I am an Associate Professor of Ethology and Animal welfare in the Department of Animal Environment and Health. I was born in 1984, in São Paulo, Brazil.
Education and degrees
In 2007 I graduated in Animal science as animal scientist with focus in livestock systems, in 2009 I defended my Master of Science with specialization in Animal welfare and in 2013 I finished my PhD dissertation in Ethology and Animal welfare, entitled “Potential effects of tactile stimulation on the behaviour and development of lambs and piglets’.
My interest in pedagogy started much before my actual work as teacher in high education. It is linked to my personal background. My parents have worked side by side with Paulo Freire in poor communities in São Paulo- Brazil ‘Pedagogy of the Opressed’ (Freire, 1970). Thus, I have lived a lively early environment at home in which education was seen as the tool to transform the world. This has deeply inspired me as an individual. I am a big fan of critical pedagogy, which is a philosophy of education that use concepts of critical theory. By applying social justice and democracy tools to implement critical thinking it aims to promote transformation, not only aiming for the individual level, but societal level. As teacher I am deeply committed with scientific critical thinking and active learning process. I believe in an inclusive teaching, in the exercise of good communication and tolerance in my classes and freedom for creativity. I teach in all levels at the university (Bachelor, Master and PhD level), and my goal is to inspire the students to be the actors of their own learning, and do it with enthusiasm and joy.
Early life experiences shape a whole life trajectory. Even before birth, conditions that the mother lives can affect these changes. From the molecular level to the network activity of the brain, changes in its structure, its chemical balance and hormonal regulations shape behaviour responses and its intimate relationship to the neuroendocrine and immune system. Variations in the management of early life of animals, its environmental stimuli including different husbandry conditions can have crucial short and long-term implications on their health, stress responsiveness and ultimately on survival rates.
Building upon the idea that environmental stimulation can program early and long-term development, my research agenda is centered on developing translational research which ties basic science to practical outcomes of individuals exposed to a positive and enriched early life environment. By applying an intrinsic interdisciplinary approach, I am to identify the underlying mechanisms of how these positive experiences can lead to improved health, performance, social and cognitive abilities and an overall well adapted domestic animal. Besides, I am to assess short and long term effects of early experiences throughout animal’s productive life and formulate and validate practical solutions that can be applied in different husbandry conditions. As one step further on animal emotions field, my research aims to assess the benefits of pleasant experiences and how it is expressed by domestic animals in practical conditions. Ultimately my general research goal is to promote and support an overall positive and sustainable life quality at the farm, taking into account the individual variation, personality development and stress coping strategies. I am also interested to study the importance of the expression of natural behaviours (like maternal-filial interactions) its ontogeny and the overall effects on later sociability, health and welfare status.
Navigating through different perspectives, my research projects are in the domain of ethology and positive welfare. Overall my goal is to produce high quality science that will be on the high-edge of animal science. Hopefully contributing to the improvement of life quality of our domestic animals.
- The link between positive welfare and immunology and its application for the rearing of dairy calve - Project leader
- The individual matters: linking personality in dairy cattle to health, performance and welfare - Project leader
- The use of positive animal welfare indicators in the dairy industry: Science and policy - Participating researcher
- Sustainable dairy production with cow and calf together - Participating researcher
- Time to manage on your own – timing of separation in a cow-calf-contact system - Participating researcher
- Improved welfare and production in loose-housed sows and piglets - effects of nursing environment and weaning age - Participating researcher
- The effect of early tactile stimulation on the behaviour and production in piglets
- Using body language to assess emotional states in dairy cows
I work at the coordination team of PATHWAYS as the project Technical manager, which includes tasks as monitoring project progress, deliverables quality control and ensuring overall and intermediate project aims achievement. I am also part of the research team working at the European multi-actor platform. This is 9 million euro project to identify and increase sustainable practices along the supply and production chains of the European livestock sector. It started in 2021 and it will be developed for the next 5 years.
I am also involved as a participating researcher at the project Care4Dairy, which aims to develop a portfolio of Best Practice Guidelines for dairy calves, heifers, cows and cull cows that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and acceptable for application in practice. Besides, am I also part of the expert scientific group of the EURCAW - Ruminants and Equines (European Reference Center for Animal Welfare of Ruminants and Equines).