ABIDE team

Our team is made of scholars from different theoretical and methodological backgrounds, joining at the table social and natural sciences: sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, conservation biologists, ecologists, multispecies ethnographers, artists. We aim at building an intellectual and emotional space where dialogue between disciplines is possible, where teamwork is guided by common goals, higher than ourselves and each one’s epistemological standings.

Verónica Policarpo

Senior Research Fellow

Principal Investigator Verónica Policarpo is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, where she coordinates the Human-Animal Studies Hub and the the post-graduate course Animals and Society"Animais e Sociedade". In 2022 she was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant with project ABIDE, to study how animals recover from disasters, in particular wildfires. Veronica holds a PhD in Social Sciences (Sociology) by ICS-ULisboa and her current research interests are focused on human-animal relationships. Former projects include: “Liminal Becomings: reframing human-animal relations in natural disasters”, on animals in disasters; and "CLAN: Children-Animals' Friendships: challenging boundaries between humans and non-humans in contemporary societies", on children and companion animals.

Filipa Soares


Filipa Soares has a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Oxford, and a BA and MA in Anthropology (New University of Lisbon). She is interested in the politics and dynamics of wildlife conservation and environmental management, more-than-human geographies, and human-nonhuman relations more broadly.

Filipa’s doctoral thesis explored the socio- and biopolitical implications of rewilding as a new way of conceiving and choreographing ecological disturbances, namely herbivory, in the UK. She has participated in many research projects on the sociocultural dimensions of the conservation of charismatic species (e.g., great predators, birds of prey, owls), and more recently on wildfire prevention in Portugal.

Kuai Shen


Kuai Shen is an artistic mediator of ant worlds who has a PhD in multispecies ethnography. His practice-led research employs technology-based performances and decolonial tactics to overturn conventional representations of ants within dominant research imaginaries. Kuai develops the concept of inverted aesthesis: the amplification of insect-human relations and sensorial abilities of invertebrates attuned to the more- than-human cultures, ecologies, and politics of indigenous ontologies.

His transversal work with ants has been published in the journals Society and Animals, Antennae, Art&Australia, Acoustic Space, and in the book Distributed Perception: Resonances and Axiologies. His artworks have been commissioned by Eli Broad Museum, FACT Liverpool, National Art Gallery Vilnius, House of Arts Brno, and the Quito Museum of contemporary art.

Nuno Negrões Soares


Nuno is a biologist with more than 20 years' professional experience developing projects in Portugal, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Mozambique. He has worked on topics around the ecology and conservation of biodiversity (particularly mammals), human-wildlife conflicts, monitoring protected areas, community participation, science communication and environmental education.

Chiara Beneduce

Doctoral Researcher

After completing a BA in Sociology at Sorbonne University, Chiara earned her MRes in Environmental Humanities at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences of Paris (EHESS). In 2023, she was an intern at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, and became co-editor of Arcadianaa blog about literature, culture and the environment.  

As of March 2024, she is a PhD student in Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, and a member of the ABIDE team. 

Her research interests are, among others, environmental anthropology, multispecies literature and storytelling.

Z. Ladin Cosgun

Doctoral Researcher

Ladin took her B.Sc. (2019) in Biology at the Hacettepe University and M.Sc. (2022) in Ecology. Worked at the Fire Ecology and Seed Research Lab during B.Sc. and at the Functional Ecology Lab. during M.Sc. years. Interned at the ELKH Centre for Ecological Research in Hungary (2023) with EU funding.

M.Sc. thesis focused on plant response, diversity, and functional diversity on Mediterranean ecosystems at a community level by using a functional trait approach. As of March 2024, she is a PhD student in Anthropology at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, and a member of the ABIDE team.

Research interests: biodiversity, ecology, plant ecology, fire ecology, functional ecology, Mediterranean-type ecosystems, alpine and steppe grasslands, community ecology, environmental and ecological gradients.

Sara Silva

Masters Researcher

Sara has a BSc in Sociology from Iscte - University Institute of Lisbon, where she is also currently finishing her master's degree in Communication, Culture and Information Technology. In 2022, she did an internship at the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC), where she worked on natural disasters associated with floods. Focused on the social dynamics occurring in the media and with an interest in deepening the relationship between humans and animals, in April 2024 she joined the ABIDE team.

Areas of interest: Media, Culture, Communication and Society.

