My main research field is Taxonomy & Systematics of southern African freshwater fish species. I am one of the leading Portuguese experts of southern African freshwater fish. I have high interest in understanding African freshwater fish Phylogeny, Phylogeography, Biogeography and Conservation issues.
I graduated at the University of Namur (Belgium) in Freshwater Ecology. I carried out several grants at the University of Lisbon (UL, Portugal) where I led and coordinated field and laboratory works for several ecological research projects. During these post-graduation years, I mostly focused my research on Portuguese freshwater fish biology, ecology, and conservation. Later I presented my PhD (2013) at the UL in collaboration with the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB, Grahamstown, South Africa). My main research was on Taxonomy & Systematics of southern African freshwater fishes using traditional and geometric morphology and genetics approaches. During my PhD, I was invited by IUCN to collaborate to the Red Book of southern African Fishes. I was responsible for 76 Angolan fish species assessments (2007).
Between 2013 and 2016, I collaborated as independent ichthyologist consultant and led several survey and monitoring projects in Angola and Mozambique. Later in 2016, I was Scientific Collaborator at the “FishBase for Africa” project based at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA, Tervuren, Belgium). I was involved in several topics: 1) updating FishBase information data and IUCN assessments of African freshwater species; 2) organising the 2016 local FishBase training (in collaboration with the National Museum of Kenya); 3) producing a field guide compiled and based on FishBase data; and 4) updating the information of the book “The Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes of West Africa”. Also, in 2016, I led, together with the Museu de História Natural de Maputo (MHN Maputo, Mozambique), the field trip of the project “Contributo ao Inventário da ictiofauna da Reserva Nacional de Chimanimani” [Freshwater Fish Survey in Chimanimani Natural Reserve, Mozambique] financed by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF S16-370-MOZ MHN; USD 20,000).
In 2017, I moved back to Portugal and integrated the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA, Lisbon, Portugal) freshwater’s team as a Researcher working on the European project, MARS – Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress (European Union FP7/603378). My main task was to understand the effects of multiple stressors on surface waters and groundwaters, their biota, and the services they provide to humans.
Currently, I am an Invited Researcher at the Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência (MUHNAC, Lisbon, Portugal) where I am focusing my research on taxonomy & systematics of southern African freshwater fishes, with main interest to Angola and Mozambique ichthyofauna. I am also collaborating on several projects with colleagues from major natural history museums housing African fish collections, namely RMCA, SAIAB, and MHN Maputo, combining morphologic and phylogenetic approaches on smaller complex fish groups. I am also curating Citizen Science projects (“iNaturalist.org”, “Global Freshwater Fish BioBlitz”, and “Biodiversiy4All”).
I am co-author of nine (9) peer-reviewed international papers, 1 book chapter and 1 book. The publication list includes contributions to Conservation Biology (1), Fisheries Management and Ecology (3), Biological Invasions (1), Journal of Fish Biology (2), Ecology of Freshwater Fish (1), and more recently Risk Analysis (1). I am also reviewer for journals including Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Zoomorphology, International Journal of Morphology, Central European Journal of Biology, North-Western Journal of Zoology.
I have a large field experience in collecting, photographing, preserving fish specimens according to Museum protocols, and cataloguing all data in database (e.g. Specify software). I have excellent expertise with electro-fishing and other techniques (gill-nets, cast-net, trap, hand-nets, etc.).
I am also an independent consultant for Portuguese and African public and private enterprises, universities, institutes, and municipalities. My key areas of expertise are taxonomy & systematics of freshwater fish, which include ichthyofauna surveys (I led field trips for several projects in Africa - Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and South Africa - and Europe - Portugal, Italy, and Belgium), biological monitoring, ecological and biological studies, conservation and biodiversity assessment of freshwater biodiversity. Other expertise is Environmental Impact and Biological Assessments (Hydroelectric power stations, Tourist Resorts, and Agriculture Irrigation Projects), conservation and biodiversity assessment projects.