Our Team

Forest Engineer

Joaquim Sande Silva

Joaquim S. Silva holds a BSc. and a PhD in Forestry, both awarded by the University of Lisbon. He works at the College of Agriculture of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra in Portugal, currently teaching several subjects on fire ecology and fire management. He was leading a research project on fire ecology (project Phoenix) and another on invasion ecology (project Wildgum on eucalypt naturalization in Portugal). Currently he is leading project Aliens & Flames and project Wildgum II. He has authored more than twenty research papers in journals indexed in the ISI Web of Knowledge, mainly in the fields of invasion ecology and fire ecology. He has also authored more than one hundred non-indexed publications, including conference papers, book chapters and technical reports. He was editor of six books and the book series Árvores e Florestas de Portugal (Trees and Forests of Portugal). He was part of the Independent Technical Commission that investigated the 2017 fires in Portugal. He is currently a member of the Observatory for forest fires, nominated by Portuguese Parliament. He is also a member of the board of directors of the Portuguese NGO League for the Protection of Nature.


Forest Engineer

Teresa Maria Pinto Coelho Amado Vasconcelos  

Teresa Maria Pinto Coelho Amado Vasconcelos is currently a coordinator teacher and the forestry resources master’s degree coordinator in the Agrarian Scholl of Coimbra – Polytechnic of Coimbra.

Holds a degree in Forestry Engineering and Natural Resources awarded by the Scholl of Agriculture – University of Lisbon, and the MSc. degree in ecology by the Faculty of Sciences and Technology – University of Coimbra and the Ph.D. degree in co-toutship with the Orléns University and ISA-UL.

Regularly cooperates in classes and seminars with the Coimbra Institute of Engineering – Polytechnic of Coimbra, Faculty of Sciences and Technology – University of Coimbra, and with the Mendel University – BRNO in the Chez Republic. She has presented more than 150 communications in scientific and technical events, promoting the fields of biodiversity, beekeeping, and forestry health.

Author of more than 50 publications and revised articles in scientific magazines, such as Arthropod-Plant Interactions, Forest, and Toxins. Was distinguished with the Lusofonia Prize in the “Panorama Regional” with the movie “A doença da murchidão do pinheiro” and by the international competition “Comunicação Científica Ciência” Viva/British Council.



Miguel Peixoto

Graduated in Applied Ecology at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro and a master’s student in Forest Resources at the Coimbra College of Agriculture. Has made his professional career in the area of environmental consulting, mainly in monitoring ecological systems, and is currently a research fellow in the Aliens & Flames project. His main areas of interest are the study of flora and habitats, fire ecology and ecosystem restoration.


Geographer; Forest Engineer

Ernesto Deus

Ernesto Deus holds a BSc. and a MSc. in Geography by the University of Coimbra, and accomplished a PhD. in Forestry Engineering and Natural Resources by the University of Lisbon, featuring a thesis aimed at exploring the ecology and naturalisation of blue gum eucalypt (Eucalyptus globulus) in the Iberian Peninsula. Currently, he is a doctorate researcher in the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, in the frame of project WildGum II, aimed at investigating the naturalisation of Eucalyptus globulus using remote sensing and genetic markers (PDR2020-101-030919). He authored nine research papers in journals indexed by the ISI Web of knowledge, mostly related to Eucalyptus globulus. He is also an invited assistant in the College of Agriculture of Coimbra, teaching subjects related to the use of fire. He is a prescribed fire technician and provides training on fire behaviour programs. In recent years, he collaborated in different research projects, including project Aliens & Flames, where he provides technical support.


Agricultural Engineer

Martim Santos

Graduated in Agricultural Engineering at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto and currently a research fellow in the Aliens & Flames project. Master’s student in Forest Resources at the Coimbra College of Agriculture with an interest in fire ecology, agroforestry systems and dendrology.



Hélia Marchante

Hélia Marchante is a biologist focusing her research in the area of invasive plants. She has a PhD in Biology / Ecology from the University of Coimbra, in collaboration with the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Hélia is a lecturer at the Agrarian School of the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra with Botany, Dendrology and Invasive Species Management as main teaching areas. She is also a researcher at the Center for Functional Ecology of the University of Coimbra where she participates in several projects on invasive plants, including topics such as impacts assessment, management of invaded areas and natural control, among others. She publishes regularly on these research topics and is involved in several activities of consulting, science communication, environmental awareness and citizen science projects – always focused on invasive plants.



Simão Pinho

Simão Pinho graduated in Biology at the University of Coimbra and later at the same institution earned a master’s degree in Evolution and Human Biology. In his master’s thesis he worked on human genetics focusing on the genetics of obesity, work that later gave rise to an article in an international journal. His main research interests are eucalyptus genetics. Works and possesses relevant skills in extracting DNA from humans and plants and performing genetic laboratory processes.


Forest Engineer

José Gaspar

José Gaspar, graduated in Forest engineering by the Trás-os-Montes e alto Douro University, with a master degree in environmental remote sensing by the Alberdeen University. Ph.D degree in environmental science sciences, by the Aveiro university. Currently is teacher and researcher in the Forest resources department in the Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra – Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra and develops research in geographic Information systems, remote sensing and prescribed fires. Presently is contributing in the Aliens & Flames and WildGum II projects. 



António Dias Ferreira

CERNAS (Centro de Estudos de Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Sociedade) scientific coordinator since 2013, António Dias Ferreira, is the coordinator of the environmental management master in Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra – Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra. As a researcher he collaborated in more than 35 projects financed by the European Union and the Portuguese Government. With vast research experience in Africa and South America, and more than 60 published articles in international magazines, book chapters, and more than 150 other technical and scientific articles and awarded with the best Ph.D. in Global Energy held in Portugal in 2006, with a project in environmental management. In 2007 and 2008, coordinated a Life environmental project coordinator, considered the Best Life Environmental projects in 2007 and 2008. Currently participates in the WildGum II project.


Forest Engineer

Dionatan Gerber

Graduated in Forest Engineering at the Federal University of Technology of Paraná, Brazil and Master in Management of Forest Resources at the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança. Currently a FCT PhD Research Studentship holder and a student in the PhD Programme in Sustainable Forest Development at the University of Coimbra and University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro. His main areas of interest are the study of biological invasion, ecology and forest restoration.