus scholarship. Specifically, I landed at the Ethology Lab of Dr. Enrique Font, at the Institute of Cavanilles, Universitat de València. In this amazing lab, I studied brain lateralization of Podarcis hispanica, through foraging and tonic immobility tasks. For the first time, I got the opportunity to work with animal behaviour and lizards – I fell in love both with the topic and with these amazing creatures. I also discovered a thrilling part of me: a field biologist! There was no turning back.
I did my Master degree at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto, Portugal (2011-2013). These two years were so much more enriching and funnier than I could ever dream of. Supervised by Dr James Harris and Dr Ana Perera, and using lacertids from Portugal and Morocco as models (Podarcis bocagei, P. vaucheri, and Scelarcis perspicillata), I studied the effect of blood parasites on their performance, behaviour, immune system, and ecophysiology. This was a lot of work that involved several hours on the field, microscope, genetic lab, computer, and quality time with my lizards. You can see some results about it on my Publications.
After some months of working in a bunch of different things (Side Projects and Field Work), I was proudly awarded with an International PhD scholarship (IPRS) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Read all about it on my Projects' page.
During my research journey, I have also embraced diverse side projects. I worked as research technician on two different projects, about 1) molecular systematics of sponges, as part of the European SPECIAL Project, and 2) detection, identification, primer testing and optimization of blood parasite species infecting reptiles. I was also involved in developing teaching material for kids.
I worked in organizing several congresses and conferences, and I was part of the organizing committee for two years of weekly seminars at CIBIO-InBIO, University of Porto.