My main area of scientific activity is Animal Reproduction in particular Felid Reproduction. I started my work in this area with studies of domestic cat gamete characterization and physiology, testis histomorphometry and detection of spermatogenic abnormalities. The reproductive state of Portuguese wild cat (Felis silvestris) was also analyzed after sperm collection through electroejaculation using the new methodologies developed in the domestic cat.
Since Felids and other wild carnivores reproduction are affected by environmental contaminants, I went on to analyze the effects of DDE and dioxins in the testis metabolism, particularly their action on germ cells mitochondria.
More recently, and relying on the support of a FCT funded project "New strategies to recover fertility and genetic variability of endangered felids: development of xenografting and spermatogonial stem cell transplantation in domestic cat as model for endangered felids" PTDC/CVT/119477/2010, I’m exploring some state of the art methodologies such as xenografting and in vitro organ culture, both maintaining the architecture of the testicular tissue, to rescue the genetic potential of animals that die prematurely.
Other areas of work include:
- Participation in the project "Iberian wolf (Canis lupus) monitorization in the eolic parks of Peneda-Gerês National Park." through analysis of sperm characteristics obtained through electroejaculation of males captured for implantation of radiotracking devices;
- Participation in the project "Novel insights into the reproductive dysfunction in diabetes: 3D dimensional analysis of spermatogenesis and analysis of mitochondria status through Confocal Raman Microscopy"