2016 - 2017: Postdoctoral Fellow
Departamento de Ecologia e Zoologia
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Advisor: Fabio G. Daura-Jorge
Funding: CNPq, Conselho Nacional de Tecnologia e Desenvolvimento Científico
2012 - 2016: PhD in Biology
Department of Biology
Thesis title: On the interplay between society and culture: cause, consequence and stability of sperm whale clans
Supervisor: Hal Whitehead
Supervisory Committee: Dr. Boris Worm, Dr. Glenn Crossin, Dr. Marty Leonard
Scholarship: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq (Brazil), Killam Trusts (Canada), Lett Fund (Canada)
2009 - 2011: M.Sc in Ecology
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
Ecology Graduate Program (PosEco)
Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos (LAMAq)
Dissertation: Modeling population and social dynamics of Sotalia guianensis (Cetacea, Delphinidae)
Supervisor: Paulo César Simões Lopes
Co-supervisor: Paulo R. Guimarães (Universidade de São Paulo) (Guimarães Lab)
Scholarship: Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento Pessoal de Ensino Superior, CAPES (Brazil).
2002 - 2008: B.Sc in Biology
Universidade Estatual de Campinas
Undergraduate thesis: Pequenos mamíferos como dispersores de sementes em um fragmento de vegetação nativa da Bacia do rio Anhumas, Campinas, SP.
Supervisor: Eleonore Zulnara Freire Setz
Scholarship: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, CNPq, through Serviço de Apoio ao Estudante (SAE) UNICAMP (Brazil).
2001 - 2002: Undergraduate studies in Food Engineering (incomplete)
Selected short-term supplementary courses
2014 - Software Carpentry Bootcamp (8h). Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada
2013 - Complex Systems Summer School (300h). Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA.
2012 - Meta Analysis (30h). Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.
2011 - Analysis of animal social structure (27h). Murdoch University, Australia
2011 - MARK workshop: Capture-recapture analysis (10h). Murdoch University, Australia
2011 - Introduction to Bayesian Statistics (8h). The Society for Marine Mammalogy, USA.
2011 - Multivariate analyses (96h). Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.
2011 - Introduction to Computation (C Language) (96h). Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.
2009 - Sampling design in ecology (32h). Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil.
2009 - Experiments in Ecology (10h). III Congresso Latino Americano de Ecologia, Brazil
2009 - Plant-animal mutualistic networks (90h). Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil
2009 - Marine Mammals: Methods and applications (45h). Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil.
2008 - Bayesian statistics applied to Cetaceans (8h). V Encopemaq, Brazil.
2008 - American's Boating Course (2h). United States Coast Guard Auxilliary, USA.
2008 - Individual specialization in natural populations (16h).
Universidade Federal de São Carlos, Brazil.
2008 - English (80h). INOVA Centro de Linguas, Brazil
2008 - Open Water Diver - Basic (36h). Escola de Mergulho Coral de Fogo, Brazil.
2006 - Biology and conservation of sea birds. Instituto Albatroz, Brazil.
2002 - Practical course on the ecology of Guiana dolphins Boto-Cinza Sotalia guianensis (20h). Instituto de Pesquisas Cananéia, Brazil
Portuguese (native): Mother tongue
English (advanced): Comprehends Well, Speaks Well, Reads Well, Writes Well*
Spanish (advanced): Comprehends Well, Speaks Well, Reads Well, Writes Well
French (beginner): Comprehends Poorly, Speaks Poorly, Reads Poorly, Writes Poorly
*TOEFL in 2012: 102 out of 120
Personal Statement & Background
My academic background includes both theoretical and empirical experiences, mainly in animal ecology. I received my BSc degree in Biology at State University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil) in 2008. I received my MSc degree through the Ecology Graduate Program at Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC, Brazil, 2011). I was supervised by Dr. Paulo César Simões-Lopes (UFSC) and co-supervised by Dr. Paulo R. Guimarães Jr (University of São Paulo, USP, Brazil), under a 2-year scholarship provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (CAPES). I earned a PhD from the Department of Biology, Dalhousie University (Canada) in 2016. I was supervised by Dr. Hal Whitehead and supported y 4-year funds from the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil) and Killam Trusts (Canada), in addition to grants from the Animal Behaviour Society, Society for Marine Mammalogy and Cetacean Society International.
