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 Full Professor of Economics at the Nova School of Business and Economics, UNL. She holds a PhD in Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Her fields of interest are Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, with emphasis on economic valuation of environmental goods and natural resources modeling. She has experience in projects’ coordination. She has published in several international scientific journals, such as the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Land Economics, Environment & Resource Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Energy Economics, Ecological 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. Maria 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. Maria is Scientific Co-Director of the Nova Environmental Economics Knowledge Center since November 2017, when it was launched. She is also the country representative of Portugal in the EAERE, and the representative of Nova SBE at the Academic Council of Nova4TheGlobe of Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

Ana Rodrigues holds a degree in Meteorology and Geophysics Oceanography and a master’s degree in Multimedia Communication, both from University of Aveiro. Ana is the Executive Director of the Environmental Economics Knowledge Center (2019-2021; 2023-present). Previously, she worked as a meteorologist and environment consultant (2009-2013) and, as science communicator and outreach officer (2008-2017).  She also did research in NLI – Natural Language Interaction for IPTV systems (2018-2019) and integrated the Technology Transfer Office of the University of Aveiro - UACOOPERA (2022) as Science and Technology Manager, where she dealt with University-enterprise cooperation mainly in the area of energy, environment, technology and industrial processes. Ana has several years of experience in project and program management in topics related to environment, environmental economics, communication, science communication, innovation, technology, formal and informal education and knowledge transfer. Ana is curiosity driven and interested in science and technology. Currently, she is especially interested in research in the fields of Environmental Economics, Environmental Literacy, Communication, Sustainability and Research Management.




Resident Faculty


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.


Ph.D. Students



  • Gonçalo Araújo
  • Inês Póvoa
  • Luisa Nobre
  • João Pato
  • João Seixo
  • Margarida Ortigão
  • Mariia Murasheva
  • Miguel Fernandes
  • Pedro Carreira dos Santos



  • Alberto Charrua
  • Aires Mbanze
  • Jacob Lawrence Mcdonald








Alberto Charrua has a degree in Forest Engineering from Eduardo Mondlane University and a Master in Environmental Engineering from Jilin University of China. Currently, Alberto Charrua is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Earth and Environment at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Beira Extension. Alberto Charrua is interested in the following scientific areas: environmental economics, biodiversity conservation, environmental biotechnology, ecological modeling, valuation of ecosystem services, and environmental impact assessment.

Catarina Frazão Santos holds a PhD in Marine Sciences from the University of Lisbon (co-directed by Duke University), a degree in Marine Biology and a master’s degree in Environmental Management. Catarina is an invited researcher and lecturer the NOVA School of Business and Economics, a member of the Marine and Environmental Sciences Center (MARE), and a researcher and lecturer at the University of Lisbon, Department of Animal Biology. Her research interests focus on the multiple dimensions of ocean sustainability, particularly on sustainable marine spatial planning, ocean management and governance under global environmental change. She was recently awarded a FCT Researcher grant and is global coordinator of FCT-funded project OCEANPLAN. Catarina is strongly engaged in international collaborations and networks (e.g., working as an expert supporting the European Commission, UNESCO, or the World Bank). Her research has been published in top field journals such as Nature Sustainability, Nature Geoscience, or Marine Policy.

Eurico Afonso holds a master’s degree in Economics from NOVA SBE. He is an easygoing person who is always searching to improve his skills. His research interests include Water Economics and Agricultural Economics.

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.

Inês Póvoa is currently a PhD student at NOVA School of Business and Economics, under the supervision of Full Professor Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá and Assistant Professor Ana Gouveia. She is currently working on firm level effects of extreme weather events, such as droughts and wildfires. She is also an Economist at the Ministry for the Economy. She holds a Master's degree in Economics at the NOVA School of Business and Economics, where she currently teaches.

João Seixo holds a Master’s degree in Economics from NOVA SBE and a BSc in Economics from ISCTE-IUL, focusing on Environmental and Natural Resource Economics and Public Policy. He is currently working in the economic valuation of land-based Ecosystem Services in Continental Portugal. His research interests include Ecological Economics and Climate Change Economics.

