Camping near Lake Manyara in Tanzania in 1993
Photo by Luiz Saldanha
Near Ait Ben Haddou in southern Morocco in 2010
Photo by Paulo Fonseca
Photographing the fossil trilobite extraction in Moroccan Sahara in 2010
Photo by Paulo Fonseca
At Inhaca Island (Mozambique) shores in 2012
Photo by Henrique Queiroga
I'm a marine biologist. My job is Associate Professor at the Department of Animal Biology of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. Being Associate Professor makes me do a bunch of teaching (currently Marine Ecology and Marine Biodiversity) and related administrative tasks, that include supervision of graduate students (PhD committees in Biology and Marine Sciences), attend myriads of meetings and do a lot of paper work.
As researcher I belong to the MARE/Centre of Oceanography of the Faculty of Sciences, an interdepartmental unit that deals with marine research and advanced formation in marine sciences. I published over 100 scientific articles in peer reviewed journals, and have participated in many research projects of national and international funding. This included the coordination of large European Commission funded projects in collaborative marine research, mainly targeting tropical African environments. I teach advanced marine biology courses at University Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique, and maintain research and capacity building cooperation within the Western Indian Ocean region.
But this web site is not on my scientific or teaching activities, and thus it does not contain any of these. It is only on this fantastic side work that I enjoy doing as nothing else, which is photography. Nevertheless, I do a lot of photography for teaching and research purposes, such as geometric morphometrics or image based sampling and analysis.
My passion with photography began when I was around 13 years old and my father started lending me his fantastic 6x6 double lens Rolleiflex, albeit outdated at that stage. At the same time a close friend inherited a Asahi Pentax and dark room, and that set the ground for progression. Long has passed since those early times, but the mystic feeling that I experienced capturing moments and turn them into prints in those long nights remains.
Technological development made image capture available to a much larger crowd than a few years ago. Surprisingly, cheaper cameras and even mobile phones capture better and better images each year, and automatic features make those lacking any photographic skills to take more than acceptable photographs. Nevertheless, photography remains an art, and for me certainly a challenge each time I dive into a new project. I am part of the Grupo do Risco project, a group of scientific and nature illustrators and photographers that gather to make joint projects and expeditions for exploring the endless natural wonders of our planet.