I am a passionate social scientist with expertise in applying social marketing theory and tools to address conservation challenges. My research focuses on the design and evaluation of behaviour change interventions to better manage natural resources, with current research projects across Asia and Africa.
I always had an interest in nature and at 17 years old started working as an educator and guide at Lisbon Zoo, in Portugal, my home country. I later completed a Environmental Biology BSc at the University of Lisbon. During this time I took a few internships and courses in countries like Mexico, Uganda or Sri Lanka. These opportunities made it clear that conserving biodiversity was about people and the choices they make.
This epiphany lead me to a MSc in Conservation Biology at the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent, a program that uniquely combines the natural and social sciences. I loved it so much that two years later, after a spell as the manager of a sea turtle project in the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, I came back for a PhD!
In 2013, I finished my thesis entitled “Advancing the flagship concept through conservation marketing” which was perhaps the first to combine marketing and conservation science. In 2014, I began a David H. Smith Research Fellowship, focusing on “Using social return on investment to evaluate and improve conservation outreach”, based at Johns Hopkins University and the NGO Rare. I am currently a Oxford Martin Fellow at the University of Oxford, part of the Oxford Martin Programme on the illegal Wildlife Trade. I focus on the design and evaluation of different behaviour change interventions for consumers of illegally traded products around the world.