Official Title: Assistant Professor

Faculty: Institute of Science and Environment


Short Bio

I am a biologist with a doctorate degree in Biology (Ecophysiology) obtained through the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and postdoctoral research experience from the Cornell University (USA). I am currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Science and Environment currently teaching neurobiology and environment-related subjects.

My research interests are animal communication and underlying neuroanatomical and physiological mechanisms. I am especially interested in the mechanisms controlling auditory sensitivity and how changes in the environment (e.g. noise pollution) and aging affect the structure and function of auditory systems and possible physiological adaptations. I have been using the highly vocal Lusitanian toadfish (Halobatrachus didactylus) and, more recently, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as my model organisms. 

My current research lines cover the following topics: 1) development of auditory-vocal systems; 2) hormonal control of auditory sensitivity; 3) effects of environmental stressors (noise) on inner ear anatomy and sensitivity.

A parallel project, in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong (Global Night Sky Brightness Monitoring Network), focuses on light pollution in Macau and its implications for local population and biodiversity.

I have received several grants from Portugal (FCT, MCTES - SFRH/BM/21774/2005, SFRH/BD/30491/2006) and USA (Grass Fellowship, Grass Foundation, Marine Biological Laboratory; postdoctoral grant, Cornell University), as well as from FDCT, Macau (012/2012/A1; 036/2015/A1).

The ongoing research relies on a collaboration with various institutions abroad, namely with the University of Lisbon, Portugal (Fonseca Lab) and the Cornell University, USA (Bass Lab).





Amorim, M. C. P., Vasconcelos, R. O., Bolgan, M., Pedroso, S., Fonseca, P. J. Acoustic communication in marine shallow waters: testing the acoustic adaptive hypothesis in sand gobies. Journal of Experimental Biology. (submitted)

Chaves, P., Valdoria, C., Amorim, M.C.P., Vasconcelos, R. O. 2017. Ontogenetic development of the inner ear saccule and utricle in the Lusitanian toadfish: potential implications for auditory sensitivity. Hearing Research 353: 112-121.

Vasconcelos, R. O., Alderks, P., Sisneros, J. A. 2016. The development of structure and sensitivity of the fish inner ear. In Sisneros, J. A. et al. (Eds.) Fish Hearing and Bioacoustics. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, 877, 291-318, Springer Science Business Media.

Vasconcelos, R. O., Alderks, P. W., Ramos, A., Fonseca, P. J., Amorim, M. C. P., and Sisneros, J. A. 2015. Vocal differentiation parallels development of auditory saccular sensitivity in a highly soniferous fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 218: 2864-2872.

Amorim, M. C. P., Vasconcelos, R. O., Fonseca, P. J. 2015. Fish sounds and mate choice. In Ladich, F. (Ed.) Sound Communication in Fishes. Vol 4, 1-33, Springer-Verlag Wien.

Vasconcelos, R. O., Carriço, R., Ramos, A., Modesto, T., Fonseca, P. J., Amorim, M. C. P. (2012) Vocal behaviour predicts reproductive success in a teleost fish. Behavioral Ecology, 23: 375-383.

Vasconcelos, R. O., Sisneros, J. A., Amorim, M. C. P., Fonseca, P. J. (2011) Auditory saccular sensitivity of the vocal Lusitanian toadfish: low frequency tuning allows acoustic communication throughout the year. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 197: 903-913.  

Vasconcelos, R. O., Fonseca, P. J., Amorim, M. C. P, Ladich, F. (2011) Representation of complex vocalizations in the Lusitanian toadfish auditory system: evidence of fine temporal, frequency and amplitude discrimination. Proceedings of Royal Society B 278: 826-834.

Vasconcelos, R. O., Simões, J. M., Almada, V. C., Fonseca, P. J. & Amorim, M. C. P. (2010) Vocal behaviour during territorial intrusions in the Lusitanian toadfish: boatwhistles also function as territorial %u2018keep-out%u2019 signals. Ethology 116: 155-165. 

Amorim, M. C. P., Vasconcelos, R. O. & Parreira, B. (2009) Variability in the sonic muscles of the Lusitanian toadfish (Halobatrachus didactylus): acoustic signals may reflect individual quality. Canadian Journal of Zoology 87: 718-725. 

Vasconcelos, R. O. & Ladich, F. (2008) Development of vocalization, auditory sensitivity and acoustic communication in the Lusitanian toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 502-509. 

Amorim, M. C. P. & Vasconcelos, R. O. (2008) Variability in the mating calls of the Lusitanian toadfish Halobatrachus didactylus: potential cues for individual recognition. Journal of Fish Biology 72: 1355-1368. 

Vasconcelos, R. O., Amorim, M. C. P. & Ladich, F. (2007) Effects of ship noise on the detectability of communication signals in the in the Lusitanian toadfish. Journal of Experimental Biology 210: 2104-2112. 

Amorim, M. C. P., Vasconcelos, R. O., Marques, J. & Almada, F. (2006) Seasonal variation of sound production in the Lusitanian toadfish, Halobatrachus didactylus. Journal of Fish Biology 69: 1892-1899.  


Year 1 Doctorate
Year 1 Master
Year 1 Bachelor
2.00 credits
3.00 credits
Year 2 Bachelor
Year 3 Bachelor
3.00 credits
2.00 credits
Year 4 Bachelor
2.00 credits
2.00 credits
2.00 credits
3.00 credits
3.00 credits