André Balças

Project officer

Has a degree in biology from the University of the Algarve (UALG), and a voluntary and professional path (2011-2020) through various projects dedicated to nature conservation in Portugal, in the role of scientific research technician, fieldwork technician, handler, activity monitor and environmental educator.

With courses in collaboration and digital tools, entrepreneurship and business management, André has recently taken a career path in project management.

Scientific advisory board

Danielle Celermajer

Professor of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Sydney, and (Acting) Director of the Sydney Environment Institute. Danielle’s research focuses on Multispecies Justice, or how the concepts, practices, and institutionalization of justice needs transformation to consider ecological realities and the ethical standing of all Earth beings.

David Redmalm

Associate Professor at the Division of Sociology, Mälardalen University, in Sweden. David has a wide interest in human-animal relations and has studied topics such as robotic cats, urban hunters, pet cemeteries, riding schools, and the Chihuahua’s symbolism in anglophone pop culture.

Eben Kirksey

Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oxford, in the UK. Eben is an expert in multispecies ethnography who has been investigating some of the most important stories of our time, related to biotechnology, the environment, and social justice, in Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas.

Felipe Vander Velden

Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Federal University of São Carlos, in Brazil, where he coordinates the research group Humanimalia. Felipe’s research has centred on human-animal relations – ranging from hunting to animal husbandry, from trade to knowledge – in indigenous villages in the Brazilian Amazon, working with the Karitiana (Tupi-Arikém) and Puruborá (Tupi-Puruborá).

Guilherme Sá

Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Brasília, in Brazil, where he coordinates the Anthropology of Science and Technique Lab. Guilherme’s research focuses on the anthropology of science and technology, anthropology of natures, and human-nonhuman relations in Brazil.

José Luís Zêzere

Full Professor of Physical Geography at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, in Portugal, where he is also the Director of the Centre of Geographical Studies. He is an expert in applied geomorphology, geography of natural hazards and risks, and spatial planning.

Susana de Matos Viegas

Anthropologist, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. She did her PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Coimbra (2003). Her fieldwork research among the indigenous people Tupinambá de Olivença in Brazil included coordinating the anthropological report to demarcate the indigenous land (1997-2009). Her research topics are on personhood, indigenous people’s territorialities, ancestorship and historicities in the indigenous Atlantic. Since 2012 also among the Fataluku (Timor-Leste). Since 2022 she is Editor-in-Chief of Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America.

Thom van Dooren

Deputy Director at the Sydney Environment Institute and Professor of Environmental Humanities in the School of Humanities, University of Sydney, Australia. As a field philosopher and writer, Thom’s research and writing focuses on the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinction and human entanglements with threatened species and places.

Ethics advisory board

Christine Winter

Senior Lecturer in environmental, climate change, multispecies and indigenous politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Her research focuses on the ways in which academic political theory, and particularly theories of justice, continue to perpetuate injustice for some groups of people (with a focus on the Māori) and the environment.

Julie Urbanik

Independent scholar in the field of animal geographies and an expert consultant as a witness social geographer in criminal defence mitigation. Julie is a qualitatively trained geographer interested in how place shapes the ethical relations between humans and between humans and nonhuman animals.

Sevasti-Melissa Nolas

Reader at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a visual sociologist best known for her research and practice on childhood publics, children’s visual cultures, children’s archives, multimodal ethnography, and publics creating methodologies.



Other contributors

Sádiya Munir

Sádiya Munir (ORCID0000-0003-2046-688X) is a PhD candidate in Communication Studies at the Faculty of Human Sciences – Catholic University of Portugal, awarded with a Studentship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology – FCT (2023.00951.BD). She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations. She is a researcher at CECC - Research Centre for Communication and Culture, Catholic University of Portugal.

Sádiya has collaborated as a research assistant on ABIDE from July to September 2023, with responsibilities including the collection and analysis of news (Público, Correio da Manhã, TVI, and RTP) occurring from June to October 2022 concerning fires, disasters, and animals in Portugal. Her PhD thesis focuses on news consumption and news avoidance of Portuguese young adults (aged 18-24).

Her areas of interest are media and politics, political communication, news, and democracy.

 to build an interdisciplinary team, based on openness, understanding and support, where all may flourish

Funded by the European Union (ERC, ABIDE, nº 101043231). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.