See who is behind our Knowledge Center!

Get to know our team

The right team makes all the difference. We have highly qualified and motivated people working at the Environmental Economics Knowledge Center.

The  Environmental Economics Knowledge Center  is composed by an interdisciplinary group of scientists with knowledge about economics, environmental economics, biology, marine biology, climate change, physics, ocean management and ocean policy.





Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá is Associate Professor (with Habillitation) at NovaSBE. She got a PhD in Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Her fields of interest are Environmental and Natural Resource Economics. She has published in several international scientific journals, such as the Journal of Environmental Economics and ManagementAmerican Journal of Agricultural EconomicsLand EconomicsEnvironment & Resource EconomicsJournal of Economic Dynamics and ControlEnergy Economics, among others. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Environment and Development Economics since 2008 and of Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales (EARN) /Agricultural and Resource Economics of the Spanish Association of Agricultural Economics since 2014, and she serves as referee to the journals in the field. She was Vice-President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), and President-elected of the Associacion Hispano-Portuguesa de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales (AERNA) from 2008 to 2012. She is member of the Scientific Council of all Annual Conferences held by EAERE, serving also as country representative for Portugal. Recently, Maria is leading research projects in Economics of the Sea, namely related to the economic valuation and governance of marine and coastal ecosystem services, where the Nova SBE is partner of several international Schools in the field.


Renato Rosa graduated in Economics by Universidade Nova de Lisboa where he also obtained his PhD degree in the field of Environmental Economics. From 2008 to 2011 he worked at Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, where he developed research in the integration of forestry, agriculture and land use topics into numerical macroeconomic models. Renato has taught at NOVA SBE, University of Aveiro and Ca’Foscari University of Venice. He currently holds an Investigador FCT grant.  His research interests focus on renewable resources and ecosystem services with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary bio-economic modelling. Recently, his joint work with fish and forestry scientists resulted in two bioeconomic models for Portuguese forests and a bioeconomic model for the Ibero-Atlantic Sardine stock. His research has been published in top field journals such as Resource and Energy Economics, Ecological Economics and Environment and Development Economics.


Ana Rodrigues holds a degree in Meteorology and Geophysics Oceanography and a master’s degree in Multimedia Communication, both by University of Aveiro. Ana worked as meteorologist and environment consultant for 4 years and as science communicator and outreach officer for more than 9 years. Ana also has experience as researcher and project manager in projects related with innovation and technology. Currently, Ana is the Executive Director of the Environmental Economics Knowledge Center.
Ana has a special interest in institutions/projects that promote scientific culture in different areas of knowledge (but especially in topics related with environment, oceanography, climate change and technology), with a strong interactive character and involving the community.


Resident Faculty


Sofia F. Franco (Ph.D from UCSB, USA) is an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Nova School of Business and Economics (Nova SBE). Sofia has also been a consultant to the World Bank and to the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education, Maryland, USA, on topics related to urban development and zoning policies. Sofia is an applied microeconomist with a research agenda that lies at the boundaries of environmental, urban and transportation economics, and uses state-of-the-art econometric and computable general equilibrium methods, as well as geographical information (GIS) tools.  Most of her work consists of theoretical and empirical assessments of major public policy issues. Sofia has published scholarly articles dealing with the efficiency and distributional impacts of anti-sprawl policies, urban sprawl and land use change in the United States. Additional work has focused on the impacts of parking policies on urban sprawl, land consumption and real estate prices. A further branch of her research has examined the impacts of urban growth controls on forest management practices. Her research has appeared in peer-reviewed academic journals and has also been presented in several major international conferences.

Luís Catela Nunes is a Full Professor at the Nova School of Business and Economics. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His field of research is applied econometrics. In a number of research projects Luis shows how data can be collected and analysed to assess public preferences for non-market goods, namely environmental goods, cultural heritage, recreational and leisure services, and tourism in general. The results of his projects have been presented in major conferences and published in leading international journals such as Ecological Economics, Environment and Development Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics, European Planning Studies, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Land Economics, Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, and Tourism Management. He also has an extensive work as peer reviewer for scientific journals and as an evaluator of research projects. Luis also as a vast experience in conducting economic studies and consultancy work for governmental institutions and companies.




Carina Vieira da Silva is a marine biologist with a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and Technologies and a Ph.D. in Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies. From 2005 to 2011, she worked in Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Monitoring at Instituto do Mar – Laboratório Marítimo da Guia. Since 2012 she has been working in economic valuation of environmental goods and services, following a transdisciplinary approach to improve environmental policy- and decision-making. Carina is currently a post-doc researcher at Nova School of Business and Economics. Her research focuses on the economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services using revealed and stated preference valuation techniques.


