ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1836-7647
SCOPUS Author ID: 57200105518
Research Gate: Raquel Vasconcelos
Ciência ID (CienciaVitae): 321B-8D3D-4B3D



My major research interests are animal behaviour and neurophysiology, namely understanding the social role of vocal communication signals and how sounds are produced and detected by the vertebrate nervous system. I am interested in the physiological mechanisms underlying auditory sensitivity  and how changes in the environment (eg. increasing noise pollution) can impact hearing, behavior and possible physiological adaptations.
Presently, my research lines focus on social behavior, vocal communication and auditory sensitivity in fish. I have been using the highly vocal Lusitanian toadfish (Halobatrachus didactylus, Batrachoididae) and, more recently, the zebrafish Danio rerio, as my major study organisms.
Ongoing research projects cover the following topics:  (1) ontogenetic development of multimodal communication; (2) developmental of auditory-vocal systems; (3) hormonal control of auditory sensitivity; and (4) effects of noise on early development and noise pollution.
A parallel project, in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong (Global Night Sky Brightness Monitoring Network), focuses on light pollution in Macau.

  • 2021 | 2024 – SenSing – Acoustic communication in changing sensory environments: testing adaptive responses with the vocal fish model Danionella translucida. 在不斷變化的感官環境中的聲音交流:使用發聲魚 Danionella translucida 測試適應性反應FDCT 068/2020/A2. Research Team: Raquel O. Vasconcelos (PI), Paulo J. Fonseca  (University of Lisbon), David Goncalves (USJ, Macau), Celia Shunter (The University of Hong Kong).
  • 2016 | 2019 – ZEBRASONIC- Listening to the Environment: Importance of Early Acoustic Experience on Development and Hearing in Zebrafish/ 聆听环境:斑马鱼早期听力及发育的声学体验重要性. FDCT 036/2015/A1. Research Team: Raquel O. Vasconcelos (PI), Andrew H. Bass (team member).
  • 2014 | 2015 – Hormonal control of auditory sensitivity in the zebrafish Danio rerio. Postdoc Associate Fellowship, Cornell University, NY, USA.  (Raquel O. Vasconcelos; Andrew H. Bass lab)
  • 2012 | 2016 – The vocal brain of fish: development of auditory processing and vocal motor control. FDCT 019/2012/A1. Research Team: Raquel O. Vasconcelos (PI), Paulo J. Fonseca (team member), Joseph Sisneros (team member).
  • 2011 – Differential roles of saccule and utricle for directional hearing and vestibular sense in a vocal benthic fish, Halobatrachus didactylus. Research Fellowship from the Grass Foundation, Marine Biological Laboratory, MA, USA. (RO Vasconcelos)





Andrew Bass 
Cornell University, USA

Clara Amorim and Paulo J. Fonseca 
University of Lisbon, Portugal

Joseph A. Sisneros
University of Washington, USA

Jason Chun Shing Pun 
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Flora Gordillo-Martinez

Postdoc fellow

Flora investigates the molecular and cellular mechanisms of Age-Related of Hearing Loss.

Rafael Ayala Lara

PhD Student

Rafael is looking at the effects of environmentally significant noise levels on early development and stress responses in zebrafish.

Man Ieng (Vivian) Wong

Master Student

Vivian’s work focuses on effects of noise exposure and aging on hearing sensitivity (temporary threshold shifts) and how different gene expression profiles in the saccule may relate to sensory loss.

Former students

Lukas Breitzler, MSc student (USJ, Macau)

Ciara Valdoria, BSc student/research assistant (USJ, Macau) 

Patricia Chaves, MSc student (ISPA, Lisbon)

Mei Ka Lam, MSc student (USJ, Macau)

Yolanda Lau

Research Assistant

Yolanda assists in various studies with a focus on morphological changes in the sensory receptors and underlying molecular mechanisms.