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Sara Cardoso – ISE

Sara Cardoso


ResearcherID: H-1372-2012 — ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1006-2323 — Research Gate: Sara D. Cardoso


  • 2009 BSc in Biology, specialization in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology
  • 2011 MSc in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • 2019 PhD in Biological Sciences, specialization in Molecular Ecology
  • 2013 to 2018, PhD student in the Integrative Behavioural Biology Lab at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), Oeiras, Portugal.
  • 2019 to Present, Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Science and Environment.


Broadly, I seek to understand the proximate mechanisms underlying the expression of behavior, specifically the ones that facilitate consistent patterns of behavior within populations/strains of the same species. During my PhD, I focused my research on sexual behavior and developmental plasticity, where I investigated the neural and molecular mechanisms that regulated the observed plasticity in behavior in natural populations by doing RNA-seq. I am interested in how sexual conflict is resolved in a system where both males and females display different levels of aggression due to either natural or artificial selection. Additionally, the genomic basis of aggression in this species is being researched using different approaches from hormonal to genomic analyses by comparing the described strains. More recently, my research interests spanned to behavioral changes due to micro and nanoplastic pollution, and how these are mediated by differences in gene expression at different developmental stages.

Genomic and physiological mechanisms of aggressive behaviour; Transcriptomics of intralocus sexual conflict; Genome editing using the CRISPR tool kit; microplastic pollution


  • Gonçalves D, Fusani B, Cardoso SD & Canário AVM (2024). Hormones and Sexual Behavior of Teleost Fishes (Chapter 7), Hormones and Reproduction of Vertebrates, Volume 1, Academic Press, in press.
The work had the support of the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT), project 0025/2020/A2, and SDC was supported by the postdoctoral fellowship FDCT0001/2021/APD. We thank Alexandre Lebel for providing the Betta splendens drawings.

This work was supported by the Macao Science and Technology Development (FDCT) fund through projects 093/2017/A2 and 0025/2017/A2, and postdoctoral fellowships FDCT0003/2019/APD and FDCT0001/2021/APD awarded to SDC.

This work was supported by the Macao Science and Technology Development Fund (FDCT), project 093/2017/A2. SDC was supported by the postdoctoral fellowship FDCT0003/2019/APD. We thank two anonymous reviewers and the Associate Editor for their insightful comments on a previous version of the manuscript.


  • Cardoso SD, Lau I.H., Gonçalves D. “Sex-specific differences in behaviour after exposure to microplastics in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma”. Poster presentation at the Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN2024) meeting, March 25-28, 2024, Tsukuba International Congress Center, Tsukuba, Japan.
  • Cardoso SD, Ramos A, Gonçalves D. “Fighting behaviour in Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens): influence of gonadectomy on aggression and hormone levels”. Society of Behavioral Neuroendocrinology (SBN) Meeting. Université de Tours, Tours, France. June 26-29, 2023.
  • Cardoso SD, Ramos A, Louro B, Canário AVM and Gonçalves D. “Divergent neurogenomic response to aggression in male and female Siamese fighting fish”, contributed talks session 6 – Sexual selection and conflict, Genetics and Genomics. Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) Winter 2020 Virtual meeting. December 3-4, 2020.
  • Cardoso SD, Ramos A, Gonçalves D. Unravelling the neurogenomic basis of aggression in males and females of the Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens. Poster no. A38 at the Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN) 10th Anniversary Meeting. October 17-18, 2019. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL, USA.
  • Cardoso SD, Gonçalves D, Saraiva J, Goesmann A, Canário AVM and Oliveira, RF. “Alternative reproductive tactics and sex role reversal in the peacock blenny Salaria pavo, a transcriptomic analysis”, contributed talks session 4 – Genes and Behaviour (CT4.4). Behaviour 2017: joint meeting of the 35th International Ethological Conference (IEC) and the 2017 Summer Meeting of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB). July 30 to August 4, 2017. Estoril Congress Center, Estoril, Portugal.