From the last year of my undergraduate course until the end of the MSc course (2008 to 2011), I worked as an associate researcher at the non-for-profit organization Instituto Baleia Jubarte (Brazil). During that time, I was took part in research cruises collecting data on whales and dolphins off the eastern coast of Brazil. During 2011, I was working at the Aquatic Mammal Lab of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Laboratório de Mamíferos Aquáticos, UFSC, Brazil) as an voluntary researcher charged with data collection and the analysis of ongoing monitoring of a bottlenose dolphin population off the south Brazilian coast (Laguna, SC).
As an undergraduate student, I was able to undertake six internships at both Brazilian and international institutions. These experiences encompassed diverse issues, such as behavioral ecology and population dynamics of bottlenose dolphins (Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, MOTE Marine Laboratory; USA, 2008), humpback whales (Instituto Baleia Jubarte; Brazil, 2007) and southern right whales (Projeto Baleia Franca; Brazil, 2005), feeding ecology of Bryde’s whales (Centro de Estudos para Conservação Marinha; Brazil, 2008) and sea turtles (Projeto TAMAR; Brazil, 2006), and reproductive ecology of snakes (Instituto Butantan; Brazil, 2004-05). In addition, I carried out five undergraduate research projects in different laboratories at my university. At the Laboratory of Ecology of Crustacea (2003) I worked on a project that addressed the commensalism between amphipods (Gammaridae) and ascidians (Ascidiacea); at the Laboratory of Herpetology (2004 and 2006), I worked in two projects involving laboratory analysis of the reproductive biology of Boidea and Colubridae snakes; finally, at the Laboratory of Plant-Vertebrate Interactions (2006-2007) I worked in two projects addressing seed dispersal: one by birds in a reforestation fragment, and the other by small mammals in an urban forest fragment. Therefore, during my undergratuate degree I gained experience in both field and laboratory work on terrestrial (tropical forests) and aquatic habitats (coastal and offshore research cruises) collaborating with broad research projects, as well as designing my own experiments and proposing my research questions.
My M.Sc thesis addressed the population and social dynamics of Guiana dolphins (Sotalia guianensis), a cetacean species poorly known in these respects. To accomplish that, I analyzed an eight-year dataset from a continuous monitoring profect off the Brazilian coast. By combining recent mark-recapture modeling and complex network theory, I described a set of demographic parameters and modelled the social structure of that population. All the models and conceptual frameworks were built in a flexible way to consider spatio-temporal sources of variation, particularly important in this case.
In my Ph.D., I investigated the interplay between animal society and culture by studying the causes and consequences of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the Galápagos Islands over the last 30 years. During this period, I developed a new model that traces back the origin of sperm whale cultural groups, which yields biased cultural transmission of communication sounds as the mechanism generating their different dialects. I also developed a conceptual model to formalize the interplay between cultural transmission of behavior and the structure of cetacean social networks.
Overall, my research is primarily focused on unraveling patterns of animal behaviour and their underlying mechanisms via theoretical modelling and empirical tests. I combine field work in in- and offshore waters to collect empirical data on cetaceans, with the development of novel models and computational tools that enhance our understanding of their emergent social behaviour. In my postdoctoral research I combine theoretical and empirical approaches in order to illuminate the evolution of interspecific cooperation. By confronting real data with mathematical models inspired by game theory and network thinking, I investigate the emergence and spread of a unique cooperative foraging tactic between bottlenose dolphins and artisanal fishermen.