Catarina Frazão Santos is an Invited Researcher at NOVA-SBE (Environmental Economics Knowledge Center), and an Invited Auxiliary Researcher and Lecturer at the Animal Biology Department of FCUL and MARE. She graduated in Marine Biology in 2006, obtained a MSc in Ecology and Environmental Management in 2008, and a PhD in Marine Sciences in 2016. After completing her PhD about Portuguese ocean policy and planning, Catarina actively focused on establishing an innovative and interdisciplinary research line on marine spatial planning (MSP) and global climate change. She is the global coordinator of R&D project OCEANPLAN (FCT-funded) and strongly engaged in international collaborations and networks - e.g. she supports the European Commission on the H2020 Programme, is a member of the EU COST action OceanGov, a Review Editor for Frontiers in Marine Science journal, and invited as an Expert to support several international initiatives and workshops (e.g. ECCWO-2018, European Comission DG-MARE Workshops).Catarina is leading author of several international scientific articles, some in top-ranked journals such as Nature Sustainability or Nature Geoscience, and has an excellent record in presenting her work at international scientific meetings. Since early in her scientific path she was awarded grants by FLAD-IMAR, FCT and ICES to develop her work (e.g. at top US institutions in marine research like Duke University Marine Lab and NOAA). She is in her 2nd year of lecturing, teaching courses on Ocean Planning and Environmental Assessment (2nd cycle). She is supervising 1 PhD student, 4 Master students, and 1 Research Fellow.

Amandine Pastor obtained her PhD in hydrology from Wageningen University (the Netherlands) in 2017. Her PhD was about how to manage the global water system to sustain both food production and environmental needs under global change. She is an expert in hydrological and vegetation growth modelling, land use modelling, climate change and ecosystem services. She also has an MSc in agriculture engineering and has worked in different projects including field work related to sustainable agriculture, water management and soil and water conservation projects in Europe and overseas. She is responsible of the development of land use scenario, erosion modelling and conservation measures for six Mediterranean sites including a forest site of NW Portugal for the MASCC project ( She has received a grant from the COST ACTION PESFOR-W to work with Prof. Maria Antonieta Cunha e Sá on ecosystems services related to post-fire management for 5 months and is also affiliated to Faculdade de Ciencias in Lisbon ( to work with JP Nunes and TC Lourenco on EU projects related to land use, carbon and water modelling and climate change.

Aires Afonso Mbanze was born in Nampula province, northern Mozambique. I hold Ph.D. in Tropical Knowledge and Management from Nova School of Business and Economics, Universidade Nova de Lisboa and MSc degree in Nature Conservation from the Universidade Federal do Paraná. I am currently Lectures at the University Lúrio, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Environment and Nature Conservation. My research interest is related to: i) community-based natural resources management, ii) illegal natural  resources harvesting, iii) valuation of nature; iv) governance of ecosystem services;  v) forest structure and diversity, vi) forest fires and climate changes; and, vii) biomass and energy. I have more than 14 publications in International peer-review Journals. I am a co-founder of one small consultancy company (Ecosystem Services and Livelihood Enhancement Lda), in the field of environment and natural resources management.

Gonçalo Araújo is a Marine Biologist and has a master’s degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. He also has a postgraduate degree in Marine Science, Management and Administration and has attended postgraduate studies in Data Science.He has over 1 year of at sea experience in fisheries observation and data collection for scientific research campaigns, with more then 6 years experience in fisheries. He has coordinated the fisheries observation programs in Portugal for NAFO and ICCAT , and has worked as a research fellow at CCMAR and IPMA on several commercial and recreational fisheries projects. He is currently a researcher and co-founder of an aquaculture startup. Main interest areas: fisheries, aquaculture, data science, marine species conservation, entrepreneurship, maker movement and hackathons.

João Vaz Pato holds a Master’s degree in Economics at the NOVA School of Business and Economics where he focused on the areas of Environmental Economics and Public Policy. Recently, he has been carrying out research on bioeconomic modelling of forests. His research interests in natural resource economics include the topics of forestry, agriculture and land use.

Margarida Ortigão holds a Master’s degree in Economics from NOVA SBE and a BSc also in Economics from ISEG. She has previously worked at NOVA SBE in the valuation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Services in the west coast of Portugal.Margarida has also spent some time doing field work in Africa, coordinating a research project in Mozambique with NOVAFRICA and working as a Research Associate for Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) in Zambia.

Ph.D. Students



Mariia Murasheva

Inês Póvoa

Alberto Charrua


Aires Mbanze

Jacob Lawrence Mcdonald