João Vaz Patto is a PhD student in Economics at Nova SBE. Recently, he has been carrying out research on the bioeconomic modelling of forestry under risk of fire, ecological-economic planning of agricultural landscapes and ecosystem-based fisheries management. His research interests in the field of natural resource economics include mainly the topics of agriculture, forestry and land use.

João Vaz is a Research Assistant at NOVA SBE. He received a PhD in Economics from the University of Wyoming. His research interests are in environmental and natural resource economics. He conducts modeling and simulation work to examine how the ecological dynamics of natural systems should inform economic behavior in resource-extraction problems and uses theoretical and empirical methods to evaluate the design and implementation of environmental markets for biodiversity conservation. At NOVA SBE, he is working on the A-AAGORA project related to the sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems. He previously held a postdoctoral position in environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg. He has been affiliated with interdisciplinary research associations Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in a Changing Climate (BECC) at Lund University.

Luisa Ribeiro von Glehn Nobre is a PhD student in Economics at Nova SBE.

Margarida Ortigão is a PhD student in Sustainability Science. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Nova SBE and a BSc also in Economics from ISEG. She has been working in different projects at the Knowledge Center, mostly on the economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services, in Portugal and Mozambique.  is a PhD student in Sustainability Science. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Nova SBE and a BSc also in Economics from ISEG. She has been working in different projects at the Knowledge Center, mostly on the economic valuation of marine and coastal ecosystem services, in Portugal and Mozambique.

Mariia Murasheva is a PhD student in Economics at Nova SBE. Her fields are environmental and health economics. She studies the impact of air pollution on the welfare of local communities. Web site

Miguel  Fernandes is a PhD Candidate in Marine Sciences at the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon, since March 2022, a researcher at MARE-ULisboa, and a Research Fellow at the NOVA-SBE Environmental Economics Knowledge Center. His PhD project focuses on the development of a spatial-explicit index to assess the vulnerability of marine spatial planning and the blue economy to climate change in Portugal. He holds a degree in Biology and a master's in Marine Ecology. His research interest pertains to marine ecosystem services, as well as the importance of their conservation and sustainable ocean management. At NOVA-SBE, Miguel is responsible for providing expertise on the economic valuation of ecosystem services,

Pedro Santos is an Eco|Fin PhD Student at NOVA School of Business and Economics, under the supervision of Full Professor Maria A. Cunha-e-Sá, and Associate Professor João Pedro Pereira. He holds a Master Degree from The Lisbon MBA International (Católica|Nova|MIT Sloan), and graduated in Hydrography at the University of Plymouth, England. His research interests are mainly in environmental economics and energy economics, having published in the Energy Economics Journal. He is currently developing research on the economic valuation of offshore wind energy, and lecturing as a Teacher Assistant at NOVA SBE Global Energy Markets and Finance courses. Pedro has also taught at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, led the establishment of a hydrographic engineering company, and participated in the revitalization of a forty-year-old industrial company.

Renato Rosa is an Assistant Professor in Economics at FEUC. He graduated in Economics at Nova SBE where he also obtained his PhD 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. In 2012 he was awarded an Investigator FCT starting grant in the "The FCT Investigator Programme". His research interests focus on renewable resources and ecosystem services with a particular emphasis on multidisciplinary bio-economic modelling. To date, he participated as a principal investigator, work package leader or as a member of the research team, in several research projects, having supervised the work of various young researchers. His research has been presented at over 20 international conferences, and he has have been an invited speaker in various universities seminars and workshops. 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 Ecological Economics, Environmental and Resource Economics and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He is a member of two expert groups of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). He was a member of the board of director for the Spanish-Portuguese Association of Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (AERNA) and has been invited to integrate the scientific committee of various international conferences. He was also a Principal Investigator at Nova SBE and co-scientific Director of the Nova Environmental Economics Knowledge Center. Renato has taught at Nova SBE, University of Aveiro and Ca'Foscari University of Venice. 

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.

Til Dietrich is currently involved in developing econometric models for scientific publications. He previously worked at the sustainability bank Triodos and graduated from Nova SBE with a M.Sc. in Economics, focusing on environmental and behavioural economics as well as econometrics. He is passionate about environmental issues, with a strong concern for social equity in the transition towards a more sustainable society.