Senior Researcher (PI)

Pedro M. Costa

I am a biologist specialised in toxicology (ecotoxicology, environmental and biomedical toxicology). I hold a degree in Marine Biology from FCUL, a M.Sc. in Marine Ecology from IST-UTL and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from FCT-NOVA. I mostly divide my current research between environmental toxicology and marine biotechnology. Molecular toxicology, Histopathology, Genotoxicology and Bioinformatics and some of my strongest domains of expertise. I founded and run the SeaTox Lab @UCIBIO since late 2017.

At the Department of Life Sciences @FCT-NOVA I perform both research and teaching (I highlight Bioinformatics, Toxicology, Molecular Genetics and Laboratory Practices).

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Carolina Madeira

BSc in Marine Biology in 2009 and MSc in Marine Ecology in 2011, both from the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Lisbon (FCUL). PhD in Biology (doctoral program in Marine Biology and Aquaculture, also by FCUL) in 2018, with specialization in marine eco-physiology of tropical ecosystems under climate change. Expertise in intertidal reef ecology, stress metabolism, biomolecular tools and multivariate statistical analysis. Post-doc researcher at SeaTox Lab since 2019, working for the WormALL project: “Marine invertebrates as source of novel biotoxins: Investigating function and application through Polychaeta venomics”. Responsible for the development of multi-omics approaches and data analysis (including RNAseq and proteomics) to characterize complex venom mixtures, biotoxin cloning and annotation. Other activities include mentoring and supervision of students, science dissemination activities and lab co-management.

Mariaelena D'Ambrosio

I am a marine biologist specialized in ecology of coastal systems, with deep knowledge in ecotoxicology. My academic career started at University of Salento (Italy), where I completed a graduation in Biology (2008), followed by a MSc in Biology (2011) and a PhD (2017) at the University of Coimbra (Portugal). 

In January 2019, I moved to the SEATOX LAB, benefitting from a post-doctoral fellowship within the “GREENTECH” project, dedicated to marine invertebrates and biotechnology (drug discovery). Until now, my main tasks have been the extraction of pigments and toxins from marine polychaete Eulalia viridis, performing the Comet assay for testing the genotoxicity of these biotoxins. The next step will be to assess the acute toxicity of these compounds on daphnid crustaceans. 

Ph.D. Students

Ana P. Rodrigo

After a kickstart in the field of ecotoxicology during my master’s degree, after which I enrolled in the field of biotechnology and on the search for new marine products. I am currently doing my PhD in this field, more specifically, in identifying and characterizing a toxin retrieved from a marine invertebrate of Class Polychaeta.

Carla Martins

I have been developing my work on the domain of environmental toxicology, particularly in the field of aquatic toxicology. After my M.Sc., I have been involved on project GreenTech and now in project WormALL, both of which in the field of biotechnology, more specifically, on bioproducts from marine Polychaeta. Additionally, I am currently a PhD student addressing risk assessment and molecular toxicology of toxicant mixtures, namely carcinogenic toxicants and emerging pollutants. I aim at studying their interactions using both in vivo and in vitro tests. Dspite my expertise on histology and histopathology (which are in the core of my laboratory's expertise), I have been exploring molecular techniques related to transcription and whole-transcriptome analyses, within the scope of my PhD project.

Cátia Gonçalves

My professional career started in the field of ecotoxicology, marine ecology and environmental monitoring, as I developed my MSc thesis on the potential effects of contaminated sediments on benthic fish. As an Environmental Engineer, I joined both national and international projects about the ecotoxicological effects of microplastics in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, at organ and tissue levels. Now, at SeaTox Lab, I am expanding my knowledge on molecular biology, as well as continuing to work in histopathology and related areas, through the participation in projects GreenTech and WormALL.

M.Sc. students

Leonor Santos

I am a master student of Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine at FCT-NOVA. My academic career started at the University of Lisbon (FCUL) where I graduated in Biology, in the field of Molecular Genetics. Currently, I am working on my thesis at the SeaTox Lab @UCIBIO, more specifically, testing marine natural products from Eulalia viridis as photosensitizers in photodynamic therapy (PDT) as an anti-cancer treatment.

Márcia Grou

I am a master student of FCT-NOVA currently working at the SeaTox Lab @UCIBIO in a project that aims to understand the impact of UV in tissue regeneration of Leptoplana. Regarding my academic career, it started in 2015 at the University of Lisbon (FCUL) where I graduated in Biology, more specifically, in Molecular Genetics and currently I am finishing a master’s degree in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine.

Inês Cabral

I am currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine at FCT-NOVA.  My work at SeaTox Lab aims to identify marine toxins which interact with human receptors. With regard to my academic career, I graduated in Cell and Molecular Biology at FCT-NOVA.

Sónia Campos

I am a Biotechnology Master's Student at FCT-NOVA and I am passionate about Toxicology, Molecular Biology, Synthetic Biology and Genetic Engineering. I am currently working on my Master’s Thesis in Marine Biotechnology. The project encompasses the identification and characterization of toxins, with pharmacological and biomedical potential, grounded on strong bioinformatics, molecular and toxicology components.

Telma Luís

I am a Biotechnology student at FCT-NOVA, currently working on my M.Sc. thesis at the SeaTox Lab @UCIBIO. Given the potential for diverse applications found in animal toxins, the project focuses on identifying and characterizing components present in weever fish (Trachinidae) venom. Regarding my previous academic career, I graduated in Cell and Molecular Biology, also at FCT-NOVA.

Marta Gato

My academic career started in 2016 at FCT-NOVA, where I graduated in Biochemistry. I am currently a Master's student in Biochemistry at the same Faculty and I find myself working on my dissertation at the SeaTox Lab. The project aims to identify and characterize cysteine-rich secretory proteins, which have been revealed as potential targets in biotechnological and biomedical research.

Former members


Jorge Lobo (Researcher at IPMA)

Nagore Cuevas

Past undergraduate students and trainees

Ricardo Estevens

Rita Bastos

Iris Ramos

Ricardo Pereira

Catarina Santos

Maria Rodrigues

Mariana Calmão

Miguel Cunha

Raquel Costa

Luís Tanoeiro

Miriam Casaca

Ana